“I have to go where? and talk to who?”
“Really! I just came from there.”
“Ugh, I’m walking in circles!”
Have you ever felt this way while playing a quest-driven game?
Do you find yourself yelling at your screen wondering what kind of guild master would assign such ridiculous missions?
Do you long for the opportunity to take the reigns and manage your own guild?
Don’t despair! The Quest Giver is here to make those dreams a reality. The gang at Restless Studios flips the script on the player and tasks them with creating and assigning missions to a ragtag group of adventurers.
They’re not only creating a game, they’re creating a new genre of games, making it difficult to classify. Read more about this unique approach to game development below and find out if you have what it takes to be a Quest Giver.
Much like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel, Quest Giver endows the player with the task of scripting their own journey through this adventure.
This game is very unique in the level of authorship it gives the player. What inspired you to turn the tables on the player to create their own quest?
We really felt like it was time for a perspective switch, and time to see what happens on the other side of the curtain of any fantasy roleplaying game. We’ve played a lot of these games and wanted to create a game in a fantasy world, but decided to approach from another direction.
What kind of similarities are there between managing a guild and managing a production studio for indie games?
Well, in both cases you have to create quests/tasks and evaluate what has to be done exactly and how long it might take. The only difference is that we have to complete these “quests” ourselves, while in a guild the adventurers do that for you.
Every game is obviously very different in its mission and it’s results. Have you any idea how many different storylines are imaginable?
We plan on having five storylines in total. The reason is fairly simple: each storyline comes with a unique adventurer class, and we have five different general class types (melee, ranged, etc.).
This way we’ll have a storyline correlating to each class type. The game will have three storylines by the time it releases. We also plan on creating one of the additional storylines with a player (as seen in the Brightlocker reward). If no one shows up for that, we’ll create that particular storyline with the whole community.
You recently added 12 more quest types. How does each quest type differ from one another?
Some of them come with new mechanics, and some of them are just a little more specific than before. Let’s get some examples: there are new mechanics like “Utilize”, where you can choose a quest item and use that on a fiend, an object, a person or a location. And then there are types like “Search” and “Scout” that just differ in their targets. You can “search” for a person or an item”, but you can only “scout” out fiends, to find out more about them.
What kind of specifics can the player alter in their Quest?
During the quest creation you will have access to all the information you have gathered. You will have a bestiary to choose fiends from, a book for materials, a book for notable people, a worldmap, and of course access to your storage to choose a reward from. All these books contain detailed info on the topic they cover. That means in the bestiary you can not only select a target fiend, but also an item that fiends drops, or on the worldmap you can also select specifics like a person living in that region or a certain landmark from that region, and so on.
How many parameters you will have to select depends on the quest type you choose. Also, the game will not limit you in your quest decisions. You can choose whatever you want. Even create nonsense quests. That way we hope to create a more realistic feeling, but also increase the game’s difficulty.
Once the Quest details have been scripted, adventurers will apply for the task. Do these adventurers change from play to play or are they set characters? And can you describe them to us?
The adventurers are never the same. They are randomly created for each quest. Of course there will be some legendary heroes that are set characters, but that’s end game content only.
Each adventurer comes with a name, a title, a class and level, attributes like strength and health etc., a trait, a skill, and a picture. There will be 25 different adventurer classes with release.
Quest Giver has a lighthearted humorous feel to it. What inspired you to make a game that doesn’t take itself so seriously?
The game was just aching for a parodistic approach. The fantasy genre is huge, and over time a lot of things have gathered up that are worth making fun of; in a positive way of course. We love the genre with all its little quirks and weird occurrences everyone takes for granted. For example, quests that say: “Hey, go and talk to that guy over there and give him this message.” and the guy in question is just 10 steps further. Or times where you go through lengthy quests to open a dungeon door with a secret key ritual, after you’ve solved 10 riddles, only to find that your story opponent is already inside, although the door you just opened is the only way in. You get the idea…
Which games made you say, “Wow! that’s something I want to do!”?
Way too many, but if I’d have to drop names, some of them would be: Disciples II, Civilization IV, Final Fantasy IX and Orcs Must Die 2.
How long have you been developing games?
I’ve been creating games on paper every since I was a kid. I even send a game idea to Nintendo once, when I was a about 8 or 9 years old. They actually replied. Kind of nice, now that I think about it. The first pc game I made was with the partner I created rest.less Games with. It was a game just for us and we never released it. That was 8 years ago. Then we started creating “Wait” in 2014, which was released in October 2015 on Steam, which was our first commercial game.
Where did you get your training in game development?
We both worked in different big gaming companies, while additionally teaching things to ourselves. Also the process of profoundly analysing games you enjoy, can teach you a lot about why you are enjoying it.
What are you building Quest Giver with and why?
We are using Unity to build The Quest Giver. We had to choose between Unreal and Unity, but since we’re creating a 2D game we went with Unity. That’s really all there is to it.
What challenges have you encountered along the way?
Apart from that the fact that we had to work part time through 70% of the game’s development, which really took a lot of time from us and slowed everything down, the biggest challenges came up in terms of design. We have this ambition to create a sort of fictional realism. We like it when things are well-founded and when your actions in the game have consequences. Unfortunately we decided on how that deep that ambition goes in the middle of development. Which means we had to change many things simply to the fact that they “didn’t make sense”. That lead to a lot of talks and discussion, design changes, and countless days of just… thinking.
To give you an example of that realism: what happens when a player manages to hunt ALL the orcs in an area?
Is that even possible? Well, yes, because we implemented an “All” button. And since we don’t want to pass on that button, we have to create the consequences as well.
What advice to you have for other indie developers facing those challenges?
Decide on how realistic, detailed, or profound your game and game world should be, before you start designing and building it. Take enough time to make that decision and once you have, stick to it.
When can we expect Quest Giver to be released?
Considering how every game’s development can be a rollercoaster ride, we plan on making it Q3 2018.
What platforms will you be releasing it on?
It will be released for PC, Mac, Linux, and iOS and Android tablets. Future plans also include a Switch release.
Is there anything I may have forgotten that you would like to add?
There was a quest back in World of Warcraft’s second add-on that references the lyrics from “Hotel California”.