(you can read other parts: part1 - part2)
To design a decent quest system i see another games quest systems: often bests are rpg, but is not always true.
Main inspiration are great classics: Planetscape Torment, Baldur's Gate, etc.. but also Risen, FallOut3, Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and even Crysis, Crysis: warhead, Far Cry 2, Depth of Peril, Din's Quest, Geneforge, Warcraft3 and event Starcraft
All these games have one thing in common: they have quests.
But how there are organized? Are these quest system enogh deep for players and easy to understand and mantaing? I really don't know: i'm not a developer of any of this games, but i've played all of them a lot. Indeed, i'm playing some of these games even now (Risen).
Main quest systems aim to give all information to complete the quest to player (presentation problem), some give you coordinates for quest systems (localize problem) other give you idea of consequences of quests (consequence problem).
So after thinking some times about quest systems, there are tree problems to design a quest system:
- Presentation problem: how to show the quest to the player? using a npc? using a book? using just indication on screen?
- Localize problem: how player will find all the element to solve the quest? Using a radar map? Or with no sign?
- Consequence problem: what type of feedback system give to player?
Reading this three problems i can see a common factor: player. This is good, because quest system is for a videogame and player is the "first" actor of this kind of system.
In this enlighten post on developing Din's Curse, author wrote something really important in this topic:
"Like I said, the quests are very web like. There are many different things that lead to each quest and many possible other quests it can start."
Yes, great quest systems is a web (not only in Din's Quest, that i'm waiting to see in action), a web where when a spider move on a side, cause some moving in other part of a web. A web that is multi-dimensional: npc and factions relationships, objects, places and even codex (like codex in Dragon Age).
What do you think about?