Need some advice for developing my own RPG

ToonGoomba

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This was my dream for YEARS and I've been waiting for a good opportunity to start this project, and now i'm finally ready to work on the story, art style, characters, and concepts (coding will come much later). What I need to know is, what is the special key in creating an RPG? What makes people play them? What things are NOT suitable for an RPG? How can I make this game fun?
 

DeoNaught

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Uhhh for me, Good enough Graphics, try to make it on par, with indie Rpgs,
Your First "chapter" in a sense has to be enough to en-capture the audience.
Have partial endings, Where you think it's gonna end, but have it like the middle of the game.

Poor Dialog, Improper Character animations, Slow story/gameplay, and things you hate.

Play good(I think they are good) Rpgs, like Ib, Witches House, Mad father, Sandman, etc
 

ToonGoomba

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Uhhh for me, Good enough Graphics, try to make it on par, with indie Rpgs,
Your First "chapter" in a sense has to be enough to en-capture the audience.
Have partial endings, Where you think it's gonna end, but have it like the middle of the game.

Poor Dialog, Improper Character animations, Slow story/gameplay, and things you hate.

Play good(I think they are good) Rpgs, like Ib, Witches House, Mad father, Sandman, etc
I recently got Fire Emblem Awakening and I really love how it plays out. I want to make a game like that but with A LOT of adventuring like Pokemon
 

Baoulettes

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I love RPG where You are the character you play, and not A character.
I mean, You do not have to be an Hero or anything just the Character you play is the main one that you want to know what and why he/she is like that.
I used to make an RPG myself when you choice between a male or female, and each have different story but following each other like the girl was planned to slowly became evil while the male tried his best to stop it :)
I had worked on their background and made them unique in term of both stats but look and dialog etc.

What make a good rpg for me that not graphism (it help but a simple 2D RPG like RPG maker are Fine).
But a long and non-repetitive story.
Where at any moment it can change.
Also I love "dark" ambient (like Claymore?(unsure Dark is the proper word)).
An also a tiny but tiny salt and jokes. :)

When you work on it do you mind sharing details, screen etc? :)
 

wormdood

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what is the special key in creating an RPG?
the soundtrack . . . trust me if i am to play any game for hrs on end the music has to be awsome
What makes people play them?
in my favorite rpg's customization is always a key element, whether its a detailed skill-tree or item enchantments or map/city customization/placement

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

I used to make an RPG myself when you choice between a male or female, and each have different story but following each other
enjoyed star ocean the second story . . . obviously
 
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ToonGoomba

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I want my game to be happy and jolly at the beginning, but in the middle of the game, things change to a very dark and mysterious setting. Also, anime cut scenes would be perfect! But I would need a very talented animator/artist.
 
D

Deleted User

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heres a checklist for a triple a title

stale characters
over used assets
"borrow" from other games
breasts
slutty female characters
old mechanics
allow drawing dicks
best armour barely covers
micro transactions
short story
multiplayer focused
spend more money on graphics
windows 10 and xbox one x only

check list for good game

none of the above are checked
 
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D

Deleted User

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Also, if this is gonna be your first RPG, I suggest starting small. If you try to make it an ambitious 100-hour RPG with a deep battle system, loads of side quests, and a nuanced story, you're both going to never finish and end up with a game of dubious quality.

Start with a dungeon-length RPG at first, with a short story, then build from there.
 

FAST6191

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"coding will come much later"
...
...
Have you considered one of the many RPG maker programs? The final game might not use it but "ideas are worthless, demos considerably less so" is a thing.

Anyway what style are we looking at? Japanese, Korean, German, UK based, Russian, American?
There are some fairly key differences between most of those (maybe slightly so UK and German).
For instance Final Fantasy 6, Skyrim and the Ultima franchise. All RPGs, all radically different games. The first is a fairly trite story which you can't really deviate or role play in, the second barely has any story (would you say anybody that played the skyrim story, maybe doing one of the guilds, was getting the most of it?) and the latter has story as a fundamental component which permeates it all and allows a rather high degree of role playing. If you are not familiar with Ultima then consider the early Fallout games instead. Sometimes for these you can do them all in dialogue as well.

I am still completely bored with Final Fantasy 1-6 clones, others less so. To that end you may have to consider my words in a different way than you otherwise might. I will try to keep it at least a tiny bit generic though.

Things I don't like.
Pointless grinding. Others use it almost as a form of meditation though.
Simplistic battles. So your ice monster is weak against fire? Would be nice if there were more than about 3 of them in the game in a specific location. If I can win by pressing attack and still make enough money.
Turn based to an extent. In general game design turn based and real time are polar opposites, however I rarely have to consider many moves ahead (partially thanks to the simplistic thing above), my realistic options are limited and the menus tend to get in the way.
Forced story. Role play in my role playing game? Can I really? Will you allow it? You can do forced story (I do non interactive media all the time) but you have to do it well.
Random battles. Stick monsters on a map and have them chase me if you want. Possibly give me the chance to auto win easy battles (should be easy to do an IF some stat is greater than enemy stat then give choice of battling or walking away with XP, but maybe not harvestable/stealable items).

Some find the mechanics used to describe the world to be offputting (why doesn't the big bad which knows who I am send this mid-late game boss to flatten me right at the start? Why is the starting town filled with monsters). I can deal with that though. Weapon systems to an extent -- why my master spearman can't use a staff despite being very very similar weapons I do not know). Character classes can be tricky to do right as well -- a character might have a philosophical or physical reason to not be able to do a skill but in the absence of that please tell me why everybody does not know a basic healing spell. Also limiting things by class unjustifiably is going to be tricky -- still bitter all these years later about my monk in Might and Magic being able to learn unarmoured well enough to use leather armour but my thief not being able to upgrade that far (it had skill points and levels of mastery on top of that).

Things I like include exploration, learning systems, world lore making sense within itself (not really games but watch a few things on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3ogrx6d9oohf6D42G44j1A for some of where I would be going here, if you want longer form I like https://www.youtube.com/user/WriteAboutDragons https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDSmC26Dr0zxiZBRWERzIFA/videos and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ_Yq-hCQ9kmCiNdDeIrbgA/videos ).

Two main types of such games
1) Power fantasy.
2) Grind you into the dirt. A few variations but roguelikes classically here and Darkest Dungeon being the current poster child of the style.

Note this is not necessarily the same thing as hard -- Etrian Odyssey is seldom described as an easy game but in the end you are saving the day.

Not suitable?
Unfairness to an extent. However the forced in game death of a character is so very poignant for a lot of them. Also allows you to balance your engine somewhat, even within the confines of a story (old master has an apprentice or group hires an old master for some help).
Surprise hidden mechanics can be something here. Hard to do those well. Far better in most cases to have a story/world reason.

Anyway this is far from a comprehensive writeup of thoughts on the matter but hopefully something of value is in this.
 

HamBone41801

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When you get to the programming aspect, don't use java. I love it, and its the language I'm best with, but lwjgl 3 has 0 up-to-date tutorials right now, so use c++ or use a pre-made engine.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Not suitable?
Unfairness to an extent. However the forced in game death of a character is so very poignant for a lot of them. Also allows you to balance your engine somewhat, even within the confines of a story (old master has an apprentice or group hires an old master for some help).
Surprise hidden mechanics can be something here. Hard to do those well. Far better in most cases to have a story/world reason.

Anyway this is far from a comprehensive writeup of thoughts on the matter but hopefully something of value is in this.

I always hated forced deaths. I think there should always be some sort of way to save everybody. even the death of "Susan the wicked" (or whatever her name was) from Skyrim bothered me. If she had been dead from the beginning like some of the other quest related corpses, it would be fine.
 

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I dislike Java as much as anybody forced to deal with its runtime and the output of java schools but it is reasonably high level, well documented and fast enough to do what it needs to do.

Not all forced deaths are good and some of the handwaves as to why my resurrection spell/shops won't do anything (looking at you Phantasy Star 2's clone tanks) also rankle but I can't get to everybody must survive -- the universe does not seem to work that way and without it then we are playing a rather more abstract game.
 

HamBone41801

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I dislike Java as much as anybody forced to deal with its runtime and the output of java schools but it is reasonably high level, well documented and fast enough to do what it needs to do.

Not all forced deaths are good and some of the handwaves as to why my resurrection spell/shops won't do anything (looking at you Phantasy Star 2's clone tanks) also rankle but I can't get to everybody must survive -- the universe does not seem to work that way and without it then we are playing a rather more abstract game.
I should clarify that I'm totally for characters being able to die. what bothers me is not being able to stop it. Even the ability to make a choice between which two characters die helps.
 

Sonic Angel Knight

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Well if this helps, here is a thread about pet peeves in RPG games. https://gbatemp.net/threads/pet-peeves-in-jrpg-games.491687/ (I made it) :P

Things not to include.
  • Exp alteration (Includes dividing total exp earned from battle among active party members, or reducing exp gained from battle when reaching higher levels)
  • Limited item storage (Example is Final Fantasy IV where you can only hold so many items, 40 i think and need to sell, toss or store in fat chocobo)
  • Missable items (For the completionist out there)
Believe it or not but the first is actually a thing in some very old rpg games, so if you manage to avoid that, you are on the right track, also maybe perhaps have lot of side quest that give some good rewards, game breaking tier even. (Maybe just use Chrono trigger as a example) :yay:
 

HamBone41801

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Well if this helps, here is a thread about pet peeves in RPG games. https://gbatemp.net/threads/pet-peeves-in-jrpg-games.491687/ (I made it) :P

Things not to include.
  • Exp alteration (Includes dividing total exp earned from battle among active party members, or reducing exp gained from battle when reaching higher levels)
  • Limited item storage (Example is Final Fantasy IV where you can only hold so many items, 40 i think and need to sell, toss or store in fat chocobo)
  • Missable items (For the completionist out there)
Believe it or not but the first is actually a thing in some very old rpg games, so if you manage to avoid that, you are on the right track, also maybe perhaps have lot of side quest that give some good rewards, game breaking tier even. (Maybe just use Chrono trigger as a example) :yay:

I actually think that giving the player a large amount of exp, and then letting the player choose how it is distributed would be pretty cool. (I would make it so each character in the party got a minimum amount of exp based on the size of the party, however.)
 
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FAST6191

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Still not seeing the need for there to be a choice.
A phrase I once heard was "if you stat it they will try to kill it". Make it mechanically impossible (or nearly so) and they will try anyway -- I think it was one of the golden sun games that you can answer no some 40 times or something and it will say "OK, keep the characters".
Something similar applies here to character deaths.
If it is personal preference then so it goes, however I am not sure I can get to why it should be mechanically enforced in games. It can spin the other way though -- some sci fi has resurrection tech not far off a 3d printer. I blow your head off and you step out of something 2 minutes later minorly inconvenienced with everything intact. That can lead to some interesting places.

Well if this helps, here is a thread about pet peeves in RPG games. https://gbatemp.net/threads/pet-peeves-in-jrpg-games.491687/ (I made it) :P

Things not to include.
  • Exp alteration (Includes dividing total exp earned from battle among active party members, or reducing exp gained from battle when reaching higher levels)
  • Limited item storage (Example is Final Fantasy IV where you can only hold so many items, 40 i think and need to sell, toss or store in fat chocobo)
  • Missable items (For the completionist out there)
Believe it or not but the first is actually a thing in some very old rpg games, so if you manage to avoid that, you are on the right track, also maybe perhaps have lot of side quest that give some good rewards, game breaking tier even. (Maybe just use Chrono trigger as a example) :yay:

As I probably said in that thread or a related one those don't bother me in the slightest and in the case of exp reduction on higher levels make sense within most logic. We can do examples if you like.
Item storage can go either way but having to select your gear makes some sense, especially for an adventurer going about on foot without a wagon train. I prefer it when there is some significance to it (do I pack generally or pack specifically and risk being ill equipped?).
Why would I care what OCD completionists think? Indeed designing for them might limit my options for other people -- hard to do a roguelike where there is not some kind of permanence or potential tradeoff for exploration. If they can make it reasonably clear said actions will have consequences then that is nice (the final fantasy 12 chests in the palace thing might be a bit too abstract for some but is around where lines start to be drawn).
 

Jacklack3

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Don't be surprised if your first game fails, or your second, or your 10th, you really just have to keep going. You'll learn things along the way, so it won't be all for nothing, also sometimes it's fun to see someone's old games.
 

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I like the fact that the gameplay is unbelievably long and somehow captivating at the same time.
...
Also no pre-rendered cutscenes.
I hate those.
...
Don't forget mod support!
 

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