Team Dakota RPG SeriesEdit
This guide is geared around single player.
What you will need:
- An 80-page notebook and a pencil.
- Basic Kode knowledge.
- A good short story, preferably written out in your notebook.
What is a RPG (Role-Playing Game)?Edit
A game, which character development, is the main driving force of game play. The player controls one character, usually the hero of a story. The player will have a goal to reach and this goal can be introduced at anytime within the game play. An example would be to save the daughter from the villain. This can be achieved through actions set out by the game designer. It should involve interacting with NPC’s (Non-player characters). As the story takes shape, so should the said character – Increasing inventory, combat etc. through puzzles, and problem solving.
RPG’s were developed in the mid-‘70’s, derived from D&D. The traditional RPG was turn-based in a fantasy setting. However, this has since changed when video consoles were introduced. Today, you can find many variations of the genre. From strategy to real-time strategy (RTS) to turn-based strategy (TBS). An example would be – Some Final Fantasy games use both RTS and TBS. Diablo is RTS.
RPG’s are much like a story – Beginning, middle and ending. It is up to you, the designer to introduce the story, giving the tools needed for the player to grow. So while your sitting there staring at that blank map, think about a story. Either one you have read, or were told, even one of your own. Write down some descriptions and the main elements to your story.
- Where is this place – Open world, a city, the desert, in the mountains?
- When does the story take place? Remember, just because Project Spark is based on mythical type props, doesn’t mean you need your story to follow this theme.
- Scenery – Landscape, eye-candy, buildings, weather.
Now that you have the basics, go back to your blank map (It is best to start on a blank map) and start by adding the setting. First, size your map. If you add mountains, remember to dig them out, basically you only need a shell. Your story is coming alive! At this point don’t worry about adding too much terrain, just the basic. This is a great time to choose a base coat to paint your terrain. Use one color and do all of it, including underneath.
If you have a hard time with terrain, take a walk outside. Walk around the block and perhaps to the park. What do you see? Look at the grass near buildings, at the foot of the trees. Is it any different than the grass in the park? Are there rocks and or shrubs? Keep in mind, adding too much will use your much needed props.
Next is the plot. The plot is a series of events and character action that relate to the conflict. It should include challenges for the hero to over come. Examples would be - enemy’s to fight, relationships, chases, obstacles, puzzles and more. Remember there should be an element of challenge and an element of realism.
It is your job to design the backdrop and more importantly you need to establish a goal for the player and give the needed tools to discover your goal. The player will explore your world and will react to it. Never reveal the full details of the world, as the game progresses; the details will come clearer to the player. I personally like the freedom of movement in the world. It allows the player to travel and explore freely. Mind you I still add locked doors/gates and few impassable paths. These I will open as a reward for completing certain tasks.
The hero should travel far, navigating through obstacles to get him to his destination, be it the next village, or quest area. You must think about a couple things first. How long does it take him to travel? Perhaps there is a better way of transportation, like teleport? Make sure the player isn’t bored while traveling. Always and I mean always have movement on the map. Have unexpected events accrue – IE: enemies jump out at the hero on paths. Perhaps have a NPC stop him and ask for help, but make sure the player is not bored while traveling. This is a great time to use a random effect.
The main goal could be a quest like the example above – saving the daughter.
- How does the hero know he must save her?
- Is it her father who asks for your help?
- Perhaps the hero needs to save a village from the enemy. Is the village an ally or enemy?
- Maybe the hero must negotiate with the village to learn about their enemy. How will the hero fight the enemy?
- What will the hero earn by doing so?
But for the duration of this guide, I will use something very simple – Fetching flowers for a stranger.
The main quest (goal) can lead to smaller quests. These quests can help with character development, which I’ll explain below. Quests are much like puzzles. You will need to give the player hints – Where to begin, what to look for, who to talk to. The player must piece together these hints and discover the outcome him/herself, earning a reward.
Quests and objectivesEdit
Think of quests as everyday events. I will use my tutorial map which you can find some basic Kode for Quest Starter Pack - Free remix. Here is an example:
- Primary – You need to find 5 flowers. The quest giver tells you there is a mountain path where you can find them.
- Secondary – But the path is closed, so how would you open it?
- Secondary – Now you are on the path to the flowers, and only see 1 flower, where are the other 4?
- Secondary – A stranger tells you they haven’t had rain for years, so the flowers stopped growing. In order to find more, they need water.
- Secondary – You find water, but need something to carry it in. A market in town sells a waterskin but you need some money.
- Secondary – You can keep going….
You know the primary goal is to find flowers. You’re probably asking how do I give hints for that? Ok, ask yourself these questions:
- How is the path closed? Hint: Talk with the small village close by.
- Why is there only 1 flower? Hint: The terrain is considerably different, dry, dead props etc.
- Where can you find an item to carry water in? Hint: There is a small town North. The people there can help you.
Of course for your scenario you will need to elaborate on your hints. Let’s jump past the secondary objectives for a second. And go straight to the ending of the primary goal. Say you have arrived at the small town; most of the people there won’t talk to you. You find one person who will talk, and this person tells you strangers have been coming to town as of late, robbing the stores. These thugs only show up at night. The people in town don’t trust anyone. This has led us to the Hidden objective. You talk with another person and she tells you her son has disappeared. You search the lands and after a lot of turmoil you find the lost son, return him and the people of the town are so grateful.
You see what I just did? I branched out the primary goal even more. But this one was hidden. This is the same as the secondary goals. You can branch them out as well and each secondary goal will take you closer to your main objective, earning rewards on the way.
Let’s look at 5) Secondary – You can change this so this item is yet another quest item, and you can easily make a full quest around this one item. Perhaps even a mini boss who drops the waterskin.
It is a good idea to give players choices where there will be both awards and consequences for their actions.
Imagine how far you can take this quest. Did you ever think going to pick some flowers could be so much fun? =P
Some secondary objectives don’t need to lead to the primary goal. You can add extra just to give a reward or perhaps throw the player off track. Perhaps a small quest to earn extra gold. With quests the possibilities are endless.
The objectives are great to give the basic information on your menu/pause screen. But I suggest you have NPC’s who give out hints also. IE: Your hero stops to talk with a villager.
“What do you want?”
“Oh, your that hero. The one that is supposed to help us?”
“Well I can’t help you. Just go away! I’m too thirsty to talk.”
“Did you ever wonder what’s in the Milky Way?”
“I heard if you travel North, you can see it better.”
By now you should have a pretty good idea what your map will look like, and should add your quest areas while they are still fresh in you mind. You don’t need to elaborate on them right now, just rough them in.
Characters in RPG’s generally correspond with statistics (stats).
- Experience points (xp): XP can be given via kills and or quests etc. Once a certain amount is obtained, the hero will progress in level increasing skills.
- Skill points: And again, these can be earned as above. Unlike XP, the hero can use skill points to buy upgrades rather than wait to advance in level.
You could also use gold to gain skills. The hero can buy items such as a new sword, which will give more attack (because picking flowers can be so dangerous). Perhaps a new helm to give more health points (hp).
You can also give the player a choice at the beginning on which character they want to use. Or perhaps they can trade in their character for a stronger one. Keep in mind you will need to add the other character to your Kode sequences.
As your game progresses so should the hero. This is where balance comes into play. The enemy should seemingly grow more intelligent. Give the enemy the same upgrades, not in every upgrade, but enough to make it look as if the enemy is getting stronger.
I suggest you test frequently even if you change terrain, but most importantly test each time you add/change a brain.