It is written by Mod John A and is dated 26 March 2009.
Welcome, O seekers of development truth! I'm Mod John A, RuneScape Content Developer, and in this diary I'll be taking you through the development of a new quest.
My last major quest project was the goblin quest series, which reached its conclusion recently with The Chosen Commander, leaving me free to work on another series. RuneScape has several storylines that have yet to be concluded, and I've been given one of them. I can now reveal that I will be working on - drum roll, please - the next dwarf quest!
I can't give you any details about the next dwarf quest yet, because right now there aren't any details. I’m at the very start of the development process, and nothing has been decided yet. It's a very exciting place to be, but it's also daunting. I'm confronted with a blank page, and there are so many different things that I could write there that I don't know which one to pick.
Luckily, it's not a completely blank page. There are already two quests in the Red Axe series (The Giant Dwarf and Forgettable Tale...), and various other pieces of content involving dwarves. The first thing I did was play through these quests again and make notes. I wanted to identify the core features of the dwarf quests that I should carry through to the next one. Here are some of the things I’ve come up with:
- A comedic tone, but with a sinister subtext. On the surface, it's all about dwarves who are humorously drunk or have funny little personalities. Underneath that, though, there's clearly something serious and complicated going on with the Red Axe. As the series progresses, I can bring forward this sinister element, but without abandoning the funny dwarves doing funny things.
- Physical puzzles, e.g. interacting with machines or finding the right items to combine, rather than interacting with characters. A good example of this is the train track puzzle in Forgettable Tale... I'll make sure to think of some nice puzzles for the next quest.
- Memory wipes. These were introduced in Forgettable Tale... and are a great story element that I'd like to do more with.
- An intriguing cast of characters. On one side, we have Commander Veldaban, who has the potential to be a great ally of the player. On the other side, Forgettable Tale... introduced a trio of very clearly defined villains (the head of the Red Axe, his axe-wielding right-hand man, and the ogre shaman). I can take these characters and develop them further in future quests.
That's pretty much all I have so far. My next task is to take these elements and forge them into a concept document that outlines the story of the next quest. Check back for the next development diary and I'll let you know how things are progressing.
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