Your Dream RPG

Well since I know for a fact that this course is funded and coming, I figured we can all share our ideas for a dream RPG. Now, I am like many of you… I don’t just throw my main game ideas out there because I don’t want someone else to steal them. However, talking about what we would like to see in our personal games would not be too bad.

For me, my main goal eventually is to make a MORPG, not to be confused with a MMO. I know that most people do not game with thousands of other players. As a matter of fact, most of those players ruin the actual game play by getting in the way of you completing quests, or just being stupid because they are bored. A MORPG, however, could allow for 1 - 200 players per server. This means that every player will feel more impactful on the game story. If you have a large enough world, even 200 players may not see each other much unless they are trying.

Now, I know the course is specific to just a RPG, and I’m great with that. Getting the core mechanics down, figuring out a way to tweak them to fit my specific needs, and going from there is all I need. I can always work on getting the backend up as part of the outside core mechanics. My goal is one fantasy and one sci-fi game along these same lines. I have played enough of both genres, multiplayer and single player, that I have a good feel for what will make a great game at the core and what is just the candy on top.

How about you, care to share some of your RPG ideas?

This might be a dum question, but wouldn’t that just be a smaller MMORPG with lower limit on the servers
runescape early days would had been a great example of that.? <3

The answer to that is both yes and no. Yes as in the main choice of branding difference is Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MORPG) and Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG). That seems to indicate just a player cap on servers. No as in that a MORPG would not have things considered A typical of MMOs. No need for universal auction houses, guilds, pvp, in game mail, dungeons and raids set for a specific amount of players of a specific type, etc. These are just a few examples of what MMOs have to offer which are not needed in smaller player based games.

You can have a RPG that is online and Multiplayer which can be enjoyed because of the scope with people you want to game with and not water it down with all the other stuff. Now, I may sound anti MMO, but I assure you I am anything but. I play a lot of MMOs, and I see what works not only with gameplay, but spending time on community forums listening to the player base :slight_smile:

Well I’ve played some rather small MMO’s with very tight knit small communities
one of them called maplestory unfortunately took the turn for the greedy and decided to target a different and bigger audience, needless to say they’ve now had to merge their EU servers back to america for their choices do to loosing their core player base.

However, I see what you mean with no auction house as long a proper trading system is in place, but still think it’s healthy to have content people can engage other than just pure level grinding :slight_smile:

Oh I fully agree with you. I have systems laid out on paper that will do just that. I am not interested in developing your everyday hack and slash. Too many on the market as it is. If you want to craft, or just spend the day fishing, go ahead. If you want to help build the economy of an area by trading goods, go for it.

I also plan to delve into an interactive weather system. If you are out in the middle of nowhere during a lightning storm, can you get hit by lightning? How much would it suck if there was very little cover and a tornado touched down?

RPGs are all about interacting with the world around you and following a major story. Myself and my few close friends who jump games could impact the entire game, or go slaughtering small game, whatever we wish… as we wish… without everyone else getting in the way.

I have a problem with overreaching when it comes to personal projects. Luckily for me, this is just a hobby and I can take as long as I like on it all.

My game would consist of two game modes that are quite independent of each other. Story mode and battle mode. The Battle mode is something that’s a more recent idea due to talks of multiplayer and character customisation in the Kickstarter comments. The story mode is just that, the main game with my preset characters and the main plot.

Story mode.
This mode consists of all the usual RPG elements we’re all familiar with.
Questing as standard whilst your characters push towards one main achievement that’s important to them and/or the world.
Subplots for every character you take along for the journey that will hopefully twist the main plot line into something a little different from playthrough to playthrough, though obviously not to the point that everyone will receive an experience so unique that no one else will have the same one. Just like the typical branching tree of preset outcomes.
And all the usual fantasy RPG fare that people come to expect. Exploration, fishing, hunting, gathering, trading, and getting your characters to be powerful enough to face that final obstacle with ease.

Battle mode
This is a new addition to my overreaching goals. The rather unique battle system from the main game (which I’m going to really need to wrack my brains over), player created characters that are constantly growing and evolving based on player choices, each character being visually individual due to a plethora of weaponry and attire, and players pitted against each other in a 1 on 1 battle.
The whole thing would be lifted away from the main game aside from battle stages being the same settings players are familiar with. I’d maybe add in areas from the main game world for character training, allowing a multiplayer character to traverse an area to battle some NPC enemies. This could be good to allow a player to earn particularly powerful moves for their characters.
Story wise, the players would likely be engaged in some kind of league or tournament. I could include mention of the league in the Story mode or even go so far as to allow the player characters in the Story mode to participate in the league as part of a quest or subplot. Food for thought.

I’m not being overly protective of my ideas like some might because I’m confident that my battle system idea is unique enough that I’d still be able to stand out. I just need to really focus on how I’m going to realise my vision since it’s not exactly a common kind of gameplay in the indie community and I’ll have to figure it out from the ground up :confused:

Would that be more akin to tabletop gaming as far as socially goes? A smaller group of lower double digits in more enclosed group activities? A little like raiding in MMOs but transferred to all aspects of the game such as regular questing and township activities? Or would it essentially work like an MMO with a much much smaller pool of players? The concept isn’t quite sinking in to me yet.

If anyone has ever listened to the Dragon Friends podcast, that is my dream RPG :slight_smile:

I think what is so interesting about making a single player RPG has to be story!

What I would love to learn is how I can use game systems and mechanics to provoke a specific emotional response from my players - a topic that covers both design and development aspects.

@Stephen first of all, I don’t think anyone who has an idea is overreaching. It is only so if you do not plan to really put the work in to make it happen. To be honest, that is what made me go from being a hardware and network technician of over 20 years to wanting to learn game software. With the right motivation, planning, and training, you can make anything happen.

As far as your story mode idea, I like it. I had honestly (awhile ago) considered an approach that would be very similar. You have a main storyline set up, and as you set it up you have “breaks or forks” that would change depending upon your game decisions. I thought about making a database with unique quest IDs that would randomly be assigned. When you go to pick up a quest, it would do a check to see if you already have/did that quest and assign one based on that. Those quests would fill in the main quest “breaks” and help mold the overall story.

Your battle mode almost seems like the final fantasy or jRPG battle scenes. It breaks off the main map into its own instance, and that is where you fight instead of real time on the map. Depending on the game, this kind of battle scene is great. My favorite all time scene like this stems from the PS One game called Legend Of Dragoon. The action sequences and cinematics were way ahead of their time, and it remains one of my favorite games to date.

As far as the answer to your question about MORPG, if you break it down to its basics then yes it is like a MMORPG but with a smaller player cap. As stated in my earlier post though, there are certain aspects of a MMO that would not be included either. As in terms of multiplayer: it would work like a persistent world that is always online that you could co-op with friends. When playing a MMO, extra players in the world normally step on your toes and get in the way of questing. When you get in a guild you normally have 2 choices: Join a guild to try and be social with people you do not really know or create a guild for you and your friends. I personally jump between many online games and have a steady group of people who follow me, and we know each others play styles. I would rather play a game where we together as friends actually experience and shape the game world, not us and 8,000 others.


By the way, for anyone interested, I linked 2 different books on the kickstarter page that are great references for creating RPGs. The first one is free and online… the second cost around $40 and is a great read :slight_smile:


@MooseLucky I agree with you that story is vastly important! There are games I have played (both single player and online) that have left me wanting more, and some that I could do without. I think the basis for any good RPG is story… the persistent world story and the background story!

A prime example of this for me would be the original Fable. I loved that game, and I beat it. Played it all bad the second time, and I beat it. Played all good the third time, and I beat it. Now what??? No matter what I did, I knew what was coming. That is actually what turned me on to MMOs. The world was always changing and there was never an “end” :slight_smile:


Reading your design, it begs an interesting design question. How do you write a story that can be engaging for up to 200 people!

In my experience games like these benefit from being set in a very confined setting. This setting should feel apart of a larger world, without needing to show the rest of that world directly to the player. What’s your opinion?

EDIT: Regarding fable, it was a shame the series declined. There were still some great design aspects to each game but, for me, each new game became a little less interesting.


First would be a persistent open world, basically a sandbox… let the players do what they want to do. Just like any RPG though, you can give a nudge at the players through quests. You want them to be in a particular area? Well, have 2 or 3 quests point to that area. You could add dungeons and “Raids”, but do not constrict them to X amount of people needed only and they have to be of Z type.

One of my favorite multiplayer games of all time would have to be Star Wars Galaxies. They truly did things right in a lot of ways pre-combat upgrade. Things were skill based, not level based… and the game was super hard. You could have 20 people in the same group and go do missions or go to a particular planet to attack creatures (Like Rancors and Krayt Dragons)… Just because you were in this big group though, didn’t mean you didn’t die… like a lot.

In my opinion, the multiplayer world is missing these complicated and fun games anymore. Developers seem to bend knee to those players who want it easy with instant gratification.

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Yes, I heard a lot of good things about the original star wars galaxies.

Well, I wouldn’t call it instant gratification. And I certainly wouldn’t say that a simple game cannot be fun. Personally, at least from my perspective, I’m glad games have gotten easier. I have much less time now then I did when I was younger, so it’s nice to actually be able to achieve something in a game with the limited time that I have. That said, I am sure there is a niche for games that are more complex and require more time to master.

Holy ****! That RPG Design Patterns pdf has a lot of pages haha.
I’m used to free pdf files on game design being pretty short and to the point, and usually used to emphasise some kind follow materials that you have to purchase.
I’m barely into this book, so maybe it’s a hook too, but there’s a lot of content they’ve just given away.


I discovered the Unreal course after its release and have been enjoying it imensly! when I saw the kickstarter for RPG with options for the back catalogue I couldn’t say no! :slight_smile:

I have ideas and concepts for a role playing game (Personal favorite game genre) and look forward to learning how to put this all together.

Does anyone else here get their ideas primarily through rapid prototyping rather than top down design? When I’ve had to produce design documents professionally, I would quickly prototype and work backwards. My efforts at doing things the “normal” way resulted in programming disasters. I tend to think either by visualizing, drawing and/or playing with code rather than writing. So I’m a bit intimidated by talk of design docs and pseudocode. My RPG “ideas” just consist of images in my head of running through a beautiful forest (1st person) and discovering cool places, things and beings.

BTW, I love the Unreal course! It’s my first Udemy class. I feel like a kid in a candy store discovering the things Unreal can do. I haven’t tried Unity yet.

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Rapid prototyping was always my dirty habit when I was a graphic designer. I’d quickly develop my initial idea and then work backwards in most cases. I’d deconstruct and look at ways to develop those deconstructed ideas to see if I could come up with alternative designs. I often found that my first idea was usually something I kind of already had my mind set on, so without client input there would usually be very little changes made. It took me quite some time to train myself out of the habit because I’d often find that my initial ideas received more positive attention. I think design might be one of the only parts of my life where I can sometimes be immediately decisive.

In games design, I’m expecting to fall into my old ways of rapid prototyping and tweaking from there, at least if that way of doing things isn’t too fiddly (novice programmer), because every time I revisit a GDD I’ve put together I find myself scrapping it and almost starting over. If I don’t rapid prototype I might never get anything truly started, let alone complete.

edit- I’m guessing that rapid prototyping in game design would really only work for mechanics. Other aspects, especially in RPGs, such as story or characters and most visual design will probably require more planning.

Hi All

Nice to be on board. I’ve been wanting to do game development for many years (I am a programmer by trade) and finally decided that the time is now.

My dream RPG and main idea I’ll be looking at exploring & creating with this course is one where the players actions have complex ramifications not only on the story but also how other characters interact with you via what I think of as a “morality engine”. It wouldn’t be simply how good/evil the player is, but how the player acts in certain situations or with certain groups of people.

I had been thinking of calling this morality engine “Shades of Grey” given that no-one (in games and in RL!) is ever just pure good (white) or pure evil (black) …but will probably have to rethink that name thanks to certain books that have come out since I first started contemplating this idea :laughing:

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@ChristelRene and @Stephen the correct answer to the question is that everyone is different. Everyone has that one way that works best for them, but may not be the best for anyone else. This is great if you are a single developer. If you are working with a team, and they do not do things the same way you do, that could get messy. I personally feel that you should teach yourself 2 different techniques when designing games: personal development and team development, or stick with a technique that would work for you and any team you are on.

Designing a game would be like setting out to write a novel. Each author is different in how they approach it. Some authors write the ending to their story first, then go back and start at the beginning. Some authors plan out each chapter like a episodic TV script. Others still free write and create the story as they go. None of these is the wrong way, it is just the way that works for them. Some people look at some of these, such as the free writing technique, and automatically personally classify them as messy and wrong. What if I was to tell those people that Stephen King is a free writer, or a seat of his pants writer, and look how well he has done!

I recently have been leaning towards the “Pillar” aspect of design, and I think it is amazing. I have 2 sets of ideas: Pillars and Goals. At the beginning of design, I say I am going to have 7 pillars in my game. It is then that I sort through my ideas and decide what will absolutely make it into the game no matter what… and that is one of my pillars. Once I have my 7 pillars on paper, everything else goes in my “Goals”. These are ideas I would love to see in the game, but they could be cut if needed. It is the 7 pillars of my game that have to stay in tact no matter what else happens. Doing things this way gets rid of a lot of clutter, and really sharpens the vision of your game.

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@EricPhillips I loved SWG pre CU, Running around to find the local dr on the major planets to buff than take off to another planet with a group to fight rancors or krayt dragons, wash, rinse ,repeat. Not to mention the crafting system was so complex. I literally loved everything about that game. Sadly my guild moved to WoW, which I played off and on for almost 7 years to lvl 70 then got sick of it. I got sick of it for a couple reasons, people took it way too seriously when it came to raids and what not, not enough story and tbh I’m just more of a sci fi fantasy guy not to mention Swtor was in dev, which I enjoy the story of some of the classes.

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