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Default Rampant Games - 7 Ways To Fix Boring Quests

March 8th, 2012, 21:21
Jay Barnson writes about dull FedEx quests and how to make them more palatable:
I understand why they are there. When you are working with scripting code, itís surprising how so much boils down a few very simple interactions. So much of gameplay ends up being some variant of some very basic interactions. Kill Actor X. Wound Actor X to Level Y. Protect Actor X. Talk to X when Flag Y is set. Use Item Y with Actor X, or when Item Y is in your inventory. The latter is your basic Fed Ex quest element. But using it in something close to its raw, unadulterated form is lame and trite. Itís all about wrapping these basic elements in a dramatic and interesting story, after all Ė a pregenerated story of the designerís creation, or one that develops organically that the player creates by his own actions and those of the game world and its inhabitants, or ideally a combination of both.
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March 8th, 2012, 21:22
Seems to me that if start with an innovative and good story and world design, and build your questing mechanics around the that, you'll end up with better quests, rather than just recycling the standard quest types and building your story around them.

See Torment for a good example.
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March 9th, 2012, 02:24
I think that's a given that what you suggest is the "right approach", but it doesn't guarantee good quests. I'd say it's a good start. But if you remember the bad ol' days of FMV games, you can have some terrible gameplay propelling a … well, I hesitate to call them GOOD stories, but I will at least call them carefully crafted stories… along. The gameplay / quest mechanics should run parallel and support the story & setting (and vice-versa), but I do not believe it's a natural derivative. If only it were that "easy…"
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