Follow @zenvis

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Secrets to a Great Game

I know that there are several writers that have tons of techniques to creating a good game but this is not about technique. Now looking at all the great movies and TV shows that transcend to RPG and the common element that I (and a cousin of mine) noticed.

They are...

Promise of reward
A need for a rescue
Reputation change
A discovery
Avenge or Revenge

Now a portion of all of these elements are needed to make a great game as they are all needed to make a great movie or television show.

Now to go over these elements...

First there is the promise of reward. This is usually at the beginning. To illustrate this I will be using Star Wars. At the start of Star Wars the smuggler didn't join the cause until there was a promise of reward. Weather or not that reward was going to be coming to fruition was was completely reliant on how circumstance was going to play out. When GM's are playing with their world and need that hook, the meager promise of reward can be enough but don't hang your game on this alone.

Next is the need for rescue. In Star Wars it would of not been enough just to deliver the plans. There needed to be a need for a rescue or escape. In this story it was the princess that provided the rescue and encouraged the escape. With two elements in play we move onto the third element...

Reputation change. To go from wimpy moister farm boy to rebel star pilot and budding Jedi is a big change and the burden of change can destroy a character if the player is not ready to adjust to the change. When you look at all of the characters in Star Wars, first the farm boy is mention, the princess is a secret spy, the smuggler is now an accessory to the Wookie who turns out to be a sleeper agent who anticipated the arrival of the old Jedi who we find out was a warrior in the Clone Wars. Yes there was a lot of information given in that episode. Great stuff.

A discovery. Now this was played as a low key in Star Wars: A New Hope. One of the strongest discoveries was that the farm boys father was a Jedi and not a pilot on a spice freighter. Small discovery but none the less a discovery. Another discovery was that the smuggler had a large debt owed and had an alternative motivation for helping the farmer and his old man friend.

The last one was avenge or revenge. Once the farm boy finds out that members of the empire killed his father, he has a real strong reason for going after this faceless government (well good old Darth was the face of the government). He wanted to avenge the death of his father (knowing no differently). He wanted to free other worlds from the tyranny that they have suffered from. He wants to avenge the captured and tortured princess. Mild things but a great start for a catch later on in the story.

See all the great elements were in the movie and I bet you'd find it in almost every great movies and television that could be played in RPG Now there are other story elements that are great for novels and movies but I wanted to bring out the elements that would enhance your RPG experience.