Welcome to the world of Game Design!
I’m not gonna lie, I started this with the preminision it would be decent and professional… and I must’ve grown bored of typing and changed my mood.
This has been done so many times before, and you can probably watch 1,000,000 videos on youtube about how to take your first steps into the world of game design. Let’s face it, half that stuff you see, won’t apply to you until later on in game design. Hell, it’s why you’re here, on Eclipse… Because game design from scratch is hard. Well, who got your engine already chosen out so, where the flippin burgers do you start?
It starts at the base of everything. People who are coming into game design often think that it’s all in the code and art. Well, news flash for you my friend, game design is a lot more. Game design is an art. It requires attention, research, observation, and let’s not forget, motivation. It’s not just Triple A (AAA) Games that are like this either. Here, in this thread… you will learn some good qualities to pick up when starting game design.
Let’s see… to start with… Let’s start with something simple. Since you’re here you probably had a story idea for a game you wanted to make. Which let’s face it, is probably really terrible but we’re gonna tell you it’s good anyway because that’s what eclipse does… or we’re gonna be buttholes and tell you it’s god aweful, it really depends whether eclipse is on its “time of the month”…
Types of stories
So the first and biggest about laying out your stories, is how the hell do game stories work?
The answer, Magic.
Just kidding… if only it was that easy…
Game story lines can be catogorised into 2 major types. Linear and Nonlinear stories.
Linear Story Lines
So, a linear story is basically a story that follows a straight, static story. Your character will do EXACTLY what you program it to do. The actions you make in the game, will not effect the events the character goes through in a story. A prime example of this would be Zelda. In The Legends of Zelda, Link must make his way through the land of Hyrule get some ammount of random objects which open a thing and let link kill gannon and save the princess. You don’t have a choice to side with gannon and kill the princess. You just do what the game tells you.
Nonlinear Story Lines
Practically the exact opposite of Linear stories. Imagine it being written out into a tree. One action you do can give you 2 more decisions to make, and the story changes based on what you do. A good example of this would be the Fallout Series. You have a large selections of things to say to different people, the different choices you make declare you as good or evil. Going throughout the story line, you can choose different paths and events to take which result in different context and stuff like that…
So, you have your story… do you have a theme? Wait what’s a theme? Oh you know like an atmospheric thingy…
The time it’s taking place,
The general setting…
What matters with these?
Well, location wise… Say your game takes place in venice italy in modern time. What are you going to see?
Water ways, speed boats, generally stone and light brick architecture, vines, basically anything that resembles stereotypical Italy.
What if the setting took place in World War II germany? You’re going to see oldschool war trucks, not butterflies and rainbows…
Let’s get something weirder…
What if your game took place in Canadia… yes CANADIA! What would you see…
Drunk Marshmellows at strip clubs, bacon, maple syrup. You get where this is going.
So, setting is important and makesure you stick to the theme. If you’re in itally you don’t want some weird suburb or sky scraping modern 'murican buildings around your area.
Now, you havey our story, your setting, what else is important to writing a good game story?
The most important thing in my eyes…. Character Development.
Oooooh my toothpaste I cannot stress this enough how your character should develop as your story is told. The personallity and everything.
Imaging I have a character named crest who is some lame old tube of toothpaste who goes on a grand adventure he doesn’t think he’s up to. Along the way, the character will face challenges. DEADLY CHALLENGES. like… crossing a giant cavity… with each challenge I want this lame tube of toothpaste to get braver and bolder as he goes. It shoes character changing. Let the player experience character development. Don’t try to keep a character that pulls the tough guy act throughout the whole game, at some point, let people see he has a softside or something.
I will tell you now. The main problem most game developers have, is finding motivation to finish their projects. I’m guilty of it, and so is 90% of the rest of the community as well. There are many exceptions to this but… You really gotta motivate yourself to finishing one thing. I have 8 years of experience and nothing has come out of it… LIFE WELL SPENT!
If I think of anything else I’ll add to this…