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Author Topic: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid  (Read 9939 times)

Aureus

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #60 on: October 24, 2020, 08:25:18 am »
One of the things that I really like about the game’s fantasy setting is its almost-post-apocalyptic feel. The overgrowing roads, the abandoned ruins, the secluded settlements, terrifying nights, and the scarcity of resources... Yet it’s not a result of a divine will, a random cataclysm, or of some plan orchestrated by an evil overlord. It’s just a harsh place to live in, and it shapes those who try to do so.

The roadwarden is not an almighty hero. While their journeys connect the few tamed scraps of the land, they keep fighting to survive and to achieve their goals, not to conquer the world or to change the “natural” order. There could be thousands of people like them alive, the realm would still struggle. It’s up to you to decide if you’re going to accept it.










TheSHEEEP

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #61 on: October 27, 2020, 07:08:19 am »
While their journeys connect the few tamed scraps of the land, they keep fighting to survive and to achieve their goals, not to conquer the world or to change the “natural” order. There could be thousands of people like them alive, the realm would still struggle. It’s up to you to decide if you’re going to accept it.
Maybe I missed it in the posts, but what is actually the goal of the game?
Is there even one given?

In a story-sense, I mean.

Aureus

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #62 on: October 27, 2020, 07:38:41 am »
I'm inspired by the Morrowind's "go out there and get to know some people, see some places, maybe find a better equipment" kind of thing. The main quest involves learning as many valuable things as you can about the land you enter. The merchant guild from the city wants to find out if it would be profitable for them to invest into a new trade route, so the more you discover, the better.

The more direct goal (which is, however, completely optional) is to find the previous roadwarden of this place, or at least reveal the truth behind his disappearance. The natural progression of this quest is somewhat connected to the exploration, and it's going to have a more traditional structure with the climax in its end, but I expect not every player will see this quest as the main story, nor they will be forced to end their game once it gets completed.

There's one more side to all this. The player chooses their own, personal goal. Some of these goals are very specific (get 100 coins), others are vague (become a hero), and they are meant to help the player figure out the PC's background and the role-playing direction they could follow.


Thank you for asking and please let me know if you have additional questions. : )

TheSHEEEP

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #63 on: October 27, 2020, 08:02:00 am »
Thanks for the answer.

I think this is a very good approach to design, and I'm trying to do the same for my game project (though that is really only in R&D phase right now and likely until late next year).
It's very important for motivation to give players goals (immediate, mid-term and long-term) or at least give them the tools to make their own goals.

Too many games, at least in the survival genre, just throw you out there and that's it.
That has never worked for me and I rarely play those games for more than a few hours.

Aureus

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2020, 08:42:57 am »
I'm glad you think so! I also tried to not overdo it in the opposite way. When an RPG puts a lot of eggs into a basket of a single story, I rarely get excited about it since almost all of these stories turn into save-the-world power fantasies/privilege simulators which I'm not interested in anymore. (Mostly because I've seen them too many times, not because they are "objectively" terrible.)

So, for example, I don't just assume that the player is going to be fascinated about the story of the previous roadwarden. There's even an NPC who asks you why do you try to find this person, and while this is meant to be an option to feed the NPC with a dialogue choice they would appreciate the most so you can get on their good side, it's also a moment where I hope the player will think about it for a second. Are they doing it just for the reward, to fulfill their duty, to help another person in need? What drives their character, and how does it reflect on their main goal?

I don't often find such a thing in the game other than evil / good choices ("to save the world" / "to gain power"), and I think it's a shame. There's something very interesting about the life choices made by fictional adventurers. We usually make stories in which they follow a lead all the way through, but I find it fascinating how many dozens if not hundreds of decisions they must make to stay on course. They could, after all, give up at any point. Usually. ; )

That's why in Roadwarden you can end the game at any time. Just turn around and return to the city. And I plan to make it always feel like an actual conclusion to the experience.

I wish you good luck with your research. I'd recommend trying to make a prototype rather early on, so you can keep in mind which things turned out to not work as great as you'd hope for. : ) Keeping everything on paper usually doesn't survive once it meets reality. 

Greentongue

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #65 on: October 27, 2020, 02:03:14 pm »
It reminds me of "King of Dragon Pass" as far as the basic style.
Guess there are just not enough text/graphic novel games that I know of.

Interesting change of pace.

Aureus

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #66 on: October 27, 2020, 02:26:28 pm »
I think "King of Dragon Pass" is a fascinating game but the sheer volume of rules was just overwhelming for me. It's amazing how many things it allows you to do, but at the same time trying to do all of them at once and keeping them in balance as you try to survive and prosper would probably take dozens of hours before even being able to understand the basics.

I think it's one of the games I've played that encouraged me to try a minimalist approach. I try to add more options without a constant introduction of new mechanics. I think it goes well so far, though there's a limit of how much I can do with it.

I'm also not a specialists when it comes to text-based games, the few I played were usually very different from one another. A couple of people recommended to me "Darklands", and I think I should give it a tray.

Aureus

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #67 on: October 31, 2020, 09:06:19 am »
When your role-playing choice may be used to manipulate an NPC so you can get on their good side... What do you do? Stay honest, or tell them what they want to hear?


Aureus

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #68 on: November 07, 2020, 08:04:15 am »
Icon update! After almost two years of thinking there’s “something” wrong with them, I believe that’s a good step. ^^







TheSHEEEP

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #69 on: November 10, 2020, 02:59:32 am »
I wouldn't bother with instructions like "use only lowercase".
It kind of takes you out of the game.

If that is really a requirement, either convert the input to lowercase as it is typed automatically, or allow the typing of anything and just toLowerCase() internally when using the string.

Actually I'd vote for the latter as it is usually easier to do (in any engine I've ever used, anyway) plus the grammar nazi in me revolts at the thought of not capitalizing words likes names.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2020, 03:17:50 am by TheSHEEEP »

Aureus

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #70 on: November 10, 2020, 04:06:07 am »
allow the typing of anything and just toLowerCase() internally

Haha, TRUE! I left it behind like a year ago, thinking it's good enough for now. Thank you for reminding me it would be good to adjust it. It's now done. : ) Just in time before I make a big screenshot update for stores and such.

Aureus

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #71 on: November 14, 2020, 08:42:37 am »
It took me a full month, but I’m finished with the Foggy Lake tavern, one of the last large areas in Roadwarden - well, at least when it comes to the things the PC can do here, not its “actual” size. ; ) The keeper of this place knows more about the peninsula than anyone in the North, but she rarely shares her knowledge for free.

I was missing this feeling - during the previous few months I was focused on small content chunks and little areas, and now I was able to truly explore this place and the personalities of its dwellers. I’m quite happy with all the unique interactions you’ll find here, inventing them was such a pleasure. I can see how my XP grind affects the structure of specific scenes, as well as the overall quality of writing. It’s been going great, and I’m learning so much!

This place is especially unique since some players will reach it after maybe and hour and a half of playtime (or a minute of speedrunning), encountering it as a first large shelter in the game and the introduction to the “civilized” part of the world, while for others it’s going to be a spot reached after 10+ hours, and in such a case its impact will be very different. I had to take both of these scenarios into consideration, and well, I can’t wait to show you the results. ^^





Aureus

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2020, 08:23:35 am »
The new title screen, with a slightly altered prologue. I think it looks pretty good, and I still love the music.


TheSHEEEP

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #73 on: November 29, 2020, 01:31:31 pm »
Oh yes, that music is very satisfying.

Reminds me a lot of Diablo I music - which is a great thing.

rytrasmi

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Re: Roadwarden - an RPG / Visual Novel / Text Adventure fantasy hybrid
« Reply #74 on: November 30, 2020, 11:16:51 am »
I've got this on my wish list. I have no idea what to make of it, but to me that's a good thing. I enjoy a sense or mystery and discovery in games.