Killing off the main character, and replacing them with a new one.

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Aquachubolt

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And not only the main character. The rest of the party as well. You would essentially be starting from scratch with a whole new set of characters.

I ask because I plan on doing this. My story is effectively divided into two parts, where in Part One all the characters either die or are otherwise incapacitated near the end, and the story time-skips to a new main character in Part Two. But I'm having a few problems in knowing how exactly I want to handle this restart.

Problem One) The story is already kicked off and running at this point. Despite essentially starting over, I'm having trouble introducing the new MC because this also ISN'T the beginning of the game. I feel like the normal exposition and tutorial style missions I'd include to get the ball rolling in an appropriate fashion just wouldn't work here, like it would be an abrupt change of pace from everything that just happened before it.

Problem 2) I don't know what power level the player should start at after the switch. Starting from level one again would be annoying, but the level also can't be that high that it essentially removes an early game from the game.

I'm sure that with enough trial and error and experimentation, I could figure these out on my own, but I feel like it could be an interesting topic of discussion so I'll ask here anyway.
 

ashikai

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This kinda seems like a perfect opportunity to do two games, TBH. A prequel and a sequel. That gives you an excuse to use clear data + reset everyone to level 1, etc.
 

AMGLime

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Yeah, this sounds more like a Two Game situation.
 

Warpmind

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I second the motion - this sounds like a game-and-sequel setup, rather than a new segment of the same game.
 

AlwaysPrinceLeo

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I remember playing Record of Agarest War and at the end of every segment, they would replace the MAIN character and his soulmates with his offspring and throw in three new soulmates specifically for that new boy. And the game did that a few times (like 3+). But the game kept all the returning characters' levels and put the boy at the recommended level for that segment of that game.

But I'm sure you're probably only doing this once, but from what you've said, it has similarities.

So, maybe go that route in doing it? If you want to do an entire new cast, then you'll want to start the new MC and all the initial party at the recommended level for that segment of the game, and make sure the levels will be balanced with every new character recruited and everyone will be able to keep up if you throw them into battle with all the starting equipment that they'll come with.

But if you want to continue the segment at ALL the new characters at LV 1, then go for it. Even if you take everyone's opinion and do a prequel/sequel chain with it, then that's cool too.

Record of Agarest War
was just a good analogy for me. It was also a very loooooooong~ game, average 70+ hours but it had a good idea I've never seen before! Might be a factor you wanna take into consideration too. Length of how long you want your game in the end :kaojoy:
 

Aoi Ninami

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I don't agree that splitting it into two games is the only way to handle this; it's one way. Only you can decide what's more appropriate for your game.

Killing off the characters we've been following all game so far would be a major surprise to the player, so I think it would actually be appropriate to allow them some time to adjust by having the next part of the game be a relative breather. You wouldn't need to tutorialise the basic "how to play the game" all over again, but if there's anything about how to play with the new characters that's drastically different, then yes, give the player some introduction to the new mechanics.

As for levels, that depends entirely on balance relative to the enemies. If the enemies are all-new as well, then starting from Level 1 isn't a problem. In fact, it could be a good thing because there's more room to grow the new characters and allow the player choice over how to develop them.
 

Palin

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Phantasy Star did this (I think it was III - perhaps others as well). You would play as one set of characters and eventually get married/form an alliance. Then the game would pick back up as your child and go from there - I believe there were a couple different generations/skips, too. Unfortunately, I played this as a child so I don't remember all the details you were after. You might want to consider checking it out.

Caution, though, I remember this game had particularly negative reviews. I can't recall if that was because of this "generational" feature, or something else.
 

MMMm

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If you did this, I'd suggest including the MC of the second party as the bratty companion of the main character from the very start. He or she isn't very competent and needs lots of levels to get good. The main character then sacrifices their life and the party as well to save this character, who forms their own party and continues on. You wouldn't have a leveling issue since only the new MC would be powerful. The new characters would eventually catch up to them.


This is much more personal since you can do a grudge match with whatever killed the other guys. The new MC would also have survivor's guilt, wondering why they had to survive when greater men/women than themselves died. I'd suggest using an environmental hazard, such a plane of existence they're in exploding rather than an unwinnable battle. That way the player won't waste items or anything trying to win a fight the story won't let them succeed at.
 

Llareian

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I do agree that this SOUNDS like a two-game idea, but obviously you have a reason for wanting this in one game.

I think another way to deal with the "leveling up again would be boring" aspect would be if these characters had a slightly different ability set. The entire party might have the same abilities overall, but each character is unique from the original party. Like if each character has two types of abilities they can use, switch up the combinations.

Or you could use a jump cut to start the second party out slightly ahead of "starting over". If you need to introduce them as newbies, you can use combat-free scenes to introduce their story and when they get to a combat part, just skip ahead a little bit to the part where now they're not SUPER new, they have a few abilities and can hold their own.

Also make sure the personalities of the second party are distinct from the first. You don't want it just to feel like "well, this is the same party, I don't know why you took all my levels away".
 

Marcial

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You could make it like if you get further ahead with your original party, you give the new one more bonus or items from the old party, but if your original party performs poorly then the new ones start in a weaker situation.
 

Vincent Chu

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Phantasy Star did this (I think it was III - perhaps others as well). You would play as one set of characters and eventually get married/form an alliance. Then the game would pick back up as your child and go from there - I believe there were a couple different generations/skips, too. Unfortunately, I played this as a child so I don't remember all the details you were after. You might want to consider checking it out.

Caution, though, I remember this game had particularly negative reviews. I can't recall if that was because of this "generational" feature, or something else.
I vaguely remember not liking Phantasy Star: Generations of Doom that much. I never completed it though.

I think you can at least allow the new party to either inherit or discover the inventory left behind by the dead party though. Otherwise, it might be frustrating if the player spent a while on collecting rare and valuable items just to suddenly lose it all.
 

Rhaeami

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There's precedent for simply transferring the levels/items/etc of your previous party on to their replacements, if the plot point is all that you're after.

One thing to keep in mind: You asked about what level to start the new characters at, but that's actually irrelevant. The shock of a party swap isn't that they're "weaker", it's that they're disconnected. Even if they're *stronger*, the most important point is that what the player did up until then doesn't matter anymore. That's what you should be thinking about.
 

Vincent Chu

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I just remembered that in Magna Carta, the heroine dies and gets replaced by her sister whom happens to have the same attributes and equipment she did. It's just another example that's all. Thought I'd mention it.
 

Kes

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'General Discussion' is not for feedback on individual, specific games. That is why we have started the 'Ideas and Prototypes' section of the forum.

If you want to discuss an aspect of your particular game, that is where you need to post. I cannot move this thread there as it is a moderated forum, except for the thread 'Ideas which don't deserve their own thread'.

I am, therefore, closing this.

 
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