Author Topic: "Mid range" quests.

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PompiPompi

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"Mid range" quests.
« on: July 14, 2017, 03:04:21 PM »
I am working on my game http://www.indiedb.com/games/klalha.
I have the story, world map and some content made.
I have the main event and the main quest laid out.
However, now I wonder how to fill the map with "middle range" quests.
What I mean is... sort of soft barriers to make the character have to do middle quests to progress.
For instance, the character needs to go from point A to point B for the main quests, but I won't let him make a straight pass. There are barriers such as broken bridges, or mountains it needs to pass.
The reasons is so the character won't finish the game in one hour, and also it kind of prevents the character from wondering into the areas with the more difficult monsters. Although I do give him some multi choice to go to areas and which middle range quests to do.

So, is there a "smart" way to plan out all those mid range quests, they decide on the pace of the character or access to resources and abilities that would be very useful in future challanges?

Given a map, how would I plan those quests?

Dincrest

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Re: "Mid range" quests.
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2017, 01:27:31 PM »
I think most of us would agree that any quests put into the line of progress should feel like natural extensions/progressions of the narrative and not feel shoehorned it.  Plus, many of us are not overly fond of numerous fetch quests that make us feel more like an errand boy than a great hero.  And if there's one thing many of us can't stand are chained fetch quests.  By chained fetch quests, I mean something like: You need to take a ship to go to your next destination, but the captain won't take you there unless you find his lost dog in the mine. You go to the mine, but the mine workers won't let you in to search for the dog unless you fetch them some coffee. So you go to the barrista, but she can't give you coffee unless you fetch some special coffee beans for her from the top of Mount Imadoofus. Once you get to the top of Mount Imadoofus, you have to fight a yeti for the coffee beans, but the yeti is too powerful and imprisons you. So now, in a bargain for your life, the yeti agrees to let you go if you fetch him seven ice fish... yeah, you get the idea. Chained fetch quests are a drag.
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Annubis

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Re: "Mid range" quests.
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 02:30:01 PM »
many of us are not overly fond of numerous fetch quests that make us feel more like an errand boy than a great hero.

Witcher 3 made me realize that it's possible to have a good fetch quest.
Just don't concentrate on the fetching itself and have a good narrative.

This is probably my favorite side-quest ever:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nKmImXJIyo

Aeolus

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Re: "Mid range" quests.
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2017, 04:47:31 PM »
To use an American Restaurant analogy, if the opening is the Appetizer, and the finale is the heat of the meat, then the mid-game is all about the potatoes and other such filler (and the post-game is the dessert). For the player, the beginning sets the stage, and they payed big money for the finale, but the mid-game is where the developer's profit margin comes from. And just like the restaurant analogy, the mid-game is basically where the developer gets to earn their keep. Its their canvas to make or break their game in the way they best see fit. And unfortunately, there are a vast number of ways to approach this part of your game. Its like the old saying "Its not so much about the destination, as it is about the journey getting there."

Now based upon your description, you'll probably want something more than just barriers towards the ending. If that's all you want the mid-game to be, then your game will likely fail as your level of commitment towards your game is often times reflected by the reception it receives. Likewise, even the most immersive mid-game can eventually wear a player out if it goes on for too long. Ideally, you'll want something to change things up, whether it be a period where your MC is without his party, key party members receiving mid-game powerups, a change in scenery like going underground, a reveal about the game's true antagonist or the means of his plot the destroy the 16 crystals or something, and so on....

If you want to see how not to make an RPG, play a Kemco title.
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Dincrest

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Re: "Mid range" quests.
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2017, 06:27:33 PM »
To footnote the "protagonist without his/her party," I like when RPGs sometimes split up the party into smaller entourages and we play each of those split-up scenarios.  It enhances the worldbuilding, gives side characters time to shine, varies the gameplay strategy, and a period of respite.  Sometimes, the protagonist is like your kid brother.  You love him, but sometimes you want a break from him.
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Andrew

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Re: "Mid range" quests.
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2017, 08:21:06 PM »
To footnote the "protagonist without his/her party," I like when RPGs sometimes split up the party into smaller entourages and we play each of those split-up scenarios.  It enhances the worldbuilding, gives side characters time to shine, varies the gameplay strategy, and a period of respite.  Sometimes, the protagonist is like your kid brother.  You love him, but sometimes you want a break from him.

Interestingly, this is pretty much my most hated thing in RPGs - especially if characters I don't normally use haven't levelled up with everyone else. I just want to use my favourite characters, dammit!



Aeolus

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Re: "Mid range" quests.
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 10:43:42 PM »
To footnote the "protagonist without his/her party," I like when RPGs sometimes split up the party into smaller entourages and we play each of those split-up scenarios.  It enhances the worldbuilding, gives side characters time to shine, varies the gameplay strategy, and a period of respite.  Sometimes, the protagonist is like your kid brother.  You love him, but sometimes you want a break from him.

Interestingly, this is pretty much my most hated thing in RPGs - especially if characters I don't normally use haven't levelled up with everyone else. I just want to use my favourite characters, dammit!

On the other hand, I for one welcome a different perspective to locations and events from that of the MC. Especially when the MC is the blandest, most cookie-cutter, McDude with a Sword around.

Plus you'd do more to avoid the Chrono Cross effect of assembling a team of 40+ units, only to have three of them traipsing around an archipelago and saving all of time and dimensions. The rest either go back to what they were doing with an interdimensional beeper at the ready to send for them, or just get stuffed into a pocket dimension for later use regardless as to how badly the team of three is getting trounced out there.

On that note though, I also don't mind having some kind of base or something where all your accumulated allies are standing around doing their own thing, ala Suikoden.

What I do mind though, is having your party shuffled up due to plot mandates and not taking the focus away from the MC, or games where you assemble a party, but everyone then becomes satellites to the MC as he continues to be the only one acknowledged by the overarching plot.
In my vision, I see that one of us is going to KO the other.

Rook

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Re: "Mid range" quests.
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2017, 12:31:47 AM »
Yea what you don't want is "the bridge is out, we can fix it, if only we had the Magical McGuffin Hammer. However the Hammer is guarded in the cave to the west by a Dragon/Spider/Brontosauras Tank."

Just tell a short story that has nothing to do with the overall main story and use this opportunity to mix up the gameplay a bit. Also yes feel free to rip off an idea from any game/movie/book. Its a RPG, it doesn't have to be a Booker Prize narrative or anything, it just has to be fun. For example, said road is impassable and won't be cleared for a week or so. So party goes to nearest town, town is under siege by Bandits/ISIS/white people etc. So you and your party decides to go all Seven Samuari by defending said town. When the big climatic battle comes you could change the gameplay to resemble say Fort Condor. Maybe you could also use this time for a character(s) to experience growth by for example befriending and/or developing a connection with a NPC or another character in the party in the meantime.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 12:34:04 AM by Rook »