by Ceres Games
I like the way you are approaching this topic.
While your specific example probably won't be in the game, our approach to quest design is quite similar, yes! There will be quests where waiting too long will change things, in most of our quests you will get a choice on how to solve it and on who to support, and your actions during quests will have consequences. There is one quest in the realm of Sabag-Hirar, for example, where a young woman asks you to help her become a priestess. Her father is an influential merchant, however, and wants to marry her off to another rich family to further his power. If you take too long with this quest, she will be married off and can't become a priestess anymore. If you help her become a priestess, her father won't be able to marry her off anymore and will hate you for it - he'll refuse to trade with you and decrease your reputation with the local merchants, and of course you won't be able to do any quests that he would offer!
This level of choice and consequence appears in almost all of our quests. You always get several options, and depending on what you do, the attitudes of characters towards you change.
However, the last part of your example, where after a year the guard's son will hire an assassin to track you down, is a little too far. Remember that we have a large world and plenty of quests, and it would be an impossible amount of work to attach consequences that fire only after a year has passed to every little side quest in the game. There will be plenty of quests that change your reputation, change the situation in the world, or change the way some NPCs think of and act towards you, but we have to draw the line somewhere. The son of a simple guard connected to a trivial side quest tracking you down a year later is a little too much :)
I have to ask, how deep the "imersion" is?
What I mean is: (and this example is 100% made up by my mind, so game might have this quest, or might not, time will tell);
- If I for low level 1 starting adventurer get a simple (or so it seem) mission to take this one apple pie and bottle of sider to guard captain at town gate (an idea to give 20xp, 5 silver piece and some knowlegde for town you start with) and he offer some jobs for you, what later give you option to be part of guards even.
- What if I decide to wait for a week, will I notise that apple pie will lose some of it value (give less let's say HP if you eat it, less money if you sell it) and giving it for guard captain with sider make him pay less and complain a bit how I should have deliver this way earlier.
- What if I decide to wait for a month, will I notise that apple pie change it's stats totally? That now it will make you sick and force you to rush to toilet. If I give it for guard captain now he will give you less money but drop his weapon, shield and rush to toilet letting you rob the house and take weapon + shield?
- What if I decide learn "make poison" crafting and poison cider? Is it possible to deliver pie, get money and XP, then watch while guard captain drink cider and die, get his items (including armor) and head out starting your career as bandit near by town?
Now fastforward for a year:
- If you stick near town for a year will you notise that traveller, guard captain son come by (trip he make once every year) to see his dad. If you are guard / good relations with guard captain he will give you a mission and maybe nice magical weapon as a reward.
- But if you have killed his dad he will hire an assasin to hunt you down, will assist himself wih some other high level NPC's who are his friends and adventure companions.
So what level / kind of imersion we can expect. I assume atleast first is possible (it is kind of standard for every game this far) but how about any of later ones? I would say latest "after a year" kind of thing would be more of Ultima kind of deepness (anyone remember what happen if you find a mouse when one of the games start and decide to kill it.. ..yep, you were not able to EVER play that game through :D )
We will always provide enough clues in dialogs to make the player find locations without having to rely on markers. We loved Morrowind with its detailed descriptions on how to get to your objective, and we want to do the same in Realms Beyond.
Even when a character marks a location on your map for convenience, he will also give you a description on how to get there. Sometimes, a character may even give you an inaccurate description because he doesn't quite remember how to get there, or a very vague description that gives you a rough clue but requires you to do most of the exploration yourself.
Having characters mark places on your world map is a thing that's possible with our engine and scripting systems, but it's by no means common. Amiella is the local hunter and knows the surrounding wilderness like the back of her hand, which is why she was able to pinpoint the two groves on your map.
Reminds me of Serpent in the Staglands
This all sounds really, really good, but there was one part that gave me pause ... "She will mark both of them on your world map"
With the focus on bringing back exploration without hand holding, why the automatic map marking here? Could you consider making this optional and providing enough clues in any dialog or quest objectives to be able to find these things without automatic markers? I really like the classic games where you were given general names of forests, ocean bays, towns, etc., along with a few details to indicate when you found the objective but it still required exploration to uncover it explicitly.
This right here and what you just outlined is my wet dream. Something I have been asking for my RPG's. I am so happy with the news and excited by what is to come that I am going to put more money towards your game. Keep up the great updates
The minimap looks fine, but to me, the idea of hand-drawn treasure maps remains really exciting. The "adventurer's journals" from the Gold Box games usually had a number of them, and the idea of the maps looking like something physical and organic that existed outside the game engine was a strong source of their appeal. They really looked like something that a pen-and-paper GM would hand to players in the middle of a real campaign, and trying to associate them with locations visible in the game's (very low res) wilderness map was good fun!
Fantastic update, really excited about annotating our maps.
I would like to see what you guys have planned for itemization and item upgrades. I'm hoping you guys aren't going the route of Diablo/Divinity Original Sin and will instead emphasize unique loot.
Thank you & keep up the great work :)
I like what I read! Especially that areas are named on the map only after you find some inscription or give it a contextual name. I always wondered in other RPGs how the names magically appeared on the map when you got near the respective area. Sometimes even giving away what awaits you there (i.e. The Inner Chambers of the Demon God or some such).
Looking at the incredible screenshots with all this attention to detail makes me want to play this right NOW! Can't wait to get it into my hands!
For me, it's the small stuff like this that makes a big difference in an crpg. It all adds up to a game that feels special and is made with love. Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work.