Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Game Design: Chrono Trigger’s Design Secrets

Posted by Rampant Coyote on July 27, 2016

Chrono_image3Even if you aren’t a fan of classic JRPGs, this article provides some valuable insight into the design elements that went into Chrono Trigger, and made it stand out as a classic more than twenty years after its release. While the approaches they chose aren’t universally applicable, it does demonstrate how some very conscious, careful design and willingness to step “outside the box” a little bit made for a legendary experience. The take-away is: This design didn’t happen by accident. It also demonstrates the tricks to having an open-feeling game follow a somewhat linear narrative (I’m not sure that’s necessarily a great goal, but it’s a viable solution to a very tricky problem).

Gamasutra: Chrono Trigger’s Design Secrets


Filed Under: Design - Comments: 3 Comments to Read

  • Weekly Links #131 « No Time To Play said,

    […] forward, via Jay Barnson, here’s a Gamasutra article about Chrono Trigger’s Design Secrets, that manages to be […]

  • Rasch said,

    If you’re interested in a very in depth look at Chrono Trigger, have a look at this article here:

    Just be warned, this is very long.

  • Xenovore said,

    Good read. Gonna point out though, that plenty of games have used the exact same design formula since then, e.g. 90% of the MUDs and MMORPGs out there.