Best place and time for character progression in RPG

Lethal Running is an action RPG about a deadly game show held in a futuristic dysoptian society.
Kill or get killed. Entertain the crowd. Explore, loot, fight, survive in the wastelands, develop your character.

What we’ve got so far:

9 skills for developing your character.

You need to collect XP to trade in for higher skills. You get XP for various actions like beating the mad machine gun with your bare fists (just an imaginary example Wink ) or surving a cold night under attack of wild animals and the like.

The game is level based (a more or less open world is probably out of discussion). The higher the level the tougher the enemies.

So when and where is the best way for upgrading your skills, what are the possibilites, the pros and cons ?

Any idea appreciated.

Depends on the depth and speed you want to play at.

If it’s a bit casual and the game is meant to be played fast, i.e. mobile style lots of reward for little time spent, then you want the upgrade to skills to almost automatic. Once an XP level is reached prompt the user to pick which skill the want to upgrade with one tap and then move on.

If the game is a deep RPG and you’re expecting to the player to invest, and hence get attached to their character, then you want the upgrade process to be “active”, i.e. they have to actively decide to when it happens and what happens in details. This means either between levels or by visiting a specific point in a level they can upgrade skills. You might even decouple actual XP / Level from skill upgrade, with skill points or equivilent - so when you reach a level you get skills points which can then be applied to multiple skills, giving the player more control but more time to spend choosing.

Know your game, know your route.



Is it better to upgrade between levels so that the player gets a clear reward and goal, or to integrate it into the game world as place to go for better immersion ?

If its strictly level based, I’d stick to between levels. If it’s a bit more free roaming, it needs to be integrated.