Hey everyone, I have an idea for a new RPG game and I have a backstory already developed. What I want to know is, how should the story be told? There are several possibilities, but I want to know what players would be most interested in.
- The first possibility is a classic RPG game with a fully customizable character and race. The only concern with this option is that the game won’t go into as much detail regarding your personal character because of the sheer amount of work it would take to craft custom scripts for each possible character in nearly every dialogue, but the pro of this is that players will feel as though the character they have created better reflects them.
- The story could be told from a precreated character which the player can customize by selecting unique stats and physical characteristics, but they will not be able to choose a custom race, which may take away from some of the fun. This will, however, allow the game to go into more detail in certain scenes because I won’t have to worry about continuity errors regarding different races.
- The third option is that I allow players to choose a custom race, but will then have to choose from a list of prewritten personal backstories for their character. This will allow players to customize their character and will make it easier for me to create a unique play through depending on your backstory. This option again, however, takes away from the player’s creativity in the game as they may only have two possible backstories to choose from for each race.
What option do you think would be the most fun to play through? I know a lot of developers would choose the second option because it will allow the writer to create a better story, but I don’t want to force players to play a boring Human if they want to play an overpowered Dragonknight.
I am working an RPG game myself so look forward to what you come up with. I had started with a setup like Fallout.
But now I am going with a player sheet type setup
Of course it is STILL very rough and time is not on my side, so do not get to work on it often enough. I am hoping to finish the player setup this weekend, crossing my fingers. Once you have a demo I will be happy to check it out.
I want to support option 3.
I like the idea of 1 or 3. How many races would you have? I wondered if perhaps some kind of compromise could be found between race selection and endless work tweaking dialogues.
While I like customization, I like a well made backstory better. I support option 2 because in the end I’ll be more satisfied with a developed story than a simple rpg. (I still like rpg’s though)
@Lordirish, I really like your concept in the second link! It reminds me of Dungeon Keeper and the Overlord games. Your d&d style character creation is very in-depth, while mine will be a little more straight forward and simplistic, while still offering a lot of personalization available to the player.
@Fiogan, there are currently 5 races to choose from in the game, however, these races are very diverse and there are two that I feel will be chosen far more often than the rest, if I made the option available. My fear is that I will spend the time implementing the diversity for each race when only a couple of the races are actually being played. Perhaps I could make a majority of the backstories universal regardless of race. Do you think it would be a good idea to have option 3 with about 6 universal backstories to choose from to create 6 unique play throughs, or would it be better to have endless minor diversity in the story line?
I support option 2. I always prefer a well detailed story than a customizable one I need to create. It’s more important to me to first have a good narrative, and then be interacting with that to make different tellings of the story.
Edit: If you want to have some good story diversity you could combine the race/background choice.
Such as race 1 was a blacksmith, race 2 is a slave, race 3 is a mage, race 4 ran away from home. I always love it when race selection in fantasy provides good story aspects besides +15 in (insert stat), and cosmetic. I think combing race/background might show the reader that race selection would be more than that.
Best of luck on the game!
Thank you, ya who does not like slapping their lackeys around so yep a little DK fun. Have you played Witcher? Going for that type of length and feel.
Looking forward to your demo.
@Lordirish Yep, I love the Witcher!
Well so far Ive gotten a pretty even distribution of opinions, but it seems like people are more in favor of option 2 or 3, which is good because both of those lean towards a better story line.
I favor option 3… on the other hand I also like the idea of option 2 depending on what you mean by precreated character (is it Gender locked, will my choices be limited? Or is it mostly just the race and back story)
I like the sound of option 2. I don’t really care about the integration of race, or even personal features. My eyes usually pass over those parts of CoGs anyway without a thought. I think stat related and character building choices are the most important. Not reciting the MCs hair, skin, clothes, ect. color.
@Matter7 Would the idea of simplifying with just a few races and backrounds be helpful, do you think? That was what I had in mind when I asked about the number of races… Or maybe a combo approach? A list of choices with, say, three races and two background choices per race. So for instance, you could be a 1. Goblin who grew up in a goblin town and spent his teenage years skirmishing with surrounding villages 2. Goblin who was orphaned and lived in a human temple on charity, secretly longing to write epic poetry. Et cetera. Although @JimD has an interesting set-up in his current beta with a multiplicity of backrounds and I’m looking forward to seeing how that is implemented in-game. @Batinthehat Wouldn’t race have rather a large potential to effect stats and character opportunities, though?
@Fiogan Yes, in a sense. But then option 2 would make up for that with being able to pick unique stats. I think it’s better to have more detail than more choice. Options 1 and 3 would call for an extensive amount of coding. For example being a mage would foresay mean having high magic. But you can have high magic without being a mage. Being a goblin (again, just an example) being ruthless. But you can be ruthless without being a goblin. And it was said that you can customize the appearance of your character.
An easy alternative would be to just say what race you are in the stats screen and have it affect stats but not develop a huge backstory/predetermined character or have the significance of your race show up in every scene, though some may see it as a cop-out. It would make the coding easier and still give that level of race selection choice.
Option 3 is like DAO, and since I really loved that how that played out, I’m gonna go with 3.
I’m seconding @WinterHawk and I’m not sure how well you’ll be able to write universal backstories for diverse races. For me, “very diverse races” means that they have completely different religions, values and social structures. Then, even if the characters have the same professions all the other parts of the background like family or attitudes towards other races and gender roles would be different, making the paths similar but not universal.
It would be better if you give us an overview on these five races and the differences between them so that future voters have a better understanding of the game’s world.
Well, I don’t want to give anything away because I am constantly working to make this game as deep and detailed as possible because I love games with an in-depth and well thought out history line. In fact, I have a blog post listing my favorite games of all time and you’ll notice many of them have incredible story lines. Here’s a link just in case anyone wants to check it out: http://www.gamespot.com/forums/games-discussion-1000000/my-top-20-games-30606494/
There is an entire history to this world that the player will dive into and I want to allow players to go as in-depth as they want with it. Want to talk to a historian for hours on end about the history of the land? So be it! Don’t give a shit? So be it!
Also, what is your opinion (everyone) about the depth of the personal back stories? Should they be like DAO and be fairly lengthy for each unique character, or should they be relatively short, just long enough to introduce the player into the game and have an idea of what is going on, and then get into the main plot? I will have the game set up so that the player will have opportunities to learn about the world as they play.
Oh and one more thing to get some ideas and discussion flowing. I have many names in development, but this is a massive world and at times unique names that sound realistic or immersive can be difficult to concoct, so if anyone wants to have a little fun and just comment with some unique and interesting names they can think of, go ahead! They can be of any origin or language and I’m sure I can find a place to implement it, somewhere!
I want longer and detailed back stories that include both personal (childhood, family, friends dreams etc.) and professional background.
But actually, it seems to be possible to use both approaches. For example, Choice of the Dragon alows the player to “go on smashing” without describing the dragon’s appearance and Blackraven (a WIP by @andymwhy) give the player the possibility to either read an intro and select the stats like gender, appearance and alignment along the way or make a “quick start” and select them without any additional text.
You could use a similar approach and give the Player the choice between reading their character’s life from birth to the beginning of the adventure or just recieve all neccesary information without many details