Gameplay Consistency

It's funny that you wrote an article that comprises of this element of RPG creation. Once, a long time ago, there was a great RPG Maker 2000 game that allowed the player to jump. You didn't have to press a button---just walk up to an object that was one level above you, and you could scale it.

From that object, you could

  • Scale to an object one level above that
  • Walk on the same plane/level you were on
  • Drop to a level below that

And it was great! But, a little while after, I guess the creator got tired of coding jumpable objects, and mid-way through the game, nothing was jumpable anymore. And I was trying to scale something to see if there was a treasure on top of some boxes, and it was mysteriously removed from the game...

Ultimately, very frustrating. Why implement it at all if you weren't going to follow through?

Skill Set Theory

Very interesting insight. I especially enjoyed the auxiliary functions, such as Steal and Status Effects. I distinctly remember Vagrant Story's elemental system, and an extreme homebrewn RPG using this concept would definitely recieve massive praise from the hardcore RPG fans.

Dungeon Theory

This is absolutely excellent. Thank you for this insightful (and admittedly entertaining) insight into dungeon creation, and theory. Your articles are very complete and self-sufficient, and the quality is always superior.


When Linearity Attacks!

This is very interesting. I especially like the fact that you mentioned SaGa Frontier as a non-linear game. Usually, the less linear a game is, the more the developer has to pay attention to keeping the player informed about his abilities.

In SaGa Frontier, the monster's abilities were directly co-related to the player's. Therefore, it didn't matter at what point you fought what monster/boss---it was all dependant on your HP, Strength, Agility, etc.

However, something interested happened once you got to the insanely strong levels---you were unable to beat even the simplest monsters, because your enemies were also insanely strong. And, as we all know, monsters have to have a strength curve in order to keep up with your armors, etc.

The only exception to this in any SaGa Frontier storyline was the last boss--they always had the same parameters, regardless of whether you were fighting them earlier or later in your characters' development.

Just an option to consider if you are creating a non-linear game and are wondering how to work out the balancing issues.
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