When designing a world for a video game, I’ve found that I have to consider a lot more things than just the layout of the world and who inhabits it. I have to consider when and where those inhabitants are going to be encountered, as well as when, where, and how the players get to interact with those inhabitants.
In a recent conference with some of the other members of the design team, we talked about which races the players would be able to play from the onset of the game. We talked about other MMORPGs that are out there, such as World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online, Tera, and a list of a couple dozen more games. We looked at how many races each world boasted, how many the players could choose from as a playable character, and how many were put out of reach of the players.
Another aspect we covered was how and when other races were unlocked for players to partake of. One of the notable games that we used as an example, from both size and familiarity, was World of Warcraft.
The original game launched with eight playable races. Four for each of the two factions. Each of those races were fully represented in the world’s population, which included the non-player portion of the game world. There were a few other races that existed in the world that weren’t able to be controlled by players (and thus far still aren’t able to be played) but they still made up a portion of the world population.
The first expansion introduced two new races to the game, both of which had not been encountered previously in the game content. These races were placed into their own sections of the world that have previously been unavailable to players. The next expansion that introduced races at least included races that had been available in game to interact with, even if they weren’t playable at the time. Same with the last race they introduced.
It led to a discussion of pacing and when and how we were going to introduce other races. We discussed the whys for each of the races we had in the world. Why couldn’t people play them in the start? Why were they not participating in certain parts of our story? Why would they eventually be playable or not playable? Each part of the world was to be a working whole that integrated with the story.
The timeline for introducing new races to the players is one that we continue to bounce back and forth as we narrow down details. Our story has been tweaked on multiple occasions as we push races around the game (world) as well as change how certain elements of the story are going to be presented to the players.
Eventually we can to the decision that races that would eventually be playable would be found in the game previous to the players getting their hands on the controls for those races. They’d be able to see those races as a society, learn their motivations, and build a history with those particular races that were to be later released. This would make those races more meaningful to the players who had played with or against those particular races and see their entry into the story as more meaningful.
At least that’s the hope.
Personally, I’m enjoying the process of discovery. Sure, it’s a world that I’m building myself from scratch but I’m learning as my world continues to grow. The way the world builds connections within itself has given me a pleasant surprise on a number of occasions. It’s a great process and one I enjoy sharing with everyone here.
Anyway, keep an eye out for more information as we learn about the world of Entyl, the inhabitants, and maybe a bit of the history and story. I look forward to introducing you all to the Kraviks, the Ra’shan, the Woodlings, the Majestix, the Tarkat, the Sha’rii, and the Groka, in additional to all the other wonderful inhabitants of the world.
Keep an eye out for more information about the world of Entyl by following the various projects on facebook.
Game Design Studio Page:
And you can find the previous post about Entyl here: