Hiring guide for RPG Engineers

RPG Developer Hiring Guide

RPG (Report Program Generator) is a high-level programming language that was developed by IBM in the 1960s for use in business applications. It is primarily used on IBM's iSeries systems (also known as AS/400 systems). RPG has evolved over the years from a simple, limited language to a powerful, modern language that supports procedural and structured programming. It is designed to create reports, handle files and display information on screens. RPG can be used for batch processing but it also has interactive capabilities. Its key features include built-in functions for database access, record-level access and integrated query capability.

Ask the right questions secure the right RPG talent among an increasingly shrinking pool of talent.

First 20 minutes

General RPG app knowledge and experience

The first 20 minutes of the interview should seek to understand the candidate's general background in RPG application development, including their experience with various programming languages, databases, and their approach to designing scalable and maintainable systems.

What are the key elements of a successful RPG game?
The key elements of a successful RPG game include a compelling story, well-developed characters, a detailed and immersive world, complex gameplay mechanics, and a balanced difficulty level.
How would you approach designing a combat system for an RPG?
I would first determine the type of combat system that would best fit the game's overall design and story. Then, I would focus on creating a balance between challenge and fun, ensuring the system is complex enough to be engaging, but not so difficult that it becomes frustrating.
Describe the difference between a turn-based and a real-time combat system in RPGs.
In a turn-based combat system, players and enemies take turns performing actions, allowing for strategic planning. In a real-time combat system, actions happen continuously and simultaneously, requiring quick decision-making and reflexes.
What are some ways to implement character progression in an RPG?
Character progression can be implemented through leveling systems, skill trees, equipment upgrades, and narrative choices that affect a character's abilities or relationships.
How would you handle balancing in an RPG game?
Balancing in an RPG game can be handled through careful design of character abilities, enemy difficulty, and reward systems. Playtesting is also crucial to identify any areas that may be too easy or too difficult.
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What you’re looking for early on

Does the candidate have a strong understanding of RPG mechanics?
Has the candidate demonstrated problem-solving skills?
Is the candidate familiar with the necessary programming languages?
Does the candidate have experience with game engines?

Next 20 minutes

Specific RPG development questions

The next 20 minutes of the interview should focus on the candidate's expertise with specific backend frameworks, their understanding of RESTful APIs, and their experience in handling data storage and retrieval efficiently.

What are some common pitfalls in RPG game development and how would you avoid them?
Common pitfalls include feature creep, poor balance, lack of originality, and neglecting the story or characters. These can be avoided through careful planning, regular playtesting, and a focus on creating a unique and engaging experience.
Describe the difference between procedural and manual level design in RPGs.
Procedural level design involves using algorithms to generate levels, providing a unique experience each time. Manual level design involves creating each level by hand, allowing for more control over the player's experience.
How would you approach creating a compelling story for an RPG?
I would start by developing interesting characters and a unique world. Then, I would create a plot that challenges these characters and reveals more about the world. I would also ensure that the story is deeply integrated with the gameplay.
What are some ways to create replayability in an RPG?
Replayability can be created through branching storylines, multiple character classes, a variety of quests, and different outcomes based on player choices.
How would you handle player feedback during the development process?
I would actively seek out player feedback through playtesting and online forums. I would then analyze this feedback and use it to guide development, while also considering the overall vision for the game.
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The ideal back-end app developer

What you’re looking to see on the RPG engineer at this point.

At this point, a skilled RPG engineer should demonstrate strong problem-solving abilities, proficiency in RPG programming language, and knowledge of software development methodologies. Red flags include lack of hands-on experience, inability to articulate complex concepts, or unfamiliarity with standard coding practices.

Digging deeper

Code questions

These will help you see the candidate's real-world development capabilities with RPG.

What does this simple piece of code do?
public class HelloWorld {
 public static void main(String[] args) {
 System.out.println("Hello, World!");
This code prints the string 'Hello, World!' to the console.
What will be the output of this code snippet?
public class Test {
 public static void main(String[] args) {
 int x = 10;
 int y = 5;
 System.out.println(x + y);
The output of this code will be 15. It adds the values of variables x and y and prints the result.
What does this code snippet do?
import java.util.Arrays;
 public class ArraySort {
 public static void main(String[] args) {
 int[] array = {2, 5, 9, 1, 10};
This code sorts the integer array in ascending order and then prints the sorted array.
What does this piece of code do?
public class ThreadTest extends Thread {
 public void run() {
 System.out.println("Thread is running.");
 public static void main(String args[]) {
 ThreadTest t1 = new ThreadTest();
This code creates a new thread and starts it. The new thread then prints 'Thread is running.' to the console.

Wrap-up questions

Final candidate for RPG Developer role questions

The final few questions should evaluate the candidate's teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, assess their knowledge of microservices architecture, serverless computing, and how they handle RPG application deployments. Inquire about their experience in handling system failures and their approach to debugging and troubleshooting.

Describe the difference between a linear and an open-world RPG.
A linear RPG guides the player through a set storyline with a predetermined sequence of events. An open-world RPG allows the player to explore a large world at their own pace, choosing when and how to engage with the main storyline.
What are some challenges of creating an open-world RPG and how would you overcome them?
Challenges include creating a large and detailed world, ensuring there is enough engaging content, and managing technical issues such as loading times and performance. These can be overcome through careful planning, efficient use of resources, and regular testing.
How would you approach designing quests for an RPG?
I would focus on creating quests that are engaging, varied, and meaningful. This includes a mix of main quests that advance the story, side quests that explore subplots or character backstories, and dynamic quests that respond to player actions.

RPG application related

Product Perfect's RPG development capabilities

Beyond hiring for your RPG engineering team, you may be in the market for additional help. Product Perfect provides seasoned expertise in RPG projects, and can engage in multiple capacities.