Situating Quests: Design Patterns for Quest and Level Design in Role-Playing Games

Gillian Smith, Ryan Anderson, Brian Kopleck, Zach Lindblad, Lauren Scott, Adam Wardell, Jim Whitehead, Michael Mateas. Situating Quests: Design Patterns for Quest and Level Design in Role-Playing Games. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS 2011),Vancouver, Canada, November 28 – December 1, 2011.

Abstract

The design of role-playing games (RPGs) is very complex, involving an intricate interweaving of narrative, quest design, and level design. As an important means for conveying the game‟s story, quests dictate the setting and contents of levels. Levels provide challenges for the player to overcome in the service of completing quests, and their structure can invite the inclusion of certain kinds of quests. This paper presents an analysis of design patterns present in existing RPGs that aims to better understand such relationships. These patterns identify common design practices for quests and levels at many different levels of granularity.

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