What is No Room For Heroes?

No Room for Heroes is a turn based RPG with its roots deep in early J-RPG work, but stylized like a fighting game. Our goal with NRFH is to reverse a lot of the cliche’s and tropes of RPGs and analyze each core feature to make sure it is being optimized for the player. We are looking at every possible opportunity to refine or challenge an idea in RPGs that has been around longer than we have. There are three core instances where we are focusing our efforts. First and foremost…

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Story: It is important to us that the story is an integral part of the player’s experience. This is an RPG! For some games story is all you end up with… but we want to make sure that we aren’t just regurgitating the same story you’ve heard before. Instead, we will be looking at a standard RPG world from a different perspective, the perspective of the “enemies.” When a story is told from a “Heroes” point of view it demonizes monsters with no explanation. The main villain gets an evil backstory with a plot to destroy the world, but what about everyone else? You spend 90% of the game killing slimes, wolves, eyeballs, Kobolds, goblins, demons and gelatinous cubes, but what did they do to deserve this kind of treatment? That’s where our story starts. From their perspective the “Heroes” are a menace to society, killing the stragglers from the village and pillaging their homes. “Heroes” kill monsters for no reason except for that’s just what “Heroes” do! Well no more. In our story you will follow four baddies that are teaming up to take down these so called “Heroes” and bring a real peace to their world.

Second we have…

Attachment-1 (1)Storytelling & DialogueA staple of RPGs are complicated worlds, stories, politics and characters. This usually manifests in long series of text and long winded conversations with NPCs or cut-scenes that drag on and on and on and on and on and on. This is a challenge for storytelling because you want to disperse information to the player while also maintaining their attention. We understand that long dialogue is something that a lot of players enjoy from RPGs, but for our game we are going to do our best to eliminate all dialogue. In its place we will be implementing a comic book styled panel system that will tell information through a series of images. It is still unclear whether we will include any dialogue in the game or tweak this system, but our main goal is to eliminate the time the player spends reading.

Lastly…

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Combat & Menus: In a large amount of RPGs the player is forced to scroll or read through long lists of menus in order to select his moves or use an item. It is fun in games to have a large variety of attacks, specials or items to use, but this can become overwhelming in the scale of menus. Sometimes an attack or item is buried in two or three menus and increased not only the time to get to it, but the amount of button presses it takes to get there. In many games, the player will resort to a handful of attacks that he or she likes best and the other 80% of available moves go unused or only used in specialty situations. There are a few things that we are doing to eliminate these menu systems in our game. The first thing is to remove the menu all together. A lot of RPGs were built originally for PC or on controllers with limited buttons, but in today’s gaming world we have a lot of buttons, switches, clicks and triggers at our disposal, yet a lot of games only utilize the “A” or “X” key. Instead, we are going to be utilizing the four face buttons of the controller as a selection for moves. “X” will allow you to select standard attacks, “Y” will allow you to select special moves, “B” will allow you to select items to use, and “A” will allow you to select specific actions. Since we don’t want to limit the player to only four options in a fight we will be using joystick directions to broaden the player’s options. For instance, left+A will be a different attack than right+A, but both will be standard attacks. This gives the player 16 unique options for each of their four characters. That’s 64 available options in combat. We believe this is more than enough for the player to feel like they have dynamic battling options without overwhelming them. Additionally, the player will be able to equip and unequip their special moves as they grow in level allowing the player to customize to their fighting style. Lastly, it requires the player to be more connected with their characters. They are required to remember what each character can do in their class instead of just spamming the most powerful move. The second part of eliminating menus comes with the player’s health and stamina (a resource we will be using, but I wont go in to) a character’s health and stamina will not be shown while it is not that character’s turn. This will require the player to pay attention to their characters and the attacks their enemies are using (and to whom). Many times players will “zone-out” during combat due to their strength. This will engage our player further into the game and create an additional strategy level without overwhelming the player.

So that’s the short (long) of it! These are the ideas we are working with and designing around. The game is early in development, but we will post an update each week about where the game is headed and what has changed as well as post character design and so forth. Thanks for checking in!

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