Rampant Games - Why Are RPGs So Hard to Create?
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June 2nd, 2010, 02:22
That quoted paragraph (more, better, faster, repeat) makes sense if you're making a Diablo clone. An RPG can do repetition of content, considering it's the story and quest structure that matters more than any of the things they list. With interesting, involving, well written, challenging quests that still allow you to think of various ways to complete them, you can have a player stick to the same general area (say a town and surrounding lands that may also be involved in the quests to be found there) for hours, and still enjoy it. The author needs to reevaluate his priorities with RPG titles I think, if the rest of the article (which this paragraph doesn't entice me into reading) is in that same tone.
A recent example would be Risen's cities which have lots of quests and stuff to do, not all of them involving killing dudes (so, no, it's not like WoW "quests"), but also doing detective work like an advanture game, or whatever else. If the whole game was like that it would have been a classic, alas it went downhill fast when they decided to move through with the save the world plot. Similar for the academy monastery or whatever it was called. Oh well, it's still a solid, yet flawed, game, but man what it could have been with extra time to write more quests, polish the existing, and find a better way to move the story than crappy dugeon crawling and a horrible 80s-3D-Action-Game-Boss.
Even quests need items obviously, but depending on your ambition they may as well be mere icons shown in your inventory. The same for stuff you use, like weapons, they can all look the same and just have different statistics, maybe color changes, and the occasional unique model/sprite/ for special fancy loot. As long as your aesthetics are charming, people won't mind compromises if the gameplay delivers.
Enemies are easy to repeat in the same way. It's not like action games have you killing the same stuff on stage 1 and the final stage, they also tend to have a lot of enemy variety. Do the same effort for an RPG, and add color and statistic variations for different areas on top, saving unique models per area/region/whatever and for special bosses. You can do a lot of content without that much extra work, leaving you able to put the focus where necessary, ie the quests and story and gameplay as said already. Not to mention humanoid enemies which can repeat just the same with different equipment and no issues, so it's once again good to make interesting quests involving human interactions instead of just send the player off to kill 90% of the world's wildlife.
Last edited by Al3xand3r; June 2nd, 2010 at
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