In this article, I talk about the different quest types commonly found in adventure games and make a plan for how to implement them in my dream game.
Common RPG Quest Types
Questing is an important and expected part of any RPG. Quests help players explore the world, gain experience, and learn about the world around them. Quests can be a way to make money, tell a story, or improve your characters over time.
Before I get too far into development, I want to be sure I can create the most common quest types found in adventure games.
There are four basic quest categories, each containing a few types of quests.
The major quest categories and their subtypes are:
- Introduction Quests - Learn about the world around you. Low danger and risk level.
- Travel Quests - Go to places in the zone, and discover new districts, roads, and landmarks.
- Talk Quests - Gather information about people, places, and things in the zone and the world beyond the boundaries of the zone.
- Discovery Quests - Interact with the different people, places, and things you encountered during the exploration quests. Low danger, low risk.
- Collection Quests - Now that you know where to find certain things, you can begin collection quests and gather resource quests.
- Interaction Quests - Learn more about the world by interacting with the things you found during Exploration Quests.
- Progression Quests - Show mastery of the area by crafting things and using game mechanics to your advantage. Low danger, low risk.
- Crafting Quests - Create items and equipment or other things required to complete quests or advance the plot.
- Faction Quests - Show the player how to change status with factions in this zone.
- Using Quests - Use items in the world to advance storylines.
- Fighting Quests - Defeating bad guys is expected in most adventure games.
- Finale Quests - Defeat enemies, bosses, or other gatekeepers and move into the next part of the story or the next zone. Moderate to high risk, moderate to high danger.
- Mastery Quests - These types of quests are usually associated with completing dungeons.
- Boss Quests - Fighting a big boss or gatekeeper that is preventing you from moving to the next part of the story.
We'll examine each of these quest templates and make sure they are appropriate additions to my dream game.
Also known as Exploration Quests, these introduction quests help the player learn more about the area or zone they are in. What resources are around? Where can you find a healer and shops? Where can you find rumors? Where can you find enemies to fight? Where are the landmarks and other points of interest? What's going on in the world around the PC? What is "out there", beyond the local area?
Exploration quests are great for helping the player learn the lore of your game and the lore of the local area.
Travel quests are usually the safest type of quest. They simply involve going from point A to point B. Sometimes the quest requires you to go to a certain place and return.
Use these quests as a way to show the player where all the points of interest are in the local zone. Players need to know where to find respawn points, shops, enemies, landmarks, crafting materials, and passageways in and out of the zone.
Some variations of Travel Quests include:
- Go scout an area and return with info.
- Deliver an item to an NPC.
- Discover all the landmarks in the zone.
- Discover secret or hidden areas
Pick the type of Travel Quest that best suits the zone and the story you are trying to tell.
Try to avoid back and forth travel quests; they can be tedious. Also, allow for one-way travel quests. If the player wants to go back, maybe they can find a quest for the return trip, making it optional.
Your players will want to learn about the lore of their world, such as who are the important people, what types of strife or conflicts there are, and gather rumors about where to find people, places, things, and information that advances the story.
Be creative with talk quests. You can "talk" to anything. Try talking to an animal, a book, a bookshelf, a computer, a signpost, a locked door, a wallet or key you find on the ground, a lost child, a haunted well, or a bug.
Anything you can interact with could be a way to initialize a narrative dialog or an interactive dialog. Try to think out-of-the-box when designing Talk Quests.
Now that the player has been introduced to the area through exploration, it's time to expand upon that knowledge a bit and make use of what the player has learned about the zone and notable locations and personalities within it.
Expansion quests allow the player to show that they know where to find resources, enemies, shops, quests, points of interest, and sources of income.
Expansion Quests can be combined with other quest types. Travel and Kill quests are commonly paired with Collection and Interaction quests.
You're probably already familiar with the "Gather x items" quest, but collection quests don't have to be that boring.
Be creative about things the player can collect.
- Travel to the library and collect information about a topic.
- Talk to the Mayor about the history of the city.
- Collect different types of bugs from the Royal Gardens.
- Collect all the pieces of a broken item.
- Collect all the parts to an armor set.
- Collect herbs for the local alchemist.
- Collect materials for crafting or to sell at the shop.
There are all kinds of things, both physical and intangible, that could be collected.
Interaction Quests help the player learn more about the world by interacting with things.
Ideas for things to interact with:
Although mechanical items are the obvious types of things to interact with, you could probably come up with a list of other things, specific to your game, that would be worth interacting with.
Try to make sure the interactions are natural and mesh well with your story. Don't have plyers pushing buttons for no apparent reason.
These types of quests allow the player to build up their power and status within the zone. Players use what they learned in previous stages to advance and prosper. The player learns how to create things and use them to their advantage in the game. Quests of these types can make the player expend a lot of their resources, like potions, scrolls, gear, or money.
The player is given tasks that help them advance their crafting skills.
These help the player increase their reputation with factions in the game, possibly unlocking new skills or abilities along the way.
The player is given quests where they must use things they have gained in this zone.
This could mean using potions, resources, or items the player may have been hoarding. It can also mean using weapons and armor appropriate for encountering enemies in this zone.
These quests are meant to help the player become familiar with ways of overcoming enemies. It doesn't have to be actual fighting, it could be whatever method your game uses for overcoming "enemies" or other obstacles.
Fighting quests help the player prepare to fight the Zone Boss in the Finale Quest.
These quests ramp up the difficulty and deliver a satisfying transition to the next area or zone.
These help the player demonstrate mastery over all the elements of the zone.
These can take the form of clearing a dungeon or enemy stronghold, fighting enemy Captains, or defeating low-level bosses.
These quests are the true finale of the zone. The Big Bad Guy faces off against the player in an epic battle, or series of battles.
Implementing Quests In My Dream Game
In the next few episodes of my devlog, I'll talk about how I plan to integrate these quest types into my game.
Players come to games with certain expectations, and if you want to keep your players happy you'll have to deliver on these expectations.
Is it possible to create an adventure game or MMORPG without quests? Yes. However, for my first game, I don't plan to explore new frontiers, I am more interested in accomplishing things players expect in regular adventure games.
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Your Turn. What Do You Do?
What types of quests are your favorite?
Tell me about it in the Comments Section. I'm interested in learning more about what makes a great quest.
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