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  The Modern RPG and Inventory Systems  (Read 2102 times)
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Offline azdaspaz818

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Exp: 1-3 months


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« Posted 2014-02-18 02:02:48 »

Hi, all!
I have been designing a new project recently to work on while I study at University Smiley I am about to start designing the inventory system and how it will work. I have decided to go with a 5*5 inventory layout and was wondering about bag space. Bag space is something I have always grappled with, because it is incredibly stupid being able to carry around 4 bags, each filled with 500 kg of armour and weaponry.

However, I want to know what you guys think about bags in inventory systems? I also want to know whether it is a better idea to have the inventory as one flowing inventory, with each bag adding space into it; or to have slots representing each bag, and having each bag separate from the main inventory.



My other idea was to have the inventory like in Diablo, where each piece of equipment takes up a certain number of slots. This is more challenging and appeals to a smaller audience, which is one worry of creating an indie game; that you want to reach as wide an audience as possible. However, this is a far more realistic approach. Should I trade realism for ease of use?



Alternatively, I could go with an Elder Scrolls approach, by giving each item a weight value, and only allow the user to carry a certain weight amount, or debuff them if they hit that weight limit. I feel this is really too messy for a 2D RPG, but can work well in a 3D RPG. However, this gives an incentive to all players to increase their Strength (or similar) attribute; to increase carrying capacity.

So what do you think about bag space?

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Offline ctomni231

JGO Wizard


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« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-02-18 02:35:34 »

Erm, from my experience, if you are trying to reach a wide audience... the simpler you can make the mechanics the better.

I personally don't mind complex inventory systems if they are explained well. However, trying to be all super realistic with the system doesn't work either. Even in games like HALO, they are allowed to pull huge objects out of thin air. The fact is that, this is a game and you have to think about how easy it'll be for a player to understand the concept of your game.

For me, I like inventory systems that can fit on one screen. Nothing is more annoying to me than to have to scroll through 1000 items to find that special item for a door or weapon you want to craft. Usually, if you can craft things together easily, find the item you want to wield, or the items automatically react to the world, I don't see a problem. But scrolling inventory items looking for specifics bugs me in games a lot.

In your case, keep it simple and try to have number representations for items of the same type to keep scrolling to a minimum. The type of bag usually doesn't matter to me as long as you can safely carry everything you need in your world without having to worry about backtracking. Having memorable names that give little hints to what the item does really helps a lot as well.

Inventory systems primary goal is to help players see the interactions between the items and your game world. As long as the inventory makes sense in the environment it is in, it'll go a long way into improving the experience of the player.

Offline Roquen
« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-02-18 08:19:35 »

I've never found any fun factor in weight limitations.
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Offline Damocles
« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-02-18 10:56:44 »

Another choice: only let the player have 2 or 3 weapons and no inventory.
This way the player must pic up the appropriate weapon for the mission.
(by far the most realistc one). Games like FarCry or Arma use this approach.

The question is: do you want a game where you collect (and thus have to spend time managing your stuff)
or do you want to have the player just choose the appropriate equipment for the current mission.

Collecting stuff ist fun, whereas running back and forth to sell your worthles pickups is not.
Also looking at the stats of every pickup can be annoying micromanagement.

In Two worlds Two, they chose a nice solution: you can break up any item into resources, that
can be used to improve your favored items.
This way you are not forced to run to the dealer for every pickup, but can salvage it.

The inventory system to choose is realy a question if your game is item-stat centered or mission configuration centered

Offline ironbelly

Junior Newbie





« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-03-19 21:45:06 »

We are designing some inventories right now and contemplating a lot of the same questions.  Overall the less work you can take away from the player in terms of organizing the better

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Offline Varkas
« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-03-19 23:27:20 »

I made my decision for item size (2D grid, some items can stack), and a weight limit. But e.g. features like a weight limit must fit together with the rest of the game system - in D2 a starting player had a str of 10-20 but could top out at more than 300 str. Do you really want a high level char to carry 10 or 20 times more than a new character?

Just make it so that it fits your game. Numerous inventory systems were made, and all have their merits.

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