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Don't Ask Questions Until the Player Can Answer
Editorial - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Thu 4 August 2011, 09:08:29Tags: Avernum: Escape from the Pit; Jeff Vogel; Spiderweb Software
As Jeff Vogel gets older and wiser he also gains new insights into gamedesign. In this blogpost of his he explains how to make a character system more welcoming while at the same time maintaining - and even improving - the customization-options.
You start out with a ton of skill points, so that you can majorly customize your character from the beginning. You can use skill points to increase base attributes or regular skills, but the base attributes are expensive. However, it could break the system if a player put a huge amount of skill points in certain skills. To limit this, I made increasing a skill cost more skill points the higher you trained it. At high levels, you might have to save up for two or three levels to get enough skill points to raise a major skill one point.
Think about this. It's a system where the more you play and learn about the challenges facing you, the less you can do to customize your characters. You have to make most of the big changes at low level, when skills are cheap. Worse, it was necessary to increase the base attributes to survive (especially Endurance, which increases health), but they were so expensive that doing so required careful planning. As a result of this mess, many players had problems with getting halfway through the game and finding that they were not strong enough to proceed. These players got angry at me, and justifiably so.
Spotted at: RPGWatch