New to RPG Maker MV and want advice on how to stay focused

Lonnehart

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I toyed with RPG Maker 2000 a LONG time ago and decided to dive into it again thanks to Steam's summer sale (MV has a large discount on it). However, I do have one slight problem when making games (such as when working with Clickteam Fusion 2.5).

How do I stay focused? I want to start my first RPG as a quest where you have to return your neighbors wallet. The problem is other ideas for sidequests will pop up. I'm sure of it. Maybe you have to deal with an annoying neighbor who sends you on a quest to mow the lawn. Or you may have to deal with the neighborhood bully (who you defeated time and time again but he's convinced he can break you down so he can dominate you). Or another quest where you're diverted to this alleyway to meet some guy who wants x number of this item, etc...

So how do the rest of you remain focused on the story/main quest you want to create?
 

mlogan

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I write down all the details of those other ideas. For me personally, getting it out of my head and onto paper/word document helps me get back to focusing on what I was working on. And then, I don't need to worry about forgetting it later.
 

Metabot

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Open a new word document or a google spreadsheet and start writing every idea for the game you have in your head
 

Sharm

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The only way I ever get anything done is to constantly cut back and remind myself to keep it simple. Setting boundaries as well as goals when I'm getting started helps too. If my goal is one dungeon, one town, and one map connecting the two then it's a bit easier not to go crazy with making new dungeons. Of course, then I will try to make the one dungeon huge and I'll have to set limits there too, but that's okay. It's a process.
 

zimzim

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You may want to create a basic workplan of what you want to do. Keep this basic workplan short and simple and only include details that you will adhere to all the time in here. This is what I did for my game's basic workplan:
  • Characters: how many main characters, support characters and antagonists? What's their role in the game?
  • Story: What's the objective?
  • Concept: What kind of gameplay? What sort of battle mechanics going to be implemented? Is it open-world?
  • Technicals: What's the game resolution going to be? Duration of game?
After you laid out the basics, then you could create a detailed workplan, such as sidequests, characters' dialogue style, etc. These are the things that you can be flexible or semi-flexible with, and can be changed from time to time.

Do note that planning like this is usually the most boring part in game development. But it makes your execution much easier by having less mid-development changes. (It's easier to change stuffs in wordpad!)
 

BrandedTales

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Set goals and then complete them before moving to the next thing. Ideally, your goals should be something you can finish in two weeks. If you don't know how much you can do in two weeks, make it one week. If you aren't hitting that goal,adjust expectations. All things that could cause scope creep (ideas for how to make it bigger and better) such as new battle systems, cool plugins you aren't sure how to use them but you really want to, polished parallax layered maps, or even side quests should get jotted down to revisit as a later goal.

Finish the goal. Then look at the notes you've jotted and figure out which you want to tackle next. Rinse and repeat until your rhythm is really going... Then take a step back and analyze if you are picking the right goals (if they are taking you closer to completion) and start queueing up goals that get you there.
 

Lonnehart

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Thanks, everyone. I plan for the first game to be simple and short so I get a feel for what it's like to make an RPG (like just returning a lost wallet). Putting any ideas that show up during the process in a seperate file is a good idea so I can add sidequests later. I guess I can just outline the goals of the game in writing before starting on it, right?
 

Kes

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There is also a Thread [Name of month] Goals in this forum which can help you to keep on track. I'm on my phone so can't do links.
 

NPX

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The only way I ever get anything done is to constantly cut back and remind myself to keep it simple.
This -- the KISS rule is cast-iron and should always be followed, especially for beginners.

Design and build the core game first, which is the quest to give your neighbour his wallet back. Once that's complete, then work on the side-quests as smaller games. Trying to do it all at once will surely overwhelm you.
 

Spoopy

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As @NPX said, use the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle, do your core first, I'd suggest creating mind maps on paper, or even better code your javascript in Netbeans and download the mindmap plugin for that to keep it all together in one environment.

Start creating world, character, enemy, story sheets:
world Sheets:
world name
number of continents/islands
location Names
location attributes such physical environment, animal life, population, culture.
danger hotspots

Character sheets:
character name
gender
background story
specialization
relationships
skills

Enemy sheets:
enemy name
skills
etc

It may seem like a lot, but it is really not. Keep a small notepad/booklet with you and write down anything in your spare time, spend at least 20-30 minutes fleshing one thing out. Also take time to rethink the plot in the story to find any holes and make sure the arrangement doesn't lead to confusion when twists occur. Just some tips I picked up at Uni back in the day.
 

jaypee

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Your question title is very confusing but managed to figure it out upon reading your last sentences, you should have put "How to stay focused on the story when creating side quest". When you create a mini-quest it should be relevant to the story of your game, like something to do with your main characters or the main story itself hope that helps.
 

Lonnehart

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Your question title is very confusing but managed to figure it out upon reading your last sentences, you should have put "How to stay focused on the story when creating side quest". When you create a mini-quest it should be relevant to the story of your game, like something to do with your main characters or the main story itself hope that helps.
Well, that's part of it. My problem is that I have so many ideas for sidequests and my impatience makes me start on them even when building main quest. At some point I get so sidetracked that I burn out and stop altogether. So now it's important for me to learn how to focus on one quest at a time (the main quest being first) without losing those ideas about side quests.
 

Tagris

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I would suggest working on your project daily in small amounts. I have one project that I work on everyday. Even if it is small, and I am just updating a map.

Also, if you have a lot of ideas and are having problems with editing them down (or that they are conflicting) I would suggest (as it was above) to write them all down.

I took a big white board and put down all my ideas, then I selected the few I actually wanted (what I thought were the best) and put those into my game. Having many idea's or directions doesn't necessarily make the game what you wanted. Determine what you want form the game and then keep ideas that fit that mold.

My current game is focused on exploration and decision making. So, when I come up with other ideas I look to see if they support that core concept. If they do not, then I don't include them. If I think they are good ideas but don't work with this project I write them down and keep them in a notebook for another project.
 

Karlski

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The way I deal with it... Mix up your work.

Create a list of everything you have to do, and don't spend too long on each section.
Once you feel yourself starting to lose focus, it's probably time to take a break.

Take 10-15 minutes to yourself. Have a think over what you've just done. If you don't have a sudden brainwave of new ideas then I think getting on with another part of the project is a good way to push forward.
 

sabao

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Outline the tasks you want to accomplish within a certain period of time. You'll be tempted to change these up as you go along, but try not to and stick to the original goal. You can allot another time for tweaks you want done down the road. This helps keep development on the move and not stuck in one place. Newer ideas are also given the time to simmer as opposed to deciding something on the fly and then stalled by little details you hadn't considered when you came up with the thing.

Build a tiny shack where you can do tiny shack things. Also become a vampire. I find it really helps to work in a time and environment where there are as few distractions as possible. In my case, it's a work space where I won't be bothered at an hour where people are asleep and in some cases, with the wi-fi turned off or worse, I'm chained to my seat until the job is done.
 
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Kes

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@Isabella Ava and @Karlski please do not post spam. Also remember that this is a site with many members who are minors. [PG-13 rating] Keep it clean.
 
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