Part 1: My opinion on the RP & RPG genres. Project Alice is, as it currently stands, the seed formed from the idea that there are no Roblox games that have blended true roleplay and an RPG-style roleplaying game. In my definition of roleplaying games, there are two plates on the balance scale of design. On the left, you have freedom. On the right, you have rules and restrictions.
On the left, you have everything in the game that grants players the ability to be and do whatever they please. Custom morphs, outfits, skill trees, weapon types, name changing, etc. all belong here. On the right, you have everything in the game that restricts what players can and cannot do or be. This includes roleplaying rules (including people/systems to enforce those rules ), boundaries of the setting (time, location, etc), lack of content and customization options, etc.
In some games, there are lots of creative freedoms granted to players, but very few restrictions. In such a game, players get to explore so many options without necessarily requiring much effort from the developer. The drawback is that there are generally few rules and therefore few things stopping players from conflicting with each other creatively and ultimately halting the flow of the roleplay. This includes fail-RP, trolls, etc.
In others, there are so many rules to abide by that players end up fighting over what is and isn’t allowed. In such a game, players are barred from being creatively expressive by quarrels between role-players and overbearing moderation which threatens to remove them from play if they don’t abide. The latter, the constant threat of removal, draws more players into arguing to defend themselves.
In a tertiary scenario, there is simply not enough conflict to spark creative freedom, or a game simply stops receiving updates. In this case, players lose interest.
In all of these scenarios, players need to be able to interact appropriately and the content they are roleplaying with needs to be substantial and well-designed. All of the aforementioned information applies to roleplaying games. That being the type of game where you free RP. Generally, there have been no games that appropriately blend free roleplay and RPG-style gameplay (the type that has objectives, quests, leveling up, etc). Project Alice is the seed that I want to plant from my idea that they can be blended. Project Alice is the idea that you can have a game that fosters roleplaying creativity while providing means of tangible progression for your character - A game where the systems in place to add substance and a gameplay loop also assist you in bringing your character to life and allowing you to be creatively free to express yourself in your character, rather than limit those things.
Part 2: Inspiration for Project Alice. The name “Project Alice” Is inspired by the manga and anime, Sword Art Online: Alicization. The setting is different from that of the first anime in the SAO series, (of which many Roblox games have been made) which consists of 100 floors to be cleared by defeating various enemies including a boss at the end of the floor. In the games currently existing for the SAO series, you generally are grinding away at monsters in order to earn better weapons in order to defeat better monsters, etc.
Sword Art Online: Alicization takes place in a fundamentally different setting than the original series. I want this to be a game where you can be anything or anyone in a mystical fantasy realm set in a medieval valley with vast plains sparsely populated with villages and farms surrounding the central Capital of Centoria, a dense town with shops, taverns, inns, fighting academies, houses of the nobility, fine artists, and more. >> The entire appeal of the SAO universe is the idea of being able to be or do anything you’d like within the medieval fantasy setting it provides.
Part 2.5: SAO on Roblox Restricting the game to a grind-fest loosely based on RPG principles and speckled with enemies and items from the original series seems very counter-intuitive to me. While I don’t think the current SAO games are bad, I don’t think they embody the true appeal of SAO - a fictional game set in a fantasy medieval universe where you can be or do anything (in that particular setting with that particular set of tools).
I want a game that provides what SAO has. I want fishing and hunting mechanics; a cooking and beverage/potion-making system; blacksmithing that isn’t too complicated nor overly simplified; magical spell-crafting; character personalities which truly impact the way you experience the game; a calling for your character to follow; your character’s power is based off the strength of their will; Will power being gained through your character’s motivations and experiences, such as having friends and family to protect, sustaining injuries, experiencing failure and success, and other things that would empower the will of your character.
Part 3: Project Alice. If it blooms to become what I desire, Project Alice will be a world where you can create any character you would like to inhabit a medieval fantasy world taking place within a valley governed by the Capitol City of Centoria.
In this setting, you’ll find everything from elegant and tactical sword arts to powerful and intricate spells; large-eared agile foxes which burrow into the dirt-covered by the underbrush to grand dragons which protect humanity by taking lair in the mountains which surround the valley; careers from simple fishing and farming to the masterworks of smithing and doctoring.
I envision a world where you can experience the creative freedoms of roleplay whilst charged with the knowledge that you can progress your character just like any RPG game. A world where you don’t have to roleplay through typing out actions between asterisks, but where you can simply do the things you want to do whenever and whoever you want to do them.