Beginning segments critical to creating effective RPGs

In a standard RPG or JRPG, it’ll be a good hour at the most before you get into real gameplay where the game won’t hold your hand. These beginning segments can either hook you onto a game or drive you away.

At the heart of the problem, it depends on a person’s mind set, but it can also have to do with the game itself. Sometimes a game’s starting area is so long, it’s just boring. There are simple factors to make a starting area exciting.

First, establish your main character. Yes, it’s true, with most games, you are the main character. However, you still need to establish that. Besides basic character creation, if the game has that, what is their life? Why will they get thrown into the world? These questions and more should be established.

Next, relationships are important. Does our character have friends who will fight with them? Do they have a rival? Do they have a mentor?

If your character is a blank slate with little to nothing established, the game’s starting section is going to be long and dull. The goal of a starting area is to hook you in. Even if your character has no friends, it is pretty easy to get them some in the starting area.

As said earlier, starting areas are, on average, at most an hour long, with some stretching longer if it’s an open world. With this in mind, what’s stopping them from having character A meeting a character B while journeying and they become friends? It’s a tad cliche, but a lot of games follow worse cliches.

Finally, some story should be established. This is hard to do well, but most RPGs do it amazingly.

To do this right, you must show bits of the story in the starting area and raise questions. After this, you must have your character face something that is stronger than expected, or that is out of the ordinary. By doing this, you help establish a character more and help raise questions that you want answered.

These answers that you want will usually be what drives you to play more of the game. However, it has to be a perfect sweet spot. It can’t be giving away a lot of the story, but it can’t stay almost nothing. The story has to reveal just enough to hook you onto the game, then let the game itself take the sail, so to speak, from there.

When replaying a game, the tutorial can be repetitive, with annoying characters who hold your hand to much, and other things. However this area is required for the game to flow right.

A lot of the time in an RPG, you’ll obtain an item in the first dungeon that you don’t understand but later becomes useful. At other times, the starting area is just to establish the world.

There are many ways to build a starting area. Some games do it well, like the Legend of Zelda series, and others not as well, like some Pokemon games. If you get through it and you’re still playing, the game should get a lot better.

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