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Author Topic: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help me make my game more fun for you)  (Read 2236 times)

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What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help me m...
« on: November 02, 2012, 12:27:53 am »
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Hey guys,

I've been working on an RPG and it would really help me out if I heard what you like most in an RPG and/or what you don't like in an RPG. I'm asking because ZFGC is going to be the most informed of my game development and some of you may even get in on a beta some time in the future, and I'd like to hear what you guys love/hate about RPGs as I expect most of you are into the kind of RPG I am working on.

I'm just going to list some things about RPGs to help your brain out a bit:
  • Leveling up:
    Do you play RPGs primarily because you like to get stronger, or do you primarily play for story? Do you like leveling up to be more in the weapons/armor or in the characters themselves, etc.?

  • Character development:
    Do you care about it, do you like to control how characters develop to some extent or is it too much hassle, how important is good character development to you and what do you consider to be good character development, etc.?

  • Plot:
    How important is it to you, are there any stupidly cliche things you think should be avoided, etc.?

  • What draws you into the world:
    Realistic graphics, a good plot, something that is very different from the real world (i.e. fantasy) or something that is very similar to the real world, does 3D/2D matter, etc.?

  • Exploration:
    Do you like more linear like Kingdom Hearts so it can be super story-driven, complete freedom like Skyrim, or something in between, is world size or world interactivity more important to you?

  • Weapons/items/magic/techniques:
    Do you want a ton of choices here, love/hate OP weapons, want health-replenishing items or rely on magic or both for healing, etc.?

  • Battle system:
    I already have this set in place as action-based, but feel free to say what you love/hate about battle systems. I'd especially love to hear what you like/hate about action-based battle systems.

  • Weather system/day & night system:
    Do you like any of these, what do you like about them, what do you hate about them?

  • Character personalities:
    Any types you hate, any types you enjoy, what do you expect/like of a lead character, etc.?

  • Why you love/hate RPGs:
    Favorite things, things you'd like to see in an RPG, things you have seen that you love/hate, etc.?

  • Voice acting (almost forgot this one):
    Something more Zelda-style, only cutscenes have full voice work, or a fully voiced game? How much does this matter to you and how much does it make you enjoy the story/characters to have it or not to have it? Like an option to turn it on/off and use subtitles instead?
    (Note: A fully-voiced game is near impossible for an indie game developer, because it takes a good amount of money and a LOT of trained voice actors for it to be done correctly. I have seen a few indie games that tried to do voice acting and it ruined some otherwise pretty good games just because the voice acting was unbearable. Any thoughts on this?)

There are, of course, many other things to consider in an RPG, but that should be good enough to get some ideas flowing. Feedback and thoughts are very much appreciated. And, who knows, perhaps your input will lead me to make this game even more awesome in your eyes than it would be without your input.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 06:43:32 am by Frozen炎 »
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 02:13:21 am »
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  • Leveling up:
    I am a grind hoar.  For RPGs, I usually play through about half the game then restart from the beginning.  The reason being that by the halfway point I should have a good understanding of the balancing and character progression etc etc.  I love to grind and usually do it regardless if I need to to beat a boss or not.  Hell, I always push myself everytime I start a new game in Final Fantasy 7 to reach level 25 before I am out of Midgar and have all my materia at level 2 and all limit breaks at level 3(came close once and it was only like 5 hours of playtime).

  • Character development:
    Meh.  As long as it flows together, it's all good to me.

  • Plot:
    I don't care either way.  I love RPGs that have super simple plots like Dragon Warrior and the first Final Fantasy.  I also love more recent RPGs such as Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Baldurs Gate, and so on that have deeper plots.

    lol

  • What draws you into the world:
    It all depends on the context of the plot.  A somewhat feel-good fantasy game does well to me with colorful graphics where as darker-more serious- rpgs draw me in with more realism.  So, it depends on your plot and general feel of the game.

  • Exploration:
    A good mix is nice.  I like having the general path laid out but I like to be able to deviate from it for side-quests.  Though,lol, every once in a while I do enjoy a good where-the-hell-do-I-need-to-go quest.  Overworlds are awesome.  Alot of newer RPGs are dropping this in favor of a casual "let's make this easier" approach.

    As much as I love games such as Dragon Age, Baldurs Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Icewind Dale, etc., they have no overworld.  It's that boring "click to the area you want to travel to".

    The Final Fantasy series started doing that with Final Fantasy X(still a good game :P) and in IMO is part of the reason some of us fans are slowly withdrawing from the FF series as legit jRPGs and not just a interactive movie with RPG elements tossed in.

    If you are going for a more action-oriented RPG, some good ideas for overworlds is the Secret/Sword of Mana aka Seiken Densetsu games.
  • Weapons/items/magic/techniques:
    I love huge amounts of choices.  I love OP weapons as long as it is still balanced and the more OP they are, the harder they are to obtain in the game.  Use quests for them ;)
  • Battle system:
    If you are going action based, again, check the Mana series.  Recent Bioware games are pretty good examples as well.  I enjoy both action and turn-based systems so yeah. 

  • Weather system/day & night system:
    I enjoy them for the novelty but !@#$% hate them with quests dependent on them.  Elder Scrolls games had me constantly "Waiting" to skip to the next day so I could access stores and such.  Even older games did that with Simon's Quest stupid !@#$%.  If it is skippable or goes quickly, it should be fine.

    OoT/MM seemed to have a nice timer on the day/night.
    Then again, it would depend on the overall size of your game's world.

  • Character personalities:
    I enjoy the cliche characters.  I enjoy original characters. :)

  • Why you love/hate RPGs:
    I love RPGs and haven't really found too many I dislike.  Even though I enjoyed the DQ/DW series, they take grinding to the far extreme which almost kills the game for me.

    I hate when the story drags on and on.  I also dislike when the story is so bad you just feel like you are getting item A to get item B to activate cutscene A to open Area D. 

  • Voice acting (almost forgot this one):
    Meh, depends.  You could get by fine with one word voices similar to Zelda : "Hey" "Hi" "Hello" "Stop!" *grunts* *sighs*, stuff like that.

^o^
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 03:24:53 am »
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in rpg's, the thing i like the most is having complete customizability of my character. how he/she looks and the armor/clothes worn. looks include but not limited to, face eyes, ears, mouth, blah blah blah, hair, head overall, ect. ect.
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 04:06:04 am »
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Thanks for the replies, guys. This is definitely going to help me out. And, apart from my game, the discussion is interesting in itself anyway, so I really hope more people will get in on this. Delicious digital cookies for everyone that participates! ;3

That said, I realized I never said what I personally like about RPGs:
When I play an RPG, ultimately, I just want to go on an adventure. I want to go see new places and to overcome challenges and get awesome items for doing so. I want to enjoy the characters and not be bored by them. I really like getting treasure and discovering useful/cool secrets. Grinding simply for the sake of leveling up is something I don't enjoy, but fighting through tons of enemies as I progress toward a goal, or some kind of treasure, is usually fine. I like freedom in exploration, but I also like having direction, having a goal. I like it when RPGs let you become OP while still having plenty of challenge. An example of what I mean be that would be something like this: You are thousands of feet in the air on an airship and you whip out a glowing sword twice your size and you slash the airship to pieces (as it's firing at you and you must dodge with some difficulty) and you crash to the ground with the airship, you pass out yet you are still alive because you are very strong at that point in the game. Pretty much, I like the idea of being OP because it makes you badass, and I like fantasy because it allows you to get badass because the rules can be different than in the real world.

The only real issue I have with some RPGs:
To me, the characters are what make an RPG worth playing. That's why I get bored of Skyrim after playing for just a few minutes. It's just not very memorable and it doesn't feel rewarding to me when I beat a dungeon or something, because the characters don't make me want to help them. Skyrim just doesn't try hard enough to make me care about the people. But take Kingdom Hearts, I love it, because I care about what happens to the characters and it draws me in and I enjoy the story. When I beat the game, it was awesome. Generally, WRPG characters don't catch my interest, but JRPG characters usually do. If I don't care about the characters, almost 100% of the reward and reason for playing is stripped away.
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2012, 05:17:43 am »
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I'll answer a few


Leveling up:
I like stats and numbers in RPGs, I don't know why. Experience points, leveling up the player, weapons, armor. I don't think story should have to be sacrificed for complex level-up systems.

Character development / Plot:
I think it can go either way. I love RPGs with a focus on this stuff., but a game like Dark Souls with a real heavy focus on gameplay gives very little character development, yet it's ok because it leaves some mystique that adds a nice touch. They explain just enough, and give peak glances into just how expansive the Dark Souls universe is

What draws you into the world:
Something that is very different from the real world. Graphics and 3D / 2D does not matter much to me. Mostly I love expansive game universes, where the creators thought of much more stuff behind the scenes to the world shown in the game. This enriches the small world shown in the game, by giving the player a sense of reality.

Exploration:
In between open world and linear, more towards open world.
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2012, 06:42:23 am »
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in rpg's, the thing i like the most is having complete customizability of my character. how he/she looks and the armor/clothes worn. looks include but not limited to, face eyes, ears, mouth, blah blah blah, hair, head overall, ect. ect.

I can say for sure that my RPG won't have extreme character customization. The actual parameters/proportions of the character models won't be modifiable. However, the textures are planned to be extremely customizable. Also, any equipped item will show on your character, even down to finger rings, ear rings, bracelets, or things like that (not to say the game will have those for sure; just examples). And items are planned to be customizable as well. So, there will be lots of ways to change your look. I might do a few other minor things as well, like allowing to change the hair length, but I haven't needed to think a lot on this yet, so it's still undecided.

Characters in this game are already quite defined in character and personality, so customization isn't exactly something that can go very far without screwing up their character. Allow me to explain: Generally, a Western RPG or an MMORPG has extreme customization because YOU choose who the character actually is. Many times you can be a good person that protects the weak or you can do just the opposite and become an evil killer; it's your choice to be anything. My RPG is much more of a "role-play", as in, you play as an already defined character. The choices given to you to act on cannot contradict the character you play as. It just wouldn't make sense.


I hate when the story drags on and on.  I also dislike when the story is so bad you just feel like you are getting item A to get item B to activate cutscene A to open Area D. 

I feel the same. With the way I'm going about things, none of that should be a problem.


Leveling up:
I like stats and numbers in RPGs, I don't know why. Experience points, leveling up the player, weapons, armor. I don't think story should have to be sacrificed for complex level-up systems.

First, I guess I really didn't word that well. I meant, do you primarily play an RPG because you like leveling up/getting strong, or do you play it primarily for the story? I agree that there's no reason to sacrifice story for a complex leveling system.

That said, the leveling system is one of the things that's still very much undecided. I have no idea if the level cap is going to be 20 or 80. Actually, I don't even know for certain if I'll have leveling up at all, though I expect I will. Over the years, numbers in RPGs have been used for things that used to NEED numbers to be represented, but now graphics and processing power open up ways to visually show what couldn't previously be shown on lower-powered systems. Making sure the player knows all the stats and such is what is important, but I think RPGs all too often stick to what has worked without giving enough thought on reinventing much, if anything, of what is considered standard in RPGs.

-

To anyone who might be confused as to what this thread is for, I'll put it as concise as possible:
I'm looking for any thoughts, wants, loves, hates - anything to do with personal preferences on RPGs. It's even a help if you just tell me the RPG you like most and why.
I don't exactly need it, but I know that, the more you guys tell me, the better my game will likely turn out. :)
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 06:55:03 am »
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thought of another thing i enjoy.

being able to go or do what i want. no linearness. kind of like skyrim if you will. except being able to kill anyone lol or not having to do the storyline if i wish not to.

i do realize thats prolly really complicated.
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Kienamaru

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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2012, 09:08:13 am »
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I like expansive villages and towns full of secrets, cool npcs and shops. There's nothing quite like finding stronger weapons and armor for sale in each new town.
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 11:45:31 pm »
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thought of another thing i enjoy.

being able to go or do what i want. no linearness. kind of like skyrim if you will. except being able to kill anyone lol or not having to do the storyline if i wish not to.

i do realize thats prolly really complicated.
Though I do like the "idea" of this, I haven't seen a game pull it off to my liking. Not even Skyrim pulled this off to the extent that I'd like (but mods can get it there; it's just too much hassle to sift through them and check them all out, imo). In view of this, there's absolutely no way I could do a game like that on my own; it would be a shallow and bland experience.

That said, I plan to allow the player to have control over the situations that arise; control over if/when they happen and control as they happen. This, as opposed to most JRPGs that pretty much force you to play along and you're ultimately powerless to choose how to save the world (because that's usually what you do). Even though you are usually a leader of a party, your choices as a leader are ultimately made up for you, so it's hardly a choice at all and it makes you more like a follower rather than an actual leader; story-wise, you are just as powerless as everyone else. But I say, for an example, why not let the player even have the choice to go after the main antagonist at the very beginning? Sure, you'd die, but the freedom to do this gives the player proper control to make that choice on his/her own. I plan to allow this kind of thing in my RPG by using what I call a "plot controller" which basically keeps track of key world/character statuses. That's the best I can explain in so few words, and I understand that it's quite ambitious to do alone (yet still not as much as having no linearity), but I can pull it off with enough work and thought. If anyone has any thoughts or questions on this, feel free to voice them.

I like expansive villages and towns full of secrets, cool npcs and shops. There's nothing quite like finding stronger weapons and armor for sale in each new town.

I'm trying to go for quality first and quantity second. I'd like to make every NPC matter as opposed to simply being there as some sort of filler to make the world seem more alive or something. I will be thinking more about large cities; I haven't given that area much thought. I expect most populated areas will be fairly small, but it looks like I will be having a handful of massive cities as well, which will likely be the more technologically advanced areas. As far as secrets go: I myself love discovering secret areas. I've already got some nice ideas noted in my game design documentation.

-

Btw, what do you guys think about character cameos, references to various media (movies, other video games, tv shows?), or memes? I will DEFINITELY have a few Zelda references in the game. That is for sure. I've literally got a list of 40+ ideas for cameos/references already. I was just wondering if other people enjoy them as much as I do? Of course, they are mainly enjoyed when you know the source; if it was part of your childhood, or something that is memorable for you. I'm aiming to make all of these ideas fun/interesting whether the source is known or not, because people can't be expected to get every reference.

Some questions about crafting and extensive cosmetic customization:
- Do you like the idea of crafting/modifying items, armors, weapons, etc.?
- If so, what options would you like? How do you envision crafting to work in an RPG? How much freedom would you like in the area of crafting?
- What do you think about having the ability to create your own pixel-by-pixel designs and to be given the ability to change your character's look with them?
- Would you like to be able to, for example, design your own texture for the blade of one of your swords? Or maybe design your own tattoo and place it almost anywhere on your character?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 11:50:37 pm by Frozen炎 »
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 03:20:35 am »
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If you're gonna do crafting then we need...

1- To name our weapons freely, able to change it everytime we upgrade it if we please.
2- Able to do more than just make it stronger. I'm thinking elemental effects, maybe the look of the weapon, and attack speed.
3- We need to see these changes before making them so we can know we aren't screwing up anything.
4- Creating weapons is always fun, but will we be smithing or using alchemy?
5- With crafting there should be levels. Similar to Infinite Undiscovery, the more you create, and the higher skill the thing you create requires, the less you fail, and the higher you level. It allows you to level weapons and armor with ease, and you can create better gear as well.

Each level of crafting could have a list of things that can be created say... you start at rank 1. After creating 10 or so rank 1 items you hit rank 2. You could keep making rank 1 items but it'd take around 40 to hit rank 3 as opposed to 20 from rank 2. Once you hit rank 3 you get either very little or no exp at all from crafting rank 1 items. So you have to make 2 or 3 to level up. So on and so forth.

It would also make sense for larger items to give more EXP. It would take more skill to make a sword than a dagger. and more to make a suit of armor than a sword. However, a Platinum Sword with an engraved sheath would take more skill than making regular steel armor.
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 08:21:59 am »
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If you're gonna do crafting then we need...

1- To name our weapons freely, able to change it everytime we upgrade it if we please.
Yep. I've already planned this, actually.

2- Able to do more than just make it stronger. I'm thinking elemental effects, maybe the look of the weapon, and attack speed.
Already have elemental effects as a sure thing. Attack speed is planned to depend on the weight of the materials used. How much you can change the look of the weapon is still undecided.

3- We need to see these changes before making them so we can know we aren't screwing up anything.
Truth.

4- Creating weapons is always fun, but will we be smithing or using alchemy?
Still not decided. I'm not even sure if you can make things yourself, or if you must go to a blacksmith. I was kind of leaning toward having to come to a city or something to craft. Actually, I probably shouldn't have used the word "craft". "Forge" is probably a better word. I bet everyone is going to think of Minecraft now, shoot...

5- With crafting there should be levels. Similar to Infinite Undiscovery, the more you create, and the higher skill the thing you create requires, the less you fail, and the higher you level. It allows you to level weapons and armor with ease, and you can create better gear as well.

Each level of crafting could have a list of things that can be created say... you start at rank 1. After creating 10 or so rank 1 items you hit rank 2. You could keep making rank 1 items but it'd take around 40 to hit rank 3 as opposed to 20 from rank 2. Once you hit rank 3 you get either very little or no exp at all from crafting rank 1 items. So you have to make 2 or 3 to level up. So on and so forth.

It would also make sense for larger items to give more EXP. It would take more skill to make a sword than a dagger. and more to make a suit of armor than a sword. However, a Platinum Sword with an engraved sheath would take more skill than making regular steel armor.
If I make the character you play (or a character in your party) able to craft stuff, then yes, there should be experience gained. I'm just not sure I'm wanting to do things this way. I was thinking that you choose sort of a "blueprint". Now that I think about it, available blueprints could depend on experience. I was just thinking that you could buy blueprints and find rare ones in dungeons and other areas of the world. Of course, none of this is set in stone.

My idea for "blueprints":
Each blueprint has a number of parts. For example, a dagger has a handle/hilt, a guard, and a blade. The guard could be an optional piece. You'd get to choose the length of the handle/hilt, the length and width of the blade, and the width of the guard (blade width would also widen the guard). You could choose various materials to use for each part, and you could add in your own personalization in some of the textures, like engraving your initials on the hilt or something; it would be up to you, as I plan on making something like a paint program that allows you to paint anything you want on certain areas of your items.
I've actually never seen a game come at crafting the way I am thinking. My thinking is very much inspired by Borderlands, in how the guns are randomly generated in parts. I'm thinking that weapon/armor/item drops from enemies and such could be randomly generated, and crafting would work within the parameters of that random generation formula, with some added options, like the extreme texture customizing capabilities. Cube World has also played a part in making me think a bit more on detailed crafting.
Anyway, I'm just not sure what method I will use to limit the player from making some massively OP weapon; there obviously has to be some form of experience/limitation(s) to keep your available items properly leveled, I just haven't decided yet.

I appreciate the feedback, Kienamaru. :)
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2012, 12:27:59 am »
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To prevent OP weapons you can do a few things...

1. Weapons have a level requirement to use (As in some MMO games.)

2. High power weapons can only be made with materials found in later areas which is instantly meaning... you can't go beyond the power limit. Example, you cant find platinum in the beginning where enemies are level 2-7 because they never drop it. Shops don't sell it either. but around the mid game with enemies at level 20- 28 they  will drop it on occasion. That allows you to make it further but not sooner without making you seem limited.

3. If materials can be OP created then they should cost so much money (compared to your low level money drops) that it takes really long just getting that much cash. Which would be an advantage so long as you dont mind spending hours grinding for it.
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2012, 06:49:57 am »
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I'm probably going to avoid having level requirements for weapons and armors. I've been leaning more toward money and world placement as the limiters. Very much like Zelda, really.

-

Moving on. I've decided to let out a bit of info. Hoping to get some feedback.

Here are a few things to expect from the RPG:
The battle system is one thing that I have pretty much figured out. It's action-based, there will be stamina for each party member, you can only have 3 or 4 (undecided) active party members at one time, you can exchange active party members at nearly any time in or out of battle (partly because battles take place in the world, not in a battle area), you can assume control of any active party member at any time (customizable AI takes over any party members you aren't controlling), party members that are on the sidelines will recover stamina quickly, any types of experience will be intelligently distributed according to what characters did in the battle, etc. There is a lot more detail about the battle system that I will not go into, but those are some of the main things. Besides the battle system, the graphical style is decided to be based off of anime. I'm currently practicing with 3D modeling and trying out different styles. I'd like a somewhat realistic look, at least for the character faces, because I feel like it will help them stand out and be as important as I want them to be. The camera style will usually be an overhead 3rd-person, but in some situations it might switch to a platformer style or some fixed style (like in some houses and shops in 3D Zelda games). There will be weapon/armor/item forging, and I may even have creation of magic, so you could make your own magic for attack, defense, and support ("support" as in: healing, poison cure, etc.).

The way I look at it, feedback can only make the game turn out better, which is why I created this topic. So go ahead and tell me what you like, don't like, or ask questions about the above. Or just say more stuff about RPGs and what you like about them.

-

A thought about beta testing and rewards:
Not exactly on topic, but it just came to me. A few of my friends will be making a cameo as in-game characters. So why can't a ZFGC member also make a cameo appearance? Maybe this could be a reward for whoever helps the most with beta testing or something. Of course, this is waaaay down the line, but I just wondered if anyone thinks that would be cool or not?

And, when I said..
Delicious digital cookies for everyone that participates! ;3
I actually do have something in mind. It's nothing super special, but I just thought I might note that here while I'm at it.
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Re: What you want/don't want in an RPG (to help ...
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2012, 12:35:46 pm »
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What i most love in a RPG is the equipment and abilities system, just like in final fantasy, your ideas are pretty good, for me, leave it like that, it sounds great.
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