THE One-Man Indie!
- Sep 22, 2013
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Every RPG deals with this mechanic. It's one of the most important features in designing a role-playing game. I've also seen this feature called RECRUITMENT; due to the fact that, in many cases, you have to acquire them for your party. In fact, there have been games devoted solely to who and how you build your party.
Unless you've been living rock a rock for say the past twenty years, you seen games that have done this. Pokemon is the most notable example. Some much so, that it created a new term: monster taming/collection. Other games of note in this vein are Digimon. Dragon Warrior/Quest Monsters, and the lesser known grandfather of this phenomenon, Shin Megami Tensei. These games recruit through force, meaning the player has to either weaken and capture the foe or earn their respect in battle.
Other RPGs handle recruitment in a similar way, but they also can go about it, either through storyline, questing, etc. The Final Fantasy franchise, has used mostly the plot to help gather party members, with some questing thrown in. Suikoden II will have you gaining party members just as a result of completing certain missions.
There have even been RPG Maker games that have used recruitment in interesting ways. Middens, an RPG Maker XP game (and a personal favorite of mine), gives you the ability to summon party members with spells you get throughout playing. In Gladatora, another great RPG Maker game made on the MV version engine, some characters will join you based on the reputation you gain as you play. Monstructs: Makers and Mayhem, my longest running project, has you actually MAKING additions to your party. Also, Slime Kingdom, will let you recruit members in many different ways.
As fellow Game devs, how would you go about, or what was your favorite game, using this mechanic?