Best engine fit for an RPG

I have a pretty clear idea of the game I want to make, but I’m new to these systems and keep starting to learn one only to learn they don’t fit. before I commit to one I want to get some advice on what might be the easiest road. here’s some of the things I want to be able to do. they’re not breaking points, just ideals

  • playable in browsers
  • player interaction is selecting listed options, not typing inputs
  • variables for player and equipment stats
  • stat based “combat” or encounter challenges
  • inputs, like traveling to a certain area, can give a variety of outcomes, chosen semi-randomly, influenced by multiple variables

Choicescript has games like that. You may want to take a look at it.

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Twine (especially Sugarcube) or Choicescript can meet all of those bullets.

I think you’re asking this question in the wrong place. You’d be better off asking it in one of the RPG forums. What you’re really looking for is some sort of RPG creation software, not interactive fiction authoring software. A Google search should reveal a few potential contenders. Otherwise, try Wikipedia as a starting point. RPG Maker is apparently quite popular.

It is possible to build your own RPG in a choice engine such as Twine/Sugarcube, especially if your game is more story-focused. Check out Josh Labelle’s Tavern Crawler.

(I’d suggest AXMA in the past - it had a template for RPG display and sprite handling capabilities, but the documentation is in Russian and it is not supported well currently so may not be good for a new author to pick up. I made a faux MMORPG with AXMA 6.1.)

Other RPGs done in standard IF engines: Endless, Nameless and Kerkerkruip which I believe are both done in tricked out versions of Inform 6/7.

“Tricking out” is the key phrase - many IF systems don’t include specific combat systems or stat-management in the same way they are visible in an RPG, although CoG’s ChoiceScript is also a good suggestion - it is all text with stat-handling built-in for relationships and choice exclusion/qualification and is extensively used for character customization.

If you want to create a MUD (multi-user dungeon) online that specializes in multiplayer text RPGs with mapping, weapons and stats, etc, you could also check out WrittenRealms (which lets you develop online in the browser) or CoffeeMUD (which is a bit more extensive, requiring you to host the content on your own website separately.)


Also check out Agnieszka Trzaska’s 4x4 Archipelago as an example of what can be done in Twine; it covers all the points on the list, AFAIK.


And that’s the rub: if you want to develop something yourself, Twine and Inform and other IF engines can certainly be “tricked out” creatively to do all kinds of neat things they weren’t initially meant for (or are open-ended enough for people to create different types of games - Sugarcube especially has tons of user-created plugins for things such as Quality-Based-Narrative and visible stat progress bars). If you’re looking for something turnkey with less system-work, you may be better served by an actual RPG system such as RPG maker, or some kind of dice-rolling game-book system if that exists somewhere.

I’m still sad that Storynexus died, because that was probably the best QBN system that was all about stats and combat and chances to succeed in the format of Fallen London but also allowed rich and potentially randomized storytelling.


I am going to pimp QuestJS… It has a world model, which I would suggest is vital for an RPG, and it does run in the browser. Although it is designed for parser games, the text input can be turned off - a clickable interface is built in, and it already works with the world model.

There is an RPG module, but it is currently under development. The other downside is that it has no editor - you would be typing in a text editor.

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I’d call Ink the best choice for this.

It hits all your requirements plus gives you room to grow – plus it’s integrable into things l like Unity and UE if you decide to jump out of the browser in the future.

Of the choices, it’s robust, easy to learn and well documented and supported. You’ll also find that as you learn it you discover more and more capabilities. Let me know if you need help getting started.

Oh, crud. I didn’t realize I was zombie-ing. Oops.