Is it possible to write a rpg in interactive novel format?

I want to create a rpg similar to Baldur’s Gate 3 or Dragon Age: Inquisition but in interactive novel format. Is this possible?

I want to have a mechanic where you chose different characters to complete a quest. But I think this will be too complicated to write. Maybe even creating infinite possibilities.

I was thinking that instead two companions would be tied with a certain quest and there will be 4 different quests. Choosing which quest you go on, locks you in with certain companions.

Otherwise, I could just make it that you have 3 companions and the rest are people you meet along the way. It’d be easier but… a part of me doesnt want to do that.

Does anyone have any advice to writing an rpg in interactive novel format? Please write it here. Thanks in advance.

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If you haven’t already, you might be interested in playing Crown of Sorcery and Steel, which has an ensemble of characters with a Dragon Age/D&D feel, or Book of Hungry Names, which has a non-linear quest structure with a variety of NPC combinations. The Shepherds of Haven WIP has this sort of structure too, I believe, though it’s not finished.

It’s very possible to write storylines which vary depending on which character(s) you bring along with you, but it’s easy for that to get out of hand if you have too many characters and combinations, or if each storyline is too long and involved. So I would recommend doing a lot of planning to figure out how bringing each character would affect the story, as well as giving the PC ways of affecting it too.

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If you haven’t already, you might be interested in playing Crown of Sorcery and Steel, which has an ensemble of characters with a Dragon Age/D&D feel, or Book of Hungry Names, which has a non-linear quest structure with a variety of NPC combinations. The Shepherds of Haven WIP has this sort of structure too, I believe, though it’s not finished.

I’ll check out the titles you mentioned. Thank you!

I currently have 9 companions. You can only take 3 with you. I was thinking that instead of choosing a combo, the combo is already made, and you have to choose among those combinations.

So Group A has Amelie, Gertrude, and Joseph. While Group B has Michelle, Anja, and Teresa. You can choose to take Group A with you or Group B, but you can’t choose Teresa and Amelie at the same time. If that makes sense.

Do you think this idea will work or is it still too complicated?

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You would need a reason as for why you only take three with you. The only reason for head count limitation i videogame is for combat encounter reasons. That wont be as acceptable in a text based rpg. If you have to contio ally come up with reason as to why not everyone is helping it can get weird.

What most author seemed to do is give differemt group different task. Group a is infiltrating. Group b is guarding the door and c is preparing a magic ritual. Which group does the mc helps.

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Another thing to keep in mind is how you want to code it. If you can only have three people with you at a time, you have to make sure that people who the player didn’t chose appear in the following scenes while the people your character did chose are there.

Say you have character’s X, Y, and Z with you. You have character X do a specific task, how do you handle if the player doesn’t have character X with you? Or the designated backup? Especially if you have distinct mannerisms for your characters (that can’t be easily substituted), you might end up writing a line of text five different times to cover all possible permutations.

It could end up being a lot of work for what you imagine to be a simple idea, but it can also pay off if done well. I don’t want to discourage you, but you should also keep in mind how much work it could be, depending on how you handle it.

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I do this exact thing in Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven, and it is not easy. It’s actually something mentioned not to do in the official Choice of Games guidelines, because it’s so difficult to code and test.

If this is your first foray into writing IF, I recommend having set companions for each quest and not having the player choose which ones to take. If you are going to kill the Dragon, they always take companions X, Y, and Z.

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@suyin

RPG elements are incorporated in text-based games all the time, and while not ChoiceScript, many of these games can show you different approaches used to achieve the wanted gameplay.

Titles such as The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante and Questgiver really are awesome inspirations to draw upon.

Even certain visual novel types of games can give you guidance. Titles such as Made Marrion, Roadwarden and Sacred Fire are all titles that can help you by showing you what others have done and by providing inspiration.

This type of storytelling, no matter the actual engine used, is hard, but it is achievable and can be a very popular genre niche to write under.

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Yay someone else who knows about the game

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I’d argue that yes and it has been done, but it is not easy, as I am finding out with my parody work Dice & Dungeon Masters . . . though some of the games on here prove that it definetly is doable (i.e. all the wonderful WOD games on here, the Daria games, and a few others that I can’t think of right now . . . honestly i still think the best one of all time was Tin Star though that one was western based.) I think the more simple it is, the easier it will be, which I guess is pretty obvious - though for myself I like it detailed enough that my character and the characters in the world seem real and seem unique via my customization. The more immersive the better from a player’s perspective.

One hurdle I have found is that random test and the chapter style called for by Choice Scripts makes sandbox sections more difficult to test and have, and I think sandbox sections are best to make an authentic RPG.

If your going to do it, I’d probably recommend starting small with a small cast of characters and a smaller area to explore (at least in the begining) and if that works out for you, you can expand on that. Also (and as a pantser/anti-planner, I work counter to this much to my struggles on writing and coding) best to decide and try to define your variables early on. What stats should your prot have? What alignment system if any? How do you want to handle inventory? Skills? Spells? Etc. If you have that locked in early enough, I imagine it would make the process easier - though granted I do not follow my own advice on this at all.

In any event, good luck - I am all for more RPG games on here.

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CS isn’t the best for making a game the way you’re suggesting but it is do-able. I suggest looking at Icepeak mountains, and the upcoming Life as a lich which have a kind of fighting fantasy/D&D feel to them. Icepeak in particular has the dungeon crawling and quests thing going on.

Though you can make different characters, just bear in mind that it’s likely to make your work exponentially harder having to write and account for every variation in the group. Personally I wouldn’t start off doing this given making a RPG is already going to be challenging and I’m guessing this is your first CSG? Start simpler, make it more complicated if you’re feeling up to it later or there’s a good chance it’ll never get finished.

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Or if you’re dead-set on your design, start with one quest and see how it goes.

I think Life of a Mercenary has that kind of thing you’re looking for

it starts with MC and two companions, then it adds up as you follow the story

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1000 Year Old Vampire is pretty much an IF RPG.

Also, have you ever read the old Steve Jackson Sorcery! IF books? They’re a choose your own adventure RPG.