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Showing posts from May, 2017

Lessons to learn from Mass Effect: Andromeda quest design

As I promissed, here is a post about the quest design (or lack of it) in Mass Effect: Andromeda, translated from my other blog.

I have been playing ME: Andromeda for about 20 days now. It is a long game, and mostly a boring one, I have to say. Each location has a dozen of small secondary quests that forces the player to move from one point of the map to the other. Other span through several locations, those are the worse because we have to move through all the galaxy. Nothing new so far, it is a known trick to inflate the playing time.

The big problem with ME: Andromeda is that almost all those tasks  are variation of the same. For example, the monoliths quest: in every planet you must activate 3 monoliths, and the visit the chamber. After doing that in two planets, you start to hate the monoliths, the chambers and the stupid task of jump from one place to another to find a console to open a door in the other corner of a hughe scene. This is unavoidable, as it is part of the main que…

First steps in a open world: properly designing the first quests of your RPG

As I mentioned before, I have been implementing a basic quest system, which I consider that can be greatly improved. But I'm not going to talk about it, because... well, it is crap.

But working on the quest system made me revisit the script and think about the first quest that the player will find in the starting location. Those first quests must fulfill certain basic requisites:

Introduce the player to the environment (here other elements lie encounters or conversations are important too) and give him a glimpse of what to expect.Familiarize the player with the gameplay mechanics, like using objects, trading, combat and using skills.The main quest should provide some sort of backup or redundant activities, in case the player misses some of the basic quest. They must be simple and quick. There is a reason why the first quests are easy: the player is starting the game and doesn't knows how things work, even if he/she is a hardcore RPG player. Anything taking more than five minu…

Two quests working

Plus many other changes! I fixed the weird problem with the experience bar, caused by C# not converting int by int division to float unless I explicitly cast one of the factors to float. Also I found another mistake I introduced in combat and noticed that current animation switching should be moved to item use function, instead of being triggered by action class. That eases dealing with an increasing number of different animations for different items and not animating at all if the item can't be used (like when it has no ammo). It is a design mistake I made when started creating the item system.

Other little addition was the death event for NPCs, once implemented that and fixed combat, one of the quests could be solved by talking or by killing, your choice! Still left a little detail: once dead, the NPCs still have some activity that needs to be properly cleared. I currently lack a death animation, so I can't further advance in making NPC death to "look good", and r…

Crafting system!

At last! Yesterday, when I went to sleep, I got an idea about the crafting system. Nothing complex, like the rest of the RPG system: just collect schematics and bring them to a crafter for building. The crafter will provide the materials, so, actually, no materials are required. That's all.

The quality of the resulting item will be determined by crafter experience. There will be several crafters, but not all of them will produce excellent items, probably just 2-3. The range of items that can be crafted is not decided yet, still have to think how does it affects the game balance. For example, should crafters be able to create implants too, or only armors and weapons? What about ammo, optical or laser sights?

Also, I decided to keep the start scene with just a couple of quests. They will cover the basics of interacting with NPCs, use of items and combat. One of those quests will have two solutions: a pacific and an aggressive one. The other will be combat only. There is another su…