RPG Programming:
by SeiferTim : 24 November 2004

Now we come to the first step of the development process - planning. You cannot hope to actually complete a game with any degree of complexity without planning. It can't be done. A lot of n00bs make the mistake of just grabbing pieces of code, and trying to make something cool, but ending up with a piece of worthless crap. Unfortunately, I can't do much in this department for you. I can only suggest that you spend plenty of time writing down everything you want to have in your game, as well as plans on how you're going to implement them. For RPGs having good story writing skills will also come in handy. For the story, read my other tutorial which I linked to on the last page.

As far as the rest of the planning, you should come up with everything that you might possibly want. Lets start making our example here - I don't really think we need an elaborate story, but I'll come up with something quick and simple here. The following is a very simplified list of things you need to come up with, and I'll also include what I've decided to use for our example game:

  • Type of RPG: As you probably guessed from the last page, you should define exactly what type of RPG you want to have. This doesn't mean you have to use one of the three I came up with - if you're real creative I'm sure you can make up your own, new type. For our sample game, we'll stick with the Classic RPG, for several reasons, but the main one is this: Its a lot simpler.
  • Type of Stat System: Now would be a good time to outline the Stat system that you plan on using. Some RPGs can get away with simply HP, Strength, and Defense, but you may want to have more than that. More details on this will be in upcoming pages, but for now, I want to use a simple system of HP, Magic, Strength, Toughness, Speed, and Accuracy.
  • Story: Like I said earlier, you need to have a story. For this simple game, lets just say that we'll use a Fantasy Setting, with Swords, and suff, and leave it at that... No need to go all crazy here. Your game should have a script that would kill a whole forest to print.
  • Other Systems: Its a bit hard to outline exactly everything your games going to need, since that depends a lot on you. But if you plan on having lots of different equipment, plan how you want to implement them, and what type of monsters there will be, etc. Write it all down so that you can remember ideas you came up with while at Denny's one night. I'll outline these as we get to them for this tutorial.

Onwards to the next page!

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