How Do You Start Making A Game?

Discussion in 'RPG Maker VX Ace' started by Sennie, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Sennie

    Sennie Demon Slayer Veteran

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    Hi,

    It's my first time creating a game and to be honest I don't actually know where to start too. What do I do first, mapping, story-line planning, etc. I know this sounds really stupid, but it is my first game and I'm hoping you might be able to help me :)

    Thanks.

    Miffy6000.
     
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  2. Saltwater Croc

    Saltwater Croc Voice Actor/Frelance Composer Veteran

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    Outline. Always outline first. You can't create a game if there's no story. A game is really just an interactive story.  Once you have a good outline you can flesh out your storyline.

    It may or may not be glamorous, but it is an essential role in the development of a GOOD game. One that will be remembered. You can worry about all the flashy scripts, maps, and other shinies later. A good outline usually means a good game.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  3. cabfe

    cabfe Cool Cat Veteran

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    Actually, there are already some topics about that.

    Like this one. You'll likely find some interesting advices there.
     
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  4. Shinma

    Shinma Lurker Veteran

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  5. Sennie

    Sennie Demon Slayer Veteran

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    Thanks :)
     
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  6. Oriceles

    Oriceles 0 + a.atk * 4 - b.def * 2 Veteran

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  7. Sennie

    Sennie Demon Slayer Veteran

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    Hey,

    Thanks I'll be sure to check them out. Thanks for the link as well :)
     
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  8. Alexander Amnell

    Alexander Amnell Jaded Optimist Veteran

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       Coming from someone who has dropped several projects and as of yet no truly complete games, I can't really say what you should do, I can tell you what not to do though.

       Don't start working on your game without a plan, you may not think it at first and from a fresh project it will take a long time to notice, but if you make up the story as you go unless you are some kind of literary savant there will come a point where you realize that your project is essentially a mess of daydreams and plot holes tied together thinly under the guise of a game. You will be embarrassed that it is even your project and you will drop it, then you'll become discouraged that you spent so much time on something you gave up on. The plot needs to be written out before you start the game, even if your game isn't story-driven and the plot itself is simplistic, it should still be worked out before actually opening up the software and creating your game.

       Don't keep adding feature(script) after feature to your game just because they 'look cool' or whatever. Invest the time to become familiar with how the eventing and scripting systems work, determine what you can do yourself and what scripts are available to help you, compile them and set up your gameplay mechanics as soon as possible and stick with them. Gameplay is important, without it there isn't actually a game, so no matter how great every other aspect of your game is if the actual game part is a jumbled mess of unnecessary features and confusing addon mechanics it will turn people off of your game faster than ellipsis overuse, bad writing, bad graphics and flat characters combined. The features of your game should be developed around the game you want to make, not a game built around all of the neat features that can be put in there.

       Keep it simple. This is the most important I would think, especially for a first project. Chances are most people here aren't on the cusp of death, so your first game doesn't have to be your best game (and really shouldn't be, you learn so much along the way you can't help but improve.) I would think it would be better to release an hour long project, then another improved but also short project and to build upon that until eventually you are good enough to tackle that epic game you've always dreamed of making then to fail multiple times to create said dream game right off the bat and have nothing to show for your efforts, at least I'd think so. So, beyond all I guess know your limitations, otherwise you can't really get passed them.
     
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  9. Dymdez

    Dymdez Newbie-in-Chief Veteran

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    This is what you do: Just start. Don't worry about not knowing stuff or being scared things aren't perfect. Just start and you will constantly be improving and figuring stuff out and finding out what works and doesn't work, but there's no way to know the answer of your question without just starting - ideas will come to you, that's the human condition.
     
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  10. Sennie

    Sennie Demon Slayer Veteran

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    Thanks a lot :)

    That really helps me out - Thank you!

    I'll make a start after tea then, thanks.

    Miffy6000.
     
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  11. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Depends: Do you want to learn the engine first, or make a good game first? I have actually made a game where I just started, and focused on learning the engine, and made up the story as I went (I did this with Unlimited Adventures back in the 90's). Was it any good? No. But, I learned how to use the engine at least in the process.

    Now, if you want to make a good game as well, then I would start with the game world. What is your world? What is special about it? How does magic work in it (or do you even have magic in your world)? Once you have that, then write the story.. Write it out in word (the technique I use), even if it takes a couple weeks just to write the story. See how it looks. Sure, you might deviate a little from it when implementing it, but at least this way you know where the game is going. Once you have a world and a story, then you can make the game.

    Both of the first two steps of my approach don't even require RPGMaker, and can be done on sheets of paper (or word documents, which is what I use). My advice? Don't discard the work here even if you get junk, it might be able to be used (in a modified form) later on. I still have my (really bad) stories I wrote in high school, sitting in a folder, in case I need an idea for a game later on. Who knows, maybe one of those ideas could see the light in the IGMC 2015 contest or something!
     
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  12. Sennie

    Sennie Demon Slayer Veteran

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    Thanks. Looks like I have a lot of work to do... :D
     
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  13. whitesphere

    whitesphere Veteran Veteran

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    I agree with other posters.  Make sure you learn all of the basics of using RPG Maker.  Do all of the tutorials on events, mapping and so on. 

    Once you've done that, make a simple, small game.  The IGMC contest was a great impetus to do this --- the game had to be short since it HAD to be finished within a month. 

    The general process, for me, goes like this:

    1. Get an interesting idea

    2. Create a game world for the idea

    3. Write an outline of the entire plot, including any significant characters

    3a. When it comes to features and even player classes, only add what your game needs, not the tons of cool things that might be nifty.   With the thousands of scripts freely available, it's mighty tempting to throw everything in.  But it makes building and playing the game much more difficult.

    4. Start creating the initial maps and monsters

    5. Add main quests as you create the relevant map

    6. As you're going along, constantly playtest battles, puzzles and such to make sure they are challenging but fair.  This is a tricky balance, but games that blow this will be crappy no matter what their other virtues.

    7. Once you have the entire game laid out, start testing and polishing the game from end to end.  This includes game balance, balancing the economy (how long should players have to grind to earn new equipment for example) and so on.

    It really helps if you can find friendly playtesters who will test your game.  If you do, the biggest favor you can do for them is make each section as good as possible BEFORE handing it over to them.  They are spending their free time doing you a favor, after all.

    Good luck!
     
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  14. Sennie

    Sennie Demon Slayer Veteran

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    Thanks for your help :)
     
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  15. jetpackgone

    jetpackgone Always Learning Veteran

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    I would say to start with lots of brainstorming to figure out what experience to convey through the game. It could be a certain emotion, game mechanic, narrative, etc. Then find out how to make that experience a reality through the game. This involves learning the ins and outs of RPG Maker, outlining the story, making the maps, and so on. Plan as much as you can out first on paper, then try and make it real.

    My friend and I chose to do a horror game with some good plot and scares (not many jump scares) because we were inspired by games like Ib and Witch's House (who isn't?). Then we worked on the outline of the plot and the themes throughout the story. After getting the premise down, we worked on making the maps and events, scripting, writing the dialogue, creating puzzles, etc.

    While you're brainstorming though, you can always learn more about how to use RPG Maker and how to script. That's what I did!

    Best of luck with your game!
     
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  16. Sennie

    Sennie Demon Slayer Veteran

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    Thanks :)

    Best of luck to you too :D
     
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  17. TheFroMofo

    TheFroMofo Hired Merc Veteran

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    I say just go. When I began my project (also my first ever with RPGM) all I knew was the direction of the story. I had no clue how to do mapping or anything and I just kept going with the project. However, you will learn and you will go back to those first few maps or events or dialogue you created and redo them. Afterwards, everything will be incredible.
     
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