1 Town/Hub game?

MerlinCross

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
149
Reaction score
57
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
So I'm coming back to this with just a small fast idea to try and actually finish a game of some kind but I'd like to ask this as a question.

Rather than having multiple towns or locations, I'm making the game take place in the same spot or hub, and then going out to dungeons from there. The main idea comes a bit from Persona though not as in depth. Couple school clubs to buy supplies from and going out to the lairs of the bosses you need to beat.

Thoughts/ideas on how to liven this up just a tad? Nothing terribly complex as I might end up getting side tracked,
 

FirestormNeos

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
169
Reaction score
123
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I'm also sticking to 1 town/hub area for my project, because tbh the idea of putting players through the tedium of fast-traveling between settlements just to make sure all the "stats" (numbers) are properly up-to-snuff with the meriad of mechanics (crafting, equipment bonuses, tech trees, blah blah blah) that non-RPGs these days took from JRPGs to throw at players is just... mind-numbing to even think about.
 

MerlinCross

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
149
Reaction score
57
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
I'm also sticking to 1 town/hub area for my project, because tbh the idea of putting players through the tedium of fast-traveling between settlements just to make sure all the "stats" (numbers) are properly up-to-snuff with the meriad of mechanics (crafting, equipment bonuses, tech trees, blah blah blah) that non-RPGs these days took from JRPGs to throw at players is just... mind-numbing to even think about.
Well most games that include stuff like that still have the town progress work out mechanically even if it's not ... sensible?

That ice village in the middle of no where 2-3 dungeons before the final boss has the best gear usually. And it's the last village you visit so...

But no I'm trying to keep it simple to actually finish, with the clubs acting as merchants(Their funding is bad) or maybe semi crafters/unlockers(Bring the mechanics club more metal and they can do something for you).

Trying to keep it really simple with a dumb idea, flesh it out a little bit then try to get cute with "Okay how much extra room do I have to work with).

But a little worried people might not like just running around school as their town all the time, even if I shift some NPCs around. Might note down to unlock more rooms or something
 

mchangin

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
31
Reaction score
35
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
I think it's perfectly fine for games to revolve around only one town; Off the top of my head at least, titles that come to mind would probably be Tales of the World : Radiant Mythology 2/3 and .hack// series (in this game's case, about 3 towns, but for the most part it still follows the Hub design).

Usually for games like this, they tend to focus on having a lot of characters to play the game with so that players can play with choosing their teams and level up their favorite characters, so maybe you can go with that angle? Especially since it's based in a school you could really bank on this.
 

MerlinCross

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
149
Reaction score
57
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
I think it's perfectly fine for games to revolve around only one town; Off the top of my head at least, titles that come to mind would probably be Tales of the World : Radiant Mythology 2/3 and .hack// series (in this game's case, about 3 towns, but for the most part it still follows the Hub design).

Usually for games like this, they tend to focus on having a lot of characters to play the game with so that players can play with choosing their teams and level up their favorite characters, so maybe you can go with that angle? Especially since it's based in a school you could really bank on this.
Well the idea is possibly ... in the ball park of Persona. Probably one unifying character and others that can be swapped in or out as needed/wanted. Like the girl that helps out at the nurse station is a healer, the jock is a hard hitter, etc etc.
 

h0tWalker

Villager
Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
First Language
Norwegian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I think its fine if it evolves around one or multiple towns. If its multiple towns, I'd like for them to at least serve a purpose, but spending time in one location makes it more personal and sorta like a base. Either by developing the location or just shop keepers getting new stocks, interaction between characters or having some minor stuff happening to liven it up a bit :)
 

mchangin

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
31
Reaction score
35
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Well, what made Persona work was that your time in the town was limited, so players had to decide what they wanted to do with their days.

In every day for Persona 4 for example, you had the choice of:
  • Hanging out with your friends to progress your Social Links
  • Doing activities like eating Beef Bowl or going to Clubs to progress your Social Stats
  • Going fishing to get an item to progress your Social Links or to catch fish to use in Dungeons
All of these activities progress time when run, and you get more time to do these things with if you finish the dungeons as fast as your party can manage. In this sense it rewards skilled play and proper planning. If you really want to emulate Persona you'd probably also have to implement the Time system to really make your player's decisions have meaning.

That being said there are ways to add more things to do in your game without the Time system; You could consider giving your characters personal quests to do by having your character take on quests with those characters that are entirely optional, but reward specific items and skills that can be used by those characters alone. You could probably add conditions to unlocking those quests depending on what level you are, what items you have, or maybe even what choices you choose during the main story.
 

FirestormNeos

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
169
Reaction score
123
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Well most games that include stuff like that still have the town progress work out mechanically even if it's not ... sensible?

That ice village in the middle of no where 2-3 dungeons before the final boss has the best gear usually. And it's the last village you visit so...
Sorry about my earlier rant about a problem which having just one hub in the game already solves.
 

Ronove

♫꒰・‿・๑꒱
Veteran
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
1,055
Reaction score
360
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
If you're going to do a hub town, the one thing I definitely suggest is breathing life into the NPCs. Players will be seeing them way more than when you visit town to town in a typical RPG, so you want them to be characters in their own right. Cause what's the use of having the same NPCs over and over again in your single hub town who say "Wow! what a nice day it is!" no matter what.

But beware this is also time consuming. Especially if you want them to have their own little side-plots the players can figure out as the game progresses. And, if a time system is going to be in your game like it is with Persona, schedules. All of it's definitely worthwhile if you want to do a game with a single town/hub.
 
Last edited:

Piyan Glupak

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2016
Messages
68
Reaction score
39
First Language
English
I think that one good town that you can put time and effort into is a lot better than having multiple towns for no reason. The original Bards Tale had just one town, and it worked extremely well. (Bards Tale 1 was the game that started my interest in RPGs.) Bards Tale 2 had several towns, but I don't think that they added anything to the atmosphere or story. I have, in the past, completed Bard's Tale 2, but despite the slight technical improvements, never liked it as much as Bards Tale 1.
 

alice_gristle

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
105
Reaction score
74
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
If you're going to do a hub town, the one thing I definitely suggest is breathing life into the NPCs. Players will be seeing them way more than when you visit town to town in a typical RPG, so you want them to be characters in their own right. Cause what's the use of having the same NPCs over and over again in your single hub town who say "Wow! what a nice day it is!" no matter what.
Ya, this. Also, if I have just one town as a base camp for my adventures, I'd like for it to be 1) easily navigable and 2) fun to hang around in.

1) As in, I'd hate for my base camp to be somehow convoluted, so that if I want to drop by the candy machine, I have to go down this ladder, open this hatch, paddle down the sewer, and then exchange banter with the janitor. I'd like it to be simple.

2) But I wouldn't like it to be so simple it's boring. Like, just a white hallway that has doors for all the vendors, or something. (Unless you can make a white hallway feel cool. :biggrin: ) I mean to say, if I'm gonna hang around this one hub town a lot, I want it to look and feel nice!

Soo... yeah. I guess that's it. I think it's def a great idea to have only one hub. Can't think of many games that did that thing well, though... Maybe Dark Souls, or Demon's Souls? And Bastion?
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
530
Reaction score
1,024
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Atelier Iris 3 and Disgaea are also games which do this, having a singular town/hub you spend your time in outside dungeons/stages.

Now one thing to note about these games is how the hub 'updates' with story progression. That is to say, NPCs change their dialogue, often not even being in the same spot. Its this constant 'updating' of this singular hub that makes it both interesting and feel alive. The npcs end up having their own little stories you can follow by talking to them after each 'update', maybe including associated quests and/or rewards if you follow these stories.

This is something having multiple towns is hard to do, having recurring characters naturally develop over time without it feeling unnatural in how they keep stalking you (often even getting to the next town before you despite leaving after you did).
 

Rayhaku808

Chubbizard
Veteran
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
245
Reaction score
102
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I'm also going with the single town/hub style ala Monster Hunter.

If you're going to do a hub town, the one thing I definitely suggest is breathing life into the NPCs. Players will be seeing them way more than when you visit town to town in a typical RPG, so you want them to be characters in their own right. Cause what's the use of having the same NPCs over and over again in your single hub town who say "Wow! what a nice day it is!" no matter what.

But beware this is also time consuming. Especially if you want them to have their own little side-plots the players can figure out as the game progresses. And, if a time system is going to be in your game like it is with Persona, schedules. All of it's definitely worthwhile if you want to do a game with a single town/hub.
Despite playing some of the Persona games, this did not actually come to my mind. The one that stands out the absolute most is Trails of the Sky, a game I did not play. That's how well the game has done this. NPCs in the town have a lot of progression after everything you do, they talk about the state of their livelihoods after every event. Their own stories and relationships progress throughout the entire game. EVERY NPC. I need to get on it to draw inspiration.
 

Candacis

Pixel Pusher
Restaff
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
1,612
Reaction score
2,443
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
I like the idea of only 1 town. You can flesh it out so much more, give it every attention.
As others already mentioned, it is important to give every npc in this hub more personality. It doesn't have to be Stardew Valley level, but they have to have more to say. In games with only 1 hub, I always love to run around and talk with each other after a big event.

Children of Morta did a good job with only one house where you return to after each dungeon. Family members moved around, you could see a little progression in the house and with the characters itself.

But I think, you have to have a good reason why your game is focusing on one hub. Either because the dungeons are near this hub (or under it). Or because it is the only town for miles around. Or your protagonist can't leave the hub too long/too far (for instance, she/he is a prisoner, or she/he has someone to care for in the hub). Or the world is lethal outside the hub (either due to weather, terrain, a war etc.)
Or you just want to focus on small scale stuff.
 

HumanNinjaToo

The Cheerful Pessimist
Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
1,226
Reaction score
601
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Despite playing some of the Persona games, this did not actually come to my mind. The one that stands out the absolute most is Trails of the Sky, a game I did not play. That's how well the game has done this. NPCs in the town have a lot of progression after everything you do, they talk about the state of their livelihoods after every event. Their own stories and relationships progress throughout the entire game. EVERY NPC. I need to get on it to draw inspiration.
I have to agree, these games did very well creating simplistic storylines for just about every NPC that you would come across in the various locations. Checking back with them after each major plot point would give you more insight into how their lives were progressing. I thought it was very well done.

I like the simplicity of having a central hub/town area. However, I think doing this well would take maybe as much dev time, if not more, than creating many towns. By 'done well' I mean that all the NPCs need to feel alive in their world. It can be quite an undertaking to develop some umpteen NPC characters along with the protagonists of the story. When you're going that route, you need to give the player an incentive to take the time to go back and speak with all these characters as well, which is probably more difficult to do than most of us think.
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,116
Reaction score
813
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I just realized the central town hub idea would fit very nicely with my game. Thx for bringing up this topic! However, this makes me wonder what purpose should other towns/cities serve... Or should those just not exist? I can understand making the town hub the player's "go-to" spot, but wouldn't a world w/ only 1 town feel kinda unrealistic? I really like the concept mechanically though.
 

HumanNinjaToo

The Cheerful Pessimist
Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
1,226
Reaction score
601
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Just because other towns exist doesn’t mean you need to go there right?

Other town visits could just be a cutscene. No exploration needed
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,116
Reaction score
813
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Ooh, good idea. Yea, I was basically wondering how I could portray other towns/cities to exist w/o requiring the player to go there.
 

Wavelength

MSD Strong
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
5,482
Reaction score
4,949
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Use the hub as a place for the player to "mentally relax" between dungeons - so have some things like minigames, skill-building or crafting, conversation (that progresses as you clear more dungeons), or anything else that you can think of that wouldn't balloon the scope so terribly that you're losing the development efficiency of a 1-town game. That will definitely spice things up and allow your player to grow attached to this hub town.
 

MerlinCross

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
149
Reaction score
57
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Oh geeze I'm getting a lot of feed back here, more than I was expecting. Thanks this has helped me out and given me some things to think on.

To expand on things a bit more, the current baseline looks something like this;
- Start the day in school, talk with NPCs, shop/trade with the clubs, and find out where you're supposed to go
- Go out to the 'dungeon' you were told about, and clear it, beating the boss and getting your next target.
- Next 'day' occurs, putting you back at school. New unlocks, NPCs quips, etc happens. Find info about next target
- And repeat as needed.

Do this about 4 times and the game is cleared. I plan on adding in another 2 bosses but want to try to get the 4 bosses first to kinda prove something to myself. Now I could add in smaller side locations like an arcade of some kind to help spice things up but currently most the stuff happens around school.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Profile Posts

I think I like to draw, but with pixels it seems difficult.

Making my character able to jump around the map because I'm bored and I already did my childhood "I'm bored" punishment of doing dishes.
Actor2_7 added!

Stream is running late, but will begin shortly with some Darkest Dungeon!

Forum statistics

Threads
103,080
Messages
997,106
Members
134,543
Latest member
MrFujioka
Top