So I'm making a Role-Playing Game…
No lie. I’m making an RPG. And I want to chronicle the process on my website; so I will be posting weekly updates of about 500 words, with an image or video when appropriate. Why so brief? Because I want this update to be a requirement during the game’s development process, and I don’t want the posts to be so long that one will read them and I won’t want to write them.
But enough about my posting process; onto the game! I’ve been interested in the design and mechanics of RPGs for a long time, and although it will be a big undertaking for my first game (post-college), I wanted to create something for which I have a real passion. When I started writing my thoughts down in a Game Design Document, I realized it was quickly becoming a semi-incoherent mess. I had so many ideas, and a lot of them seemed to be conflicting with each other. Some were over-complicated; others were too general; while others were very super specific.
In order to combat this, I sat back and started thinking more generally. When I did so, I came up with a simple, but profound question: what do I find fun in games? More specifically, what do I find fun in the games that are of the same type of game that I want to make?
Before answering either of those questions, I realized I had to define exactly what kind of game I want to make. When I thought of some of my favorite games and their genres or settings, I came up with: space, sci-fi, turn-based, strategy, RPG. Now that’s a mouthful!
From there, three games specifically popped into mind, each one representing a favorite game that fits into part of the kind of game I want to make. For space, sci-fi, an old Macintosh OS game called Escape Velocity came to mind. For turn-based, strategy it was Advance Wars: Dual Strike. And for RPG, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim came to mind.
From each of these games, I chose the one thing I loved the most. The one thing that defined the game for me, and made me love it so much. In Escape Velocity it was the exploration, the chance to visit so many different star systems and never quite know what you’d run in to. In Advance Wars: Dual Strike, it was always the turn-based combat that made the game so much fun for me. And in Skyrim, the one thing I loved the most was how free you were as a player to make your own decisions; to approach the game in any way you choose.
So this will be my game: a game of space exploration, with turn-based strategy combat, that allows you to make your own decisions on what to do and where to go. I know this sounds like a huge undertaking, and you’re right, it is. But I am really looking forward to it. Wish me luck!