Game Development Reference
has a main character that is already pre-defined and, generally speaking, the
game's story is centred on them.
Story and character interaction are important aspects of an RPG and is
often quite involved as the player uncovers it piece by piece. Because of the
sprawling nature of many RPGs, they normally enable the player to keep
track through some kind of quest or objective screen where anything that is
current is listed. Often the player is given the opportunity to take on tasks,
or side quests, that are not part of the main story, but offer the opportunity
for monetary gain or the chance to trade information or items.
Magic is often a major feature of a role-playing game, particularly those
with a fantasy setting. Members of the player's team may well have different
magical abilities and styles of spells they can cast; part of the gameplay can
involve the learning of new spells and how best to manage magic during
battle. In a science fiction setting, magic is often replaced by an equivalent,
which could be mutant psi-powers or some kind of mystical force that is
magic in all but name.
Combat is a very important part of RPGs, but the style of combat and the
interface varies a great deal. A number of games have a combat system that
is referred to as turn-based, which means that the battles are highly stylised
with each character and opponent attacking in turn. Other games employ
real-time combat in which the player is directly involved in hacking with the
sword, shooting the laser pistol or casting the magic spell at the same time as
the opponents are doing all of these things.Yet another combat style is one
in which, once the player chooses to engage the opponents, the game engine
takes over and plays out the battle based upon the statistics of all the
combatants involved. Players can guide the course of these battles by giving
instructions to their team of characters, which could be ordering a specific
attack or switching to fighting defensively.
All combat is governed by the characters' statistics, which means that as
they improve their skills and abilities they will also be more proficient at
combat. Generally speaking, to create a suitable challenge for the player, as
the characters improve so do the opponents, either with higher stats of their
own or through increased numbers.
Because RPGs tend to be large games, with players regularly investing 40
hours or more in playing them, the opportunities for the writer are good.
Sprawling worlds, a large cast of characters, an involving story and numerous
side quests mean that a team of writers are usually involved, working together
and with the design team.With many RPGs having 100,000 words of dialogue