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Indie developers Iron Tower Studio, hard at work on their upcoming RPG Age of Decadence, have posted a progress report for the month of November on their official forums. ITS’s Vince not only describes how the beta testing process is moving along, but also explores quest design in RPGs and how they’ve been implemented in AoD.
Among other things, the post explains how one of the goals with AoD is to present quests or events to the player in a more organic way, rather than being directly asked to retrieve an item or tediously collect random raw ingredients or monster parts. For instance, the player will instead encounter opportunities with meaningful choices and branching outcomes. A brief conversation with a preacher may lead the player to takeover an entire religion, while a seemingly innocuous ruined tower inhabited by squatters may turn out to be much more.
The testers have reported that they all seemed to have found different things to keep them busy, with each having discovered something other testers didn’t. Given that AoD focuses on rewarding exploration with detailed quests as opposed to endless busywork, this seems like a step in the right direction. Though there is no official release date for the game, steady progress like this suggests it won’t be much longer.