Quest Design Proposal

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Quest Design Proposal

Post by vrolok » Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:52 am

I have quite a few ideas for various quests, though most of them are faction based, so they will have to wait. But some can probably be implemented outside of factions. I did like many ideas for quests, which Infragris wrote down, he has very good sense of gameplay mechanics and story-telling. But before I start proposing quests, I wanted to talk a bit about framework, since I love systematic approach and it will allow us to lead more productive discussion.

So here are my thoughts on what each quest or quest-line must have:

Reason - there is no point of doing work without any reason, quests included. Quests should have at least one reason, maybe more:

1) Telling a Story - the most important reason to have quest. Playing a game is all about experience and that's the way to get some great experience. Decide on the story before writing the quest, at least basic details. Great stories often make best quests.
2) Teaching player something about the World - also important. Best way to tell player about the world - show it to him through quests and exposition. Remember, it shouldn't be out of place. The quests are another way to explore Tamriel in detail.
3) Giving player special Reward - less important, but still a good reasons. Some things are too good to just be given away, let player work for it. Shouldn't rely on these too much, but sometimes they are needed.

Good quest design:

1) Unique - each quest is slightly different, at least a little bit. Different characters, different dialogues, different locations, etc. The more important the quest the more unique it should be. Simple quests can be similar, but not copying each other.
2) Engaging - quests should immerse player, let him think and make some decisions. It can have several paths to completion or choices with different consequences. It could have surprises along the way. That way, you are always fully engaged.
3) Witty - quests should be smart and even funny sometimes, like original quests in Morrowind. Epic adventures of epicness get boring easily. Have a sense of humour and wit, both in dialogues and in quest writing. Funny joke cannot ruin a great quest, but it can save a dull one.

Finally, some basic thoughts on Progression:

1) Growth of Complexity - random quests and low level quests don't need to be complex, even though they can, but as you progress, things should get more difficult and exciting. No point in detailing basic quests if most important later quests are underdeveloped. All things should get more complex near the climax.
2) Growth of Difficulty - just like complexity, difficulty also grows, preventing weaker players from advancing too fast. That makes more exciting parts even more desirable, thus player has to complete more simple quests to advance further.
3) Growth of Rewards - an obvious one. The bigger the challenge and the reward is better. While simple quests could provide some simple stuff like gold and useful items, reputation, more advanced quests need to have better and more creative rewards. It could be artifacts, new residences, new powers and more. Be creative.

And last of all, remember about Specialities:

Preferably, quests should have possibilities for different approach by different characters (look at Engaging). It is especially important in Guild Quests, where certain guilds favour certain techniques. Mages' quests need to have place for player to use magic, thieves quests need lock picking and stealing, warriors need fighting and assassins need stealth.

If you have anything to add or want to correct something here, just write and we can discuss certain elements of this system. I will write my quests, while looking at this and I will also criticize people, using this framework. If you like it, you can also use it, though it's just my proposal at the moment.

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