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Quest development

Crocoapps editorial

Crocoapps editorial

Reading time: 12 minutes

Development of quest games

Game development is quite an interesting activity. You can compare it, perhaps, with the creation of the same world as the real one, only in virtuality. Thinking through the plot, game scenario, levels, design and much more - all this lies on the shoulders of one person or the whole company. The size of the development team depends on the complexity of the game. For example, MMORPG games that are difficult to develop even for professionals can only be produced by large studios with experienced specialists in this field. Arcade racing and action games can be developed by a small team of game designers, programmers, artists and PR people. Some game genres are within the power of even beginners in the field of game development. These genres include uncomplicated runners, platformers, various puzzles and everything that does not require balance adjustment and work with multiplayer.

Calling quest development an easy task would be somewhat of a misnomer. In five minutes, you will not be able to make an epic masterpiece that will gain millions of downloads on the first day. But having an understanding of screenwriting, or having a good screenwriter in your team, can significantly increase the chances of success of the final product. Quests also have their own classifications. It can be an animated book in which you make a decision from time to time. Or maybe a full-fledged game in which you continually first look for objects, then guess the riddle, decide on the character's further actions and go through the next level of the non-linear plot.

Pros and cons of quest game development

The advantages of developing quests include weak competition. And in fact, in the top of the best games, you are unlikely to come across any kind of quest. But, this does not mean that it will be possible to achieve success even with a low-quality product. Looking at the scenario of Machinarium and the graphics of Walking Dead, it immediately becomes clear that the developers wanted to surpass themselves, and they succeeded. Still, global companies do not tend to release quest games. This is good, because due to this, beginners have a better chance of success.

Of the shortcomings, only one can be distinguished - the plot and the script. The moment is very controversial, but still. The basis of all quests is precisely an exciting plot and a well-thought-out scenario. Therefore, if you are not able to independently come up with something that can intrigue from the first minute, it will be difficult. In this case, you should find a smart screenwriter who will make you such a plot that will draw you into the game from the first minute.

General tips for quest developers

There are many books on the Internet about game development of different genres. But, they all talk about one thing - the script. We will not voice the names, but looking through several manuals from different authors, there was a feeling that they copied from each other. We have found more interesting interviews with escape room experts, and highlighted the main points and subtleties that you should remember.

Bob Bates is the CEO of one of the companies that developed adventure games. The content that his studio created has been awarded various awards at famous festivals. Here's what Bob thinks about creating quests:

  1. Do not make the game monotonous.

There is no need to force the player to repeat the same thing several times. For example, if according to the plot of the game in one level it is planned to go from one room to another several times, give the opportunity to quickly move between them, bypassing the corridor, elevator and other elements that make you wait. Would you yourself be interested in solving the same puzzle twice in a row? Same with the player. Cyclicity is your main enemy in quest game development. By doing the same thing two or three times, the likelihood that your game will soon be removed rises to unprecedented heights. This is not to say that your entire game should be filled with 'skip' keys. Just don't set the same task twice in a row. Did the player find the item? Fine. So his next task should 100% not be looking for anything. Let him think about how it can be used, or solve the riddle associated with the find.

  1. Autosave.

Mistakes happen everywhere and always. There is nothing perfect in this world, including computers, hardware and games. What will be the disappointment of the player when the level passed by 98% crashes and closes the game? The mood after such moments obviously will not rise even among the most optimistic gamers. Program your application to automatically save progress on certain actions. It is not necessary to overload the processor and RAM system with every minute autosaves. Just make it so that after solving riddles, guessing codes and searching for various items, progress is automatically saved. Believe me, when the game ends abruptly, it will be much more pleasant for the player to continue it from the last place than to start over.

  1. Give the player freedom of action.

Don't take this interpretation as an open world in GTA V. If your game's virtual environment is quite large, don't force the player to spend a lot of time and effort on the road. Give the opportunity to press the 'skip' key, and you will be thanked for it.

  1. You have assembled a spectacular splash screen for your game, spent many days on its production and pasted it into the loading window.

It will be interesting for the player to watch it at the first launch. All subsequent times, spare him from your short film by pressing the 'skip' key. It might even be better not to show the trailer at all after the first run. According to statistics, 92% of players skip all the splash screen elements after the second launch. The loading window can be varied with various interesting facts about the game and tips.

  1. There are many dialogue scenes in quest (and not only) games.

The power of the word in such moments plays a key role. You will not buy a player with any graphics if, during the dialogues, the characters carry complete nonsense that does not intrigue the player in any way. Entrust this mission to a professional if you are not strong in literature. A good screenwriter, having worked on the plot of the game, will be able not only to perfectly build dialogues between characters, but also to make the plot as intriguing as possible. You can also develop your literary abilities with books. But, this is good for self-education, and not a way to save money on a professional screenwriter.

  1. In developing games of any genre, the main thing is to think like a player.

Put yourself in the place of the one who will pass the next level of your game. This is the only way you can experience the emotions and feelings that come to the player. Think about what might be missing at certain stages and provide the player with what they want. Weigh the intrigue of each moment of the game and exclude everything that seems uninteresting to the player. Develop this gift in yourself, thanks to which you can succeed in all game genres.

  1. Every game should have its own support team.

Players may have some problems, difficulties or suggestions that they want to express. Don't ignore similar bug reports or development suggestions from many players. If 60% of your audience wants to add something new, conduct a survey on the site or implement a pop-up window with an offer right in the game. Of course, it is not necessary to strictly follow all the instructions. If you are certain that some elements will remain fundamentally unchanged, then do so. Perhaps in the future it will become a key feature of your game.

  1. Before you start developing your game, ask yourself a few questions.

Why, for what and for whom did you decide to develop? Mercantile motives, boredom or a thirst to create - what prompted you to translate an idea into reality? Believe me, if you bypass this advice, the final result may not bring the effect you expect. There are no official studies on this. But, as practice shows, the desire to create always wins over the desire to earn more.

  1. If you were into action games before developing quests, consider all the preferences of quest players.

Explore the audience, find out what quest players like, and only then start developing. In no case do not combine elements of different genres. No need to add epic armed fights to calm graphical quests. This is unlikely to attract the attention of players. Make an interesting quest game, taking into account the wishes of the players, and then you will see good download statistics for your content and good audience ratings.

  1. Constantly difficult riddles and insurmountable obstacles are unlikely to keep anyone for long.

Before you add another 'complex puzzle' to the game, let your friends or children guess it. Select an audience of 10 people and calculate the average time that was spent on solving the problem. We do not think that it was interesting for you to sit for an hour on one puzzle. The optimal time for solving should not exceed 5-7 minutes. Of course, children and adults think differently, so the time will be drastically different. To do this, the games have difficulty levels. Prompt the player to enter their age on first launch and automatically set the difficulty to suit them.

Adhering to all the recommendations, you will be able to create the kind of content that at least will not be talked about badly. Of course, here you need to take into account the professionalism of your team. Because a game made on the knees, even with all the advice, is unlikely to get into the top of the best of its genre. If you are new to this business, then start with some simple quest based on the principle of an animated book. This will be the best option to get some experience in this genre. The development of complex horror and survival games, which are also partly considered quests, can only be done by an experienced team. Players of such genres will be waiting for your answer not only with a decent plot, but also with excellent graphics, effects, sound design and customized balance if the game has multiplayer.

Even uncomplicated quests in development can achieve heights in the top of their genre. For example, Machinarium, which was originally on PC and later released for mobile platforms, reached 4 million downloads in 2016. The story about a robot that must catch a criminal at the behest of the mayor has been in development for three years. During this time, the developers have repeatedly rethought many game elements, including the plot. Only $1,000 was invested in the PR campaign of the final product. But on the other hand, one can imagine how much profit the developers received from so many downloads. Of course, they did not create the game for profit, and certainly not out of boredom. First of all, the studio was aimed at gaining the attention of fans of the genre and attracting new players to the world of quests. Take an example from such companies, and then your games will not only be used by avid gamers, but also be of interest to newcomers to the virtual world.


Crocoapps editorial

Crocoapps editorial