- Dec 27, 2012
- Reaction score
- First Language
- Primarily Uses
Doing things with two players and a guest is perfectly fine.
Good luck on your game.
Good luck on your game.
I hope it can work because im doing a similar system. My story focuses around a student and master and that relationship. Like your story I want to focus around 2 characters and introduce minor and side characters to strengthen the story of the main 2.The plan currently is to have a series of quest lines that stretch throughout the game. Side quests that main characters can advance with that particular guest after they meet in the main story. So it's more recurring.characters at the moment. It is a waste for one time uses I agree.
To provide some context. The idea is for the main 2 characters as treasure hunters and adventurers for hire to periodically get swept up in or join other people's quests for money and rewards. Their own main objectives is a seperate quest.
I love it all! Well said good sir.Why I like it
Personally, I enjoy the 2+X party system (2 main characters plus X number of guests) for the following reasons:
Some thoughts on mechanics
- Breaks up the 'traditional' jRPG (and RPG Maker) trope of 4 party members
- Deeper level of narrative relationship between 2 main characters rather than 4+ (if there's a good story, of course!)
- The guests can be more unique than standard party members (this could be debated; I'm speaking in generalities here)
- In general, main characters have to be altruistic (i.e. "save the world"), or at least aligned to the plot of the game.
- Guests can be totally wacky, crazy, and unique because they don't have to align to the traditional.
- One of the things I dislike about many games is - "Oh you delivered that package for me? Great, now I'm going to follow you and risk my life against monsters and be loyal to you for the rest of my life as a main party member"
- If the player makes a choice that a guest doesn't like - they can leave. You can also have more realistic reasons for guests wanting to risk their life (like money, glory, fame, etc.)
I think the mechanics questions to ask yourself in creating this kind of system could include:
- Will the guests participate in battle?
- Will the player choose the guest, or will the guest be added/removed according to the progression of the game?
- Are any guests missable? (if played a certain way, a guest can't be added to the party).
- Can any guests have perma-death? (based on the decisions of the player, a guest can be lost forever).
- Can guests influence the player's choices? (if I have a "rebel" guest, will they influence me to overthrow the "evil" king? if I have a "noble" guest, will they influence me to destroy the "anarchist" rebels?).
- Can guests provide strategic/tactical depth to the game? Meaning, abilities (even outside of battle) that allow the player to solve the game's challenges in different ways depending on which guest is recruited.
You mentioned earlier about how to communicate to the player early on what to expect. I think the classic show them, don't tell them adage applies here. One idea is to change the menu. The default RPG Maker menu has 4 spots on the status window, which makes players think they'll have 4 party members.
Instead, you could change the menu so it focuses on 2 main members with a separate sub-menu for the guest(s).
(note: questions about how to do this would be better on the support forums, but questions of why to do this are totally cool in this thread)
Another example of this done well
One of my favorite RPGs is Dark Cloud 2 / Dark Chronicle which had two main characters.
- The prologue was just main character A and chapter 1 was just main character B, after that it was the two main characters together.
- The guests did not fight, but they provided passive bonuses to the main characters.
- The guests were integral to the meta-strategy of the game. It had a world-building component, so the "policeman" guest and the "mechanic" guest had different uses related to this. Even the "street urchin" guest had a use.
- Once unlocked, the guest could always be recruited again (if you remembered where they lived XD )
Sorry for the wall of text, I tried to spice it up with formatting