In your opinion, what are the key ingredients that every RPG should have?
An RPG is a role-playing game, so you are playing a role – that is, you are making choices about the protagonist. In some RPGs the only choice you make is which stat to increase when you level up. A good RPG, I feel, gives you more meaty choices. To do that, you must do three things:
- Establish a setting with versimilitude. It doesn’t have to be a simulation of reality, but it needs to have enough internal consistency that the player buys into it. Then the player can feel “grounded.”
- Create groups or individuals about whom the player has a sense of investment. In Fo3, you are trying to find your father, and since the entire tutorial section has interactions with your dad, this establishes a tie and a sense of character investment . . .
- Give the player choices that impact that setting and that investment. The “slideshow” at the end of Fo1 (and now at the end of many an RPG) gives you a sense of closure . . .
Interview with one of the people who made the first Fallout such a great game.