It's taken years, but I think I may finally be ready to make a game of my own!

Scythuz

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First off, apologies to the mods if this is in the wrong place.  Feel free to move this thread if needs be. 

This is a long read so I'll try to summarise it at the end.

Hey there guys so I've been on and off using rpg maker software for a fair amount of time, I think XP was the earliest version I used.   My first experience with the software was when me and a small group of friends tried to make a game way back in high school.  I was in charge of drawing the art.  At the time it was mostly hand-drawn battlers and I was drawing them in-between learning a bit about the software itself.  This project was eventually abandoned as exams and coursework started to get more stressful and we never did get back on with it.

I did however get experience in two different game engines after this, Game-maker and UDK.  I've made two small game-maker games and a few short levels in UDK so I do have some experience in games design and I also have a degree and national diploma in the subject too so it's not as if I'm going in completely unawares.

So onto the game idea itself... I was thinking of going for a pretty typical no frills attached plot line and setting as I'm not confident that I could handle anything more complex without more knowledge of the engine, I'm afraid my plot will be far too ambitious and spoil the game otherwise.  So it'd basically be a standard story in the style of games like: Final Fantasy 1, The earliest Dragon Quest / Warrior Games, the first Lufia game.  Just something very very simple as a fun way to pass time.

That's pretty much where I'm up to at the moment.  I've experimented with making and doing stuff like: creating towns and dungeons, creating boss battles with specific patterns, creating cut-scenes and dialogue, importing my music into the game, creating basic events and just little things like that.

If anyone has any advice, links to cool threads, questions or any suggestions please fire away! I'm very keen to see what I can do.

Summary: Looking to make a basic game, had some experience with the engine and game design before, looking for advice. 

Thanks in advance!
 

SOC

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I think most people would agree, start with the story first! Running in and doing database work/making maps/making events without having your story very well under way and major foundations built is like trying to build a house without a blue print. You'll end up reworking your entire database and deleting what previous work you did, and delete all these maps and bosses you're making now since it won't fit in with your story that you aren't 100% comfortable with yet. It's extremely disheartening and often throws my motivation out fast, so I highly recommend getting a solid story down first.

Aside from that, the RPG Maker official blog has a lot of amazing blog entries that can help familiarize you with how RPG Maker works. It also talks about some easier ways to pull from your brain storming and start making plot points with, which are some of my favorite entries it has.

The oldschool save the world FF1/Dragon Warrior/Lufia kind've style games are some of my favorite games to play in RPG Maker, so I'm really looking forward to what you can come up with! Also, can we talk privately about your degree in game design? I've recently enrolled in Full Sail University for a bachelor's in Game Design so maybe some advice would be great. :)
 

Scythuz

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You're probably right about the story part!  Truth be told I'm thinking of mainly leaning towards something similar to Lufia in terms of a group of unlikely heroes rising up to fight what are basically demi-gods.  I was thinking of starting from character / area bios and building up from there.

I'll check out the blog, I'm also considering using the graphical resource packs paid and unpaid if this project really gets going.  I'm probably going to have an ask around at some point to find some suitable ones but the ones I've seen so far are pretty darn impressive.

About the game design degree part... send me a pm and I might be able to help.  Bear in mind that every degree is different, my education covered broad areas but never really focused on one specific area except for the music and pre-production design.  But hey, I can create a mean traffic cone in 3ds Max! xD
 

ObtrusiveWhale

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Congrats on being ready to start your own game! It can be quite a daunting task, trust me I am still deep in production on a very extensive project of my own. Well, our own. (My best friend and I.) Anyways, I just figured I could lend you a bit of advice as we've been working so hard for so long now. The first thing you need to do, as SOC said, is get some kind of a story down. Grab yourself a notebook and just start brainstorming. Think about your favorite games and what you loved about them and why, and try to incorporate some of those things into your own.

Then, start coming up with characters. Give them the basics first. A name, a look, and in my case I like to choose their battle class right away as well to help when building their backgrounds. I've found that I like to come up with a few basic ideas about their character development, write them down, and then just dive into a scene with them. For me, their character develops naturally as I program the dialoge into the events. Someone who you thought you might be very excited for may turn out a bit bland We had this happen with our main character! Oops... However, someone else who you weren't entirely sure what you wanted to do with them may become your favorite. That also happened with us, the character being the second you acquire in the game. 

Anywho, once you have your characters together and some story together, try to put together a basic foundation in your database so you can just get onto the actual "game creating". We're completionists so one after diving back full force into our project after a break (you'll need breaks), we decided to finalize / flesh out the database to completion with a few things being left to edit as we actually play through our game as more of it is completed. Full weapons list, armor list, skill list, actor / class list, etc. It's extremely helpful to have all of that finished so that when you actually go to make your game everything is where it needs to be and (hopefully) functioning properly. 

Sorry this was a bit long winded. I hope it helped! :D
 

Scythuz

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Very nearly didn't notice this!  Thanks a lot these are some very interesting ideas, I'm not sure how much of the database I could get done early on but I'm sure I could, at the very least, get a very good starting point and save some hassle down the line.  Thanks a lot for the helpful advice!
 

Clord

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My advice would be not to make an usual RPG game. As far the characters and plot is concerned. At least when you are ready for your big project. For example no "save the world" plot as big commercial games have already covered that area lately, maybe a bit too much.


Strength of good free/indie games is that they provide an unusual experiences.
 
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SOC

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My advice would be not to make an usual RPG game. As far the characters and plot is concerned. At least when you are ready for your big project. For example no "save the world" plot as big commercial games have already covered that area lately, maybe a bit too much.

Strength of good free/indie games is that they provide an unusual experiences.
I would argue otherwise, there's too many games that try so hard to become "unusual" that they aren't very good. It's rare that I enjoy "unusual" games and in fact I wish we had more of the oldschool FF9 save the world plot games nowadays. Regardless, I think the best idea is to make what he wants to make, regardless of it being usual or unusual. Trying hard to make something that's outside what you want in your own game can only lead to bad choices and decisions when designing it. The best games are made by doing what you believe is best from your own imagination and heart, not conforming to what you think will "sell" the best.
 

Clord

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I would argue otherwise, there's too many games that try so hard to become "unusual" that they aren't very good. It's rare that I enjoy "unusual" games and in fact I wish we had more of the oldschool FF9 save the world plot games nowadays. Regardless, I think the best idea is to make what he wants to make, regardless of it being usual or unusual. Trying hard to make something that's outside what you want in your own game can only lead to bad choices and decisions when designing it. The best games are made by doing what you believe is best from your own imagination and heart, not conforming to what you think will "sell" the best.
 
Well in my case at least I genuinely like my and our unusual game projects. I didn't really approach my them in a terms of "Does it sell better if I do this?" but that is still part of the design process at least in some level.


I also agree that you should not put every unusual idea on your game and not have something more usual too.
 
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Scythuz

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Maybe if I do the usual approach but add an unusual twist to it later on?  

Also, it's very unlikely that this will be a commercial release.  I'm of the mind that only games with completely original content and resources should be sold.  I'll probably only use music made by me as custom content the rest will be the standard stuff and if needed, free resources with credit to the creators.  

This is more of a "for fun" project than anything.  At the moment I'm just experimenting with learning how to use the engine.  I've made a small template intro cutscene and I'm starting work on a dungeon.  Not going to do anything truly major until I have some kind of storyline and setting fleshed out.
 

Clord

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Well you could look at what games usually don't do as a plot twist and surprise the player who thinks that your game is predictable in terms of story.
 

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Way to go! Also, if you need any help with eventing and stuff, feel free to let me know. :)
I'll be rooting for you, Scythuz! :D

That reminds me of the fact that I should really work on Part 2 of my game, but I'm busy helping my dad with his own project and other things. *mumble* Need 48 hours per day. *mumble*
 

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