Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quest system - part 6

(you can read other parts: part1 - part2 - part3 - part4 - part5)

Today I read a news about a new Elder Scrolls Game: Elder Scrolls V.
For who don't know Elder Scrolls Games, Google can help you: what does it matter now is that ESG games are big single player games with big quest systems
But there is one interesting comment on article on RPS that I think could be valuable to expand a little more. I report here:

Things I would like to see in Elder Scrolls V can almost all be seen in mods for Oblvivion. They really ought to look there for a large amount of inspiration. What would primarily interest me:

- A more believable living world – trade caravans, affectable economy perhaps even dynamic social structure.

- Realism options. There was some effort made in New Vegas (i know, different developer) but there is still a long long way to go. And yet, again, the modders did a perfect job of it. I’d like to see an optional realism mode, or a Hard Difficulty that includes realism options would be great.

- A big bugbear for me was the way they handled quests. I’d like to still see a massive range of quests but what I would REALLY like to see is quests interacting with each other. Decisions that the player makes in one area havign an effect elsewhere, cutting off routes and opening new ones. Given the nature of the game, I’d also love to see these side quest effecting the nature of the Main Quest. And lastly, I’d love to see these side quests expanded further – becoming entire stories in their own right. I’d settle for less side quests and a few long storylines.

In fact, my big issue with Oblivion was the way none of the independant elements of the game world interacted with each other convincingly or at all. Given that the entire game was intended as a sandbox experience, I would expect the world to react as a whole to my actions and it never did. I would like that to change for ESV really. I very quickly got bored of Oblivion simply because nothing I did seemed to matter at all. There was so much potential that it was painful. It was only when the modding community really got fired up that the possabilities were realised. But it was not ideal – most mods are in some incompatible. It would be far better, naturally, if the game was feature rich and exciting on release.
This comment is not only related to quest system, but can help designer to focus on a main concept of what a gamer want: interact, change, make difficult choices, make mistakes (but only mistakes that matters!) have in front a living system.

And another interesting point is "I would REALLY like to see is quests interacting with each other.", so what I'm thinking to add to my system is another dimension: quests.

One quest can stop/twist or ruin another quest. So following part-5 example, player can solve quest in different way:

  • kill bandits: same as old example,
  • run away: this decision ruin HM relation in a big way, no factions wants cowards in their rank, so next quest in HM faction (at least in zone near caravan attack or where npc survived wander around) is not possible to get. Or even better Jack try to track down player moves and then find him/her and try to kill it!
  • steal from John body: Jack don't like that player steal from his brother's body, so try to kill player immediately. Player win, but all jack-related quest cannot be completed or can change.
  • surrender to bandits: combat isn't only option. Player can surrender to bandits, ruin HM relation but open new quest for bandits faction? Player choose well, can change side and try to work for bandits

It's something really interesting and challenging, but I like difficult stuff like these.

No comments:

Post a Comment