RPG concepts and crap
Author:|| Del Duio
Submitted:|| 23rd June, 2006
Okay, now this is more of some of the concepts of what I've been doing in my games for a lotta' years now than an actual this is how you implement it kind of deal. This is probably very basic for most people, but it's something I wanted to write anyhow.
* CONCEPT #1- We are all even!
A rule of thumb I learned long ago is when drawing up the plans for your RPG game, you should always strive to make everyone (both player and foe) follow the same sort of universal rules. So, if your attack calculation looks something like this when the player attacks:
If (random 100 + enemy dodge %) <= (player hit% + (any bonuses)) then player hits the enemy
The same must be used when the enemy tries to attack the player as well:
If (random 100 + player dodge %) <= (enemy hit% - (any player spell penalties vs the enemy) then monster hits the player
For the above, the (any player spell penalties vs the enemy) might include a FOG spell cast on the foe, making it harder to see and therfore the chances of him hitting the player would obviously be lower.
If you have enemies that cast spells, give them limited MP!! Nothing's worse than fighting a particularly tough spellcasting monster while he continually wails on you with magic when you know he can cast them forever. This way, you can use your healing potions up, but know that the enemy is basically just wasting MP all the while. Then when he can't cast spells anymore... BLAMMO!!
It'd be easy enough to impliment- Just add a condition to the casting choice event like this:
+ MP("enemy") >= attackspellMPcost("enemy")
I think some of the early Dragon Warriors (2 or 3) have limited MP for their enemies. It makes a big difference, strategy-wise.
Remember, if you use the same variables and rules for both sides, your game will be better (IMO), and a bit easier to balance out in the developmental stage.
* CONCEPT #2- Nothing is worse than knowing it all
What I mean by this is that I find that I have the most fun when playing a game where some aspects are not set in stone. This is never more true than while playtesting your own game. How many of you have played your game to death while testing it out, and sooner or later you get sick of the thing altogether? The best way to remedy this problem is to randomize stuff! It could be treasure drops, enemy attacks or types, stat increases upon leveling up, or even whole dungeons. Hell, even something very simple like randomized gold coins from your enemies will help.
* CONCEPT #3- Variety is real magic
When I was younger one problem I ran into a lot was not the amount of magic spells I gave my hero to fight with, but the lack of variety of said spells. Hmmm, I think I had 10 spells total- 7 damage-varying attack spells and 3 HP-varying healing spells. BORING!
I will use the game Dark Chamber for this example, because it best represents a good variety of magic spells in a game that I've done. I have a healing spell (Create Food), and only 3 spells that do actual damage to the enemy in varying offensive power.
To round out the rest, there's a few that show hidden or secret things (Inspection shows secret walls, and detect traps shows traps so you can avoid them). Invisibility helps you so you can scout ahead undetected, Fireworks stuns the enemies for a short time, Brute Strength gives a +1 damage bonus to all physical attacks, and Teleport lets you pass through solid walls and other obstacles.
So, try to put some variety in your spell books. Most people will get very bored of HURT1, HURT2, and HURT3 fast. This is especially true in a game where you can choose classes. More people will want to play as a spellcaster if their repitoire is interesting and useful for more than just straight damage and healing alone.
CONCEPT #4- Rarity should be more common!
Let me say Warmech and what do you think? If anyone's played the original NES's Final Fantasy a bit, they'd know that Warmech was a very rare enemy that only appeared in one place and only at a 1 in 64 clip to boot. I like games that emphasize on hero monsters, unique foes, or rare beasts.
Say you could have a bunch of slimes (for lack of a better enemy offhand) that constantly patrol the starting town in your RPG. Wouldn't it be cool if the player might also see another rarer monster that was a bit tougher and gave better / more treasure on occasion instead? You could make this tougher monster appear say 5-10% of the time, while the other 90-95% of monsters could be the garden variety slimes and co.
You could even have a Pokemon type deal where one side quest would be to locate and fight these special rare monsters. This would add a lot to your RPG game's replayability- which a lot of RPGs don't really have that I've seen.
CONCEPT #5- By God, be original dammit!
How often has it happened to you? You'll D/L the coolest-looking RPG game and you'll quickly find that it's plagued with generic-itis! Character creation? Neat, let's see here... ELF? DWARF? HOBBIT? .... AGAIN!!??
Ah yes, even statistics are mostly the same for every game. You have your Strength, Intelligence, etc.. I can't say that I haven't dipped into the RPG cliche' well on occasion too, but for the most part let's put a little thought into some parts of your game. Even if you totally make up a race name (like my Xtoli from the Equin games), it sure will look a lot more interesting to the player than yet ANOTHER game with stinkin' elves in it.
Well folks, I guess that's it for now. Just some pointers that I hope some people might find useful when thinking about their next RPG design!