Beyond the Wall: The Boundaries of the Neomedieval Town in Singleplayer Roleplaying Games

Ford Dom
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

The cities of the ever prevalent neomedieval fantasy roleplaying game are integral to their gameworlds. They act as quest hubs, goals, centres for action and places of safety. Much of the loop of the game revolves around leaving the city to complete quests, then returning to the city again, and repeat. In this paper, I take a closer look at the boundaries of the city. I begin by proposing a model to help define what a city’s boundary is and how it is expressed to the player. Then, I look at how and why players cross those borders back and forth. Through this, I hope to facilitate a better understanding of how the city functions in roleplaying games, and how the ways in which it produces boundaries alters and affects how players interact with the gameworld.


The Quest in a Generated World

Ashmore Calvin Nitsche Michael
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

As procedural content becomes a more appealing option for game development, procedurally determined context is necessary to structure and make sense of this content. We find that a useful means to structure content in 3D games is the quest. The task of generating necessary context then becomes one of quest generation. This paper describes how we implemented a basic quest generator based on key and lock puzzles into a procedural game world. It uses notion of quest as spatial progression and discusses the design of the game world and how our quest generator connects to it. Its findings are twofold: on the technical level we managed to implement a highly flexible content and context generator into an existing game engine; one the content level we can trace signs for higher player interest in quest-enhanced procedural game worlds in comparison to unstructured spaces.


The Words of Warcraft: relational text analysis of quests in an MMORPG

Landwehr Peter Diesner Jana Carley Kathleen M.
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

As the growth in popularity of massively multiplayer online games and virtual worlds has correspondingly increased research interest in investigating culture in synthetic environments. One representation of culture in games is the narrative provided in MMORPGs’ quest sets. Quests -tasks given to players- provide a window into the traits of artificial cultures created for these environments, and researchers have used specific quests to advance arguments about game cultures. We expand on this work by trying to discern cultural traits expressed in the complete quest set for the MMORPG World of Warcraft, We subdivide this set into three corpora: two for the quests intended for players in one of the two in-game factions, one for those that can be completed by members of either faction. We then performed relational text analysis on these corpora, looking across them for shared textual relationships. We find that while all three corpora employ diverse terms, locations, and organizations, the only relationships present in any of the corpora at least 5% of the time are those emphasizing the relationships between players, enemies, and quest giving computer-controlled characters. Given the simplicity of these relations, we suggest that text is currently not a method used for sophisticated themes in game worlds, and designers should either rethink their use of it or rely on alternate methods if they wish to convey such themes.