Forum Thread
Classes vs. Pre-Made characters (Forums : Ideas & Concepts : Classes vs. Pre-Made characters) Post Reply
Thread Options
Apr 6 2017 Anchor


first of all if this is the wrong section I would like to ask a moderator to move it into the corresponding section.

So I have this idea game concept for roughly a half year in my head and although there are plenty games in that gernre (also many released recently) I don't want to give up on this dream. The tags for this game would probably be: Hack'N'Slash, 2D, Dungeon Crawler, fast paced, Rogue-Like.

But my problem is that I'm stuck with an element and I can't decide what I should go for since both types are really interesting for me. I will list up just a small amount of ideas I have for each category.


  • Core-Classes: Ranged, Meele
  • Main-Classes e.g: Warrior, Mage, Archer, etc.
  • Sub-Classes e.g: Elemental-Mage, Dark-Mage, Light-Mage, etc.
  • Those classes would have skill trees which are divided into 2 sections: active and passive.
  • You choose a Main-Class first and through leveling up your character you decide in which category you will go.
  • There could be more classes coming out through out the time
  • You could craft and gather new weapons and clothes in the dungeons.

Pre-Made characters:

  • Each character would have a different backstory but some of them could come from the same city, country or have other kinds of relationship.
  • Skill-trees would also be provided since you can level up those characters and unlocking more skills for them.
  • They would have different evolutions as example: A character based on healing and dispelling would have an evolution which is based on healing and one based on dispelling.
  • You would have to gather materials or such to be able to evolve your characters.
  • "Special"-Dungeons would be created to unlock new characters (battling the "god" of them or themselve as boss-battle) and it would be possible to release more characters in the future.

I really like both ideas, at the one side I think it's really fun to create different classes and looking forward whats possible to combine and giving the player their own choice and creativity on what their character would become. But on the other side I also like the idea of creating new characters, writing stories for the characters and giving each of them an individual touch.

I hope someone could post their opinion on it and help me decide.

Kind regards,


Apr 24 2017 Anchor

It really depends on the context. Is this for a single character or for a party of characters that player controls?

I've never particularly like classes, even in paper and pencil role playing games. I think they're restrictive and a bit old fashioned these days. But they are good for game balance.

In that respect I prefer the idea of the premade characters but the danger here is of taking away too much choice from the player. The benefit of having a premade character is that they already have a place in the world and maybe have some contacts / friends that can have an affect on the way the game plays out.

This is where the original question comes in. For a single character, I feel it's better to give as much choice as possible to the player. For a party of characters, it starts becoming a question of how much house keeping you expect the player to do. Personally, I don't like doing too much house keeping or resource management. I'm fine with dealing with a single character but start getting a little fed up with if I have to knit pick over every detail of every party member.

Even if you decide to go with classes, it might still be worth having a go at designing some premade characters. You could still use them as a basis for npcs even if you didn't end up using them as playable characters. It also might help with general world building.

Apr 25 2017 Anchor

Thanks for your reply!

So basically the game idea is a fast paced, rogue like dungeon crawler. Instead of just choosing a character and starting the battle my idea was to create a town as "lobby" where you can run around with your character and do certain things like choosing the skills you want to enter the dungeon with and buying runes or such to improve your character (although I want to keep the runes just as a small boost in the beginning or improvements of skills). I have many ideas for the themes of the dungeons, boss fights and such. If I would use classes you would be able to create about 3 characters and level them up, gathering weapons or crafting materials in the dungeon, going different ways when you hit a certain level like I've mentioned before, more active or passive. With premade characters I could make the player have to "buy" (with ingame money, not real money) the characters, gathering resources to unlock them or even making somewhat premade dungeons just for the character as boss and if you beat it the "soul" will drop (not 100% chance) and you can use him as character. And each of the premade characters would have their own "general-level" which is for unlocking different evolutions for the character (would add that the player can switch between the evolutions, but each evolution got some skills only available by the selected evolution).

I know that's a lot for now but in my eyes it's a small step in the current genre if I'm allowed to say that. I have a lot in my mind and only mentioned a small portion of it here. Classes and Premade characters each got their Pros and Cons. For me as someone who's struggling with decision making it's not that easy to choose one..

Apr 25 2017 Anchor

From both your descriptions, you can go either way. It really depends on the scale of which you want your town to be, big or small. If your town is big (30+ people) go with your randomly generated class characters. You wont feel bad if they die and are removed forever from the game and usually its hard to care about each individual character when there is so many. Take a game Like Fallout Shelter or Ogre Battle, at the beginning you have so few characters that you care about them in general. Then the more you play and the more characters you get, they all just start to jumble together. After a while you know 2-3 based on what they look like and the rest have just degraded in your eyes to stats, abilities or warm bodies that need to fill a space. In contrast think of the old style 8 bit RPG's. You start out with 1 or 2 characters and you know them, a feel for their personalities and you start to have favorites. Of course games like this you rarely see it pulled off effectively with more than 12 characters.

Classes also give more freedom to the player, letting them shift and change the character into what they need every run. Premade characters are more like your playing the same thing time and time again, you know what the character can do and what it will become.

So do you want to go on an adventure with your best friend and mourn their death at the end, or run a tissue through the wash and see how far you can get. It would be the same game, but feel completely different.

Sep 13 2017 Anchor


I think try implementing both, have the characters pre-made so that you can branch off and then give them a class element, for example the same system used in Dragon age. Now that maybe difficult to do at the beginning but it will give characters the ability to have them be developed more interms of their individual importance within the plot of your story and potential for creating cliff-hangers for more games at the same time allowing the player to customize their characters and maybe even experience new game style tactics by trying out other character types with a new class.

Im rooting for you too here,

Sep 17 2017 Anchor

I think that sounds cool. I like the job system in FF Tactics. The characters have their own personalities and backstories but at the same time, the player has a lot of freedom to develop them. Also, you could consider jobs/classes that are limited to certain story branches that might help enrich the story and game play.

Rooting too.

Oct 31 2017 Anchor

I'd go for full freedom abilities choice, unless you aim at highly-competitive PvP player-base. It could start with pre-made characters or classes, but just as base for further development in whatever direction player decide.

If you plan to control main character directly (precise control over all movement and actions), while secondary characters indirectly (simple follow/stay here/go there/ attack him), then it may be good idea to use self-developing system (if character fights in melee, it gets better in corresponding skills).

In case of statistics, I'm big fan of two-dimensional stat system, similar to World of Darkness pen'n'paper RPG:
You have 5 attributes that determine your class, and 5 elements that dictate certain play-style. Each attribute combined with each element create single statistic that is used in game (25 in total).
Attributes: Strength, Agility, Dexterity, Intelligence, Will
Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Void

Example 1: Agility affect character movement, Earth element makes everything static and resistant. Together they give "stability" statistic, so how hard is to push character around.
Example 2: Dexterity (precise actions) together with Void (sneaky and hidden) give backstabbing bonus.

If you like such system, and want someone to take care of developing while you do more important stuff (like coding), just PM. I have it quite fleshed out already.

Reply to thread
click to sign in and post

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.