Doktor_Q

I'm not a real doktor, but I am a real Q
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Once you have your idea, how do you start making the actual game? I've written my story, more or less, I've got a general idea of the mechanics, and I've spent some time amassing and assembling plugins to get the systems into the general shape of what I want, but now that I'm staring at the first empty map, I'm feeling a bit lost. Repeat that for all of my RPGMaker projects to date, and you've got my current problem.


Do you start from the first scene the player sees and go forward? Do you pick somewhere in the middle? How much detail do you usually put on your designs before you start developing, and how much do you assume will change as you go through development?
 

watermark

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One way to approach this is to set up the outline or skeleton of your game. This makes it easier to see how much work is required and prevents you from getting stuck in a particularly detailed area. By skeleton I mean set up the opening scene, the world map, the towns, the dungeons, and the ending. NO DETAILS at this point. For example the opening scene could just be a message box saying "This is the opening..." and then teleport your hero to the first active area. The dungeons should just have the entrance and the end goal, whether it be an exit or object. The towns should just be basic areas with your key people. Ideally you should be able to "run through" your game to make sure your key points work.


Once you have this it will be clear how many towns and dungeons you have to flesh out. And you can go back to prettying up your opening and ending scenes with bells and whistles without worrying about the structure. Of course, you will have to rewire all of these events when you fill in the details, but to me it isn't wasted time, because sometimes this will let you see patterns and allow you to change stuff midway (and this ALWAYS happens) without too much reworking. This is especially useful for long games.


Of course this is not the only way. I once did a game where I just winged it from one map to another. I had no idea what was going to come next; just allowed my imagination to take me where it wants. It can be kinda fun that way too, especially for short games.
 
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Arcmagik

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There is something that is said about starting later than earlier in writing... the first things that you do are going to be the worst. The more you work the better you will get...  if you start at the beginning you will inevitably have to restructure the entire thing down the road. It is your choice there... demos are usually easier from the beginning.


Mapping is particularly hard for me because I can seem to conceptionally design them. I know how to parallax but the actual layout is where I get hung up and the decorating of the map. I just can't envision them... it slows me down considerably so I have a bad habit of using the pregen maps for play testing (and then getting frustrated because they are sample maps!)


You just got to pick a place and go. Start with something easy. Get it mapped and evented... move forward so you are building the experience as you are getting to the harder things to map and event!
 

Sausage_Boi

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Color me Crazy, but what I do is this*:


I have an idea for a cool mechanic, or things I would like to see happen for gameplay. SOMETIMES, I start with a story idea.


Then I usually pick what I think will be an exciting part to work on, or whatever I am feeling most inspired to do.


Then I make a map, create events and test. (I do a lot of testing.)


Sometimes I will start at the beginning when making maps, sometimes I start at the middle, sometimes even near the end. Sometimes I start with a "dungeon" and sometimes I start by making a cutscene. I just start wherever I am feeling most inspired. Then I make up basic plot points I want to get to and then I flesh it out and try to bang out any kinks in the story and bugs in the events.


Hope this helps. Good luck!



*

DISCLAIMER: I DON'T USUALLY MAKE RPG GAMES.
 
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Jonforum

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Once you have your idea, how do you start making the actual game? I've written my story, more or less, I've got a general idea of the mechanics, and I've spent some time amassing and assembling plugins to get the systems into the general shape of what I want, but now that I'm staring at the first empty map, I'm feeling a bit lost. Repeat that for all of my RPGMaker projects to date, and you've got my current problem.


Do you start from the first scene the player sees and go forward? Do you pick somewhere in the middle? How much detail do you usually put on your designs before you start developing, and how much do you assume will change as you go through development?



Me i make big excel file for reference in game.
Because, if you dont do this first.
you will be lost when you will have over 100 id, picture, weapon, common event, script ......


You can make a file like this .
 


2016-08-28 (1).png
 

consolcwby

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but now that I'm staring at the first empty map, I'm feeling a bit lost. Repeat that for all of my RPGMaker projects to date, and you've got my current problem.

Just like writing or programming, I have found over the years the best way to start: Just DO something! Even if you never use it, sometimes just letting go and and doing something off-the-wall and random will get you in that frame of mind to focus you. When it comes to tiling (in other projects of mine), I just make something stupid - and usually, 9 times out of 10, there will be a seed of a good idea. The problem is getting started, the solution is to just do it! :D Easier said than done at times, but brainstorming this way can lead to good things, I guarantee! (or your money back! -lol)
 

BigToastie

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Mapping is the most fun part for me, and I feel like I am getting better at it, the more I do it.


a few tips that I can give from personal experience and how I do things.....


If you are new to mapping, expect to 'redo' your starting maps, as you get better at mapping you will realize what you can actually do and most likely want to modify / redo the first maps you do (I am going to do this on a few of my own).


> Design your world before mapping. Do you want it to be 1 huge island, multiple islands? on the island(s) is one going to be forever in a state of snow, one overgrown by forest etc.


> Design a world map (even if you aren't going to use it, use it as a guide), even if its rough, it will help you know where everything is located, so you have a city surrounded by forest, so maps leading to that city will need to be forest.


> Look at others maps, play other games similar to your style and get a feel of how they do their maps and play on that with your own style


I am doing a fully continuous mapped game, so creating a lot of maps is what I need to do! 


I feel once you create one, you can start creating more and more, it just flows, following the above may help you, dont be afraid if you aren't 100% happy with your first map(s) it may start your creative mind going and develop from there.


Edit: If I sometimes get an idea on a new area (and my game isn't there yet) I will create it as well, and plop it into the mapping structure later!


As for detail, it depends on you, if you look at the map and think its complete, that's your answer!! :)


:)
 
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XIIIthHarbinger

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Personally when I am staring at a blank map, I like to use random number generators.


Lay out a world map, even if your aren't going to use a world map. Assign a number value to distances east & west & north & south, now generate your coastlines, based on number outputs from the generators. Now create regions based on random numbers created by the generators, based on the coordinate values you've assigned to the numbers, fill the regions in. Now assign coordinates to rivers, mountains, even towns, until you've got a decent bit of detail on your map. Now you have an entire country or even continent, what's its story?


That village that ended up right between those two mountain ranges, what has their history been like? That island created by those two rivers, why does no one live there?


Think of it like pixel Rorschach, look at the image, consider the story you've already created, & ask yourself where in this world the events happened. & don't get hung up on how it looks, the map is just a tool for brainstorming you don't have to use, you can completely overwrite everything about in fact.    
 

TheRiotInside

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I'm learning that the more you have planned out before touching the program the better. Even if it's just a rough skeleton of your game jotted down, it allows you to make your game non-linearly.


If you're making it up as you go, you aren't able to add cohesion throughout your game, which can really make the game suffer. Say you make an entire town, then down the road after making the next town you get this sweet lore idea that would link the two places beautifully. But now the first town is already completed and it would take a lot of time to modify everything to cater to your new idea and maybe it wouldn't make the game that much better and oh my God towns take so loooooong to make! See where this is going?


The second (and huuuuuge) benefit to having the game generally planned out beforehand is that you can work on whatever you feel inspired to work on from day to day. This is honestly how all of my past projects over the last 12 years have stalled and died painful, lonely deaths. Using the town example again because I absolutely loathe the daunting task of making one. I'm putting along making my game, then all of a sudden I get to the hub city and start sweating profusely. I probably only get the inspiration to create these places once a month (if that). Since I don't have my game planned out, I really can't work on anything else concrete until I finish this step. I lose motivation. R.I.P. my latest project. But hey! I can go work on that really fun stuff maybe 10-hours down the line in my story in the meantime and then one day I'll wake up and make that damn hub city and it'll be super sick.


I feel like the non-linear development strategy really synergizes (stuff it, Google, that's a word) well with how humans work in general. You don't feel like working on the same thing everyday. Sometimes you need a good sleep to get crunching numbers or working out plugin cohesion. Sometimes you need that loopy-tired sleep-deprived state to get the inspired dialogue and lore bits going. If you set up your development to the point where you have 50 different little things you could work on at any given time to progress your game, chances are you'll be in the right state of mind and motivated enough to poke around with at least one of those things.
 
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Caitlin

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I normally start with really getting involved with the story and characters, making dozens of little maps... get burned out, slowly lose interest and bam, start all over again... But this time, I started very differently. I started with making my world, characters and thinking about my features, going on to graphics before I started to write the story.  I know what sort of places that I am likely going to put in the game, and if I decide that I need other graphics... I can do them, later, if necessary. 


I remember reading that Nintendo would start with game play, story and then, decide which characters would best serve the game.  It's all about finding what truly works for you, making mistakes and poof, you're making and finishing games.
 

Nirwanda

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I usually have a very general idea of what I want to create (the plot will start here and end here) and dive right in, making stuff as the characters' and their personalities dictate. So I start with the first scene and go from there. I don't like having big complex plans, but I also return to previous plot points if later on development I've come up with something that will enrichen it.


It's a simple design philosophy but it works for me.
 

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