In the past few years, RPGs have taken a turn towards more narrative focused gameplay, and for good reason. Gone are the days where you would spend hours grinding through a game like Final Fantasy VII, only to get beaten by the final boss and realize you had only explored half of the world. Today’s RPGs are designed to make you feel like you made an impact, and that your choices actually matter. The best examples of this are found in the The Witcher series: each playthrough is filled with different outcomes that drastically change the face of the game. (For more, check out our review of the recently released The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.)

RPGs are a very unique genre of games: it’s not just the way they play but the way they make you think. In most RPGs, you’re not the only one who can make choices- your character does, too. You have to decide what your character will do in a given situation, and they will react in a way that you could never have predicted. And that’s what makes RPGs so special: you live through your character’s failures and learn from them. This, in turn, makes you a better person.

Content of the article

Hey, guys. Yesterday I wrote a post about how I would get players to address their role-playing mistakes.

I have read your comments and they have given me a much better idea. My original post only talked about having to do this through game systems, and that was a mistake, writing is equally important in getting players to accept failure. But I really think it can be lifted by a combination of the two. In this post, I’ll outline my ideas on how to enforce consequences using both writing principles and game systems.

Here’s what I found, tell me what you think.

Fundamentals of writing

  • Make chess fair – Chess should always be the fault of the player, not the result of bad luck or poor game design. The consequences of a player’s actions should be implied or suggested, and they should always be logical.
  • Make failures interesting – Failures should never diminish your progress or block your access to content. Instead, chess should present the player with interesting challenges and problems. If a player fails certain aspects of a quest, there should be other ways to complete it.
  • Ask players to accept failure – the game should explicitly tell players that failure is part of the experience and that the game will not be the same without failure. Failure and regret should also be included in the narrative themes of the game.
  • Give players the option to quit – Even if all the above principles are followed, some players may find the game unplayable. To fix this problem, the game should allow you to disable the consequence system. Although the game should make the consequence system standard and make it clear that it was designed that way.

Gaming systems

Limited savings: By default, you cannot save manually (except when you exit the game). The game is automatically saved at the checkpoints. There is a casual mode that allows you to save and load the game at any time, including in forts (which we’ll get to later).

  • Seasons: The plot of the game takes place over a year. The game begins in the spring and moves through the seasons to represent the passage of time. (This will be explained later).
  • Districts:
  1. The game is divided into 4 different open miniature worlds. These are different parts of the city. Each zone is controlled by a ruler in the fortress. The first three are controlled by the dictator’s lieutenants, the last district is controlled by the dictator himself. Each area has one or two main objectives, but is also filled with secondary content. Between districts, return to your home base.
  2. When you are at your home base, you can choose which area you want to go to. You can choose the districts in any order, but the last district is extremely difficult. You can make it easier on yourself by accomplishing the main goals in the following chapters.
  3. Each neighborhood has its own fortress. The fortress is where the main problems of the district are solved.
  4. As long as you are in the fortress, you will not respawn at the last checkpoint after you die. If you leave the fort or are killed in battle, you return to your base camp and time moves on to the next season.
  5. The point is that you don’t actually die, you fall down, are then rescued by allies and brought back to base to recover a bit from your injuries).
  6. In any case, you will not be able to return to this district, and your actions in this district will have consequences in other districts.

Example

  • One of the neighborhoods is Black Bottom, an industrial neighborhood with black smog and brutalist architecture.
  • Black Bottom is controlled by Igor Assimoff, a mad scientist with no morals. He’s developing an advanced line of battle droids for the Dictator.
  • Your main goal is to stop the production of robots, but the neighborhood is also full of side quests that enrich the lives of the people who live there.
  • They decided to go to Black Bottom in the fall. They carry out various tasks and finally decide to take over Igor’s fortress, a huge factory.
  • You manage to kill Igor, but you get killed before you can stop the robot’s production. So if you go to the last area, it will be protected by robots.
  • You can also persuade Igor to side with you, and he and his robots will help you in the final battle.

Thanks for reading, tell me what you think below.

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Post (UPDATE) How can role-playing help you live with your mistakes?

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