What's your process?

MiracleMare

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Well, I'm interested to hear about different developer's creation process. I think it would be interesting to see how different individuals go about developing their games. I would assume there's concept art creation, note jotting, brain storming etc.. then the story writing phase and detailed character creation, major events and so on... then the actual creation of the game...but how do YOU do it?

Do you prefer to jump right in to the software and start making maps and take notes as you map and develop your story as you go, or do you stay away from the maker completely in the first steps and focus completely on the story 'til it's perfect?

This is something I've been thinking about and I'd love to hear from you guys! :)
 

Makio-Kuta

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Rach and I usually start with some random out there line like "I want to make a game about ____" A very, very basic premise.


After that, we start bouncing ideas off each other while I doodle up characters. (I absolutely can't wait longer than 5seconds to start character design because that's my favourite part, which I think is okay because a lot of our games are driven by characters more than anything lol) There's a lot of 'what if we do this!' sudden epiphanies at random moments while working on other things. The early stages of planning are... all over the place.


Once we start getting into the nitty gritty, I'll scribble notes (and doodles) to get down our ideas and thoughts as we do more specific and targeted brainstorming. The program doesn't get opened until we have a solid idea of what we want to do usually. A very basic outline of the story, all of the characters designed, and most of the important key systems thought about and designed to some degree. Key maps are usually sketched before they are made in the editor. Menus and stuff are usually mocked up before programmed.


We're certainly in the category of 'stay away from actually putting the game together' as far as a lot of things go, but not quite to the extent of the story being 100% perfectly written.


I'm looking forward to what other people have to say!
 

CWells

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It depends. I don't have an actual order. I tend to work better with my own personal chaos. Here is how I would describe it simply:

I have six different bags, each containing certain elements that are all necessary for my work. They are all heavy so I carry them each individually a certain distance. i go back then pick up what I leave behind to catch up with everything else. Then I make another leg of the journey, doing the same thing until I get to the finish. I never stick to one thing and I learned that it's tricky to only concentrate on one part of the game when actually getting your hands in the software. This is because of how one tab inevitably effects the other around it. Skills and the damage formulas and the parameters of characters/enemies are inseparable, for one thing. The increases to stats from gear/states is also part of the net of things necessary to keep an eye on.

So I find it easier for me to work under my own chaos, jumping from one part to another.

But I do have some sense of order and that is mainly focused on how battles will play out:

First: I just make the story. I set up the environment and enemies. Then I playtest without creating solid battle mechanics, just to see how long it might take a player to get from one section to another. Then I slowly build up battle formulas, observing the difficulty and scaling of parameters. This would be me slowly carrying one element, then going back to get another. That's just how I do it. But I always set up rules for myself as a guide. It helps me figure out a structure for the system I'm working on.
 

Dalph

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I'm a meticulous and sick perfectionist and I enjoy developing characters more than anything else.

I plan everything first on a Notepad before actually using the tool, it's useless to create maps or random things if you don't know what you're doing or where you're going.

I usually start writing the characters, then I add their personality\various details and create their backstory.

I write everything about them: age, height, personal tastes, phobias...ecc, a lot of details makes them more believable.

When I have the characters ready then I can start working on the storyline (yes, I create the characters before the storyline), I like to adapt the story to the characters and not the other way.

After this, then I can start dividing the storyline in various sequences, connecting the important details to them (Hero dies, Princess is kidnapped...ecc), some sort of developer's chapters. This method makes the work easier and more ordered, plus you'll also know where you're going with the story.

After doing this, I can start writing the gameplay features, the skills and everything else I'll need for the game, and eventually modify and adding\removing various things (the finishing touches).

I will finally open the tool "only when I'm satisfied enough of what I wrote".

PS: 300th post, YAY!
 
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reno385

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I find what works best for me is to cover the general goals and features on paper first. The details I prefer to tackle as they come, but it helps me a lot to have the broad scope of it in a notebook next to me while I'm on the computer, otherwise I'll lose track of what I wanted to do in the first place. Then I just kind go from there, implement the broad aspects first and then take care of the details. In past projects I'd focus on one area at once, i.e. such and such map must be perfect before I move on to anything else, but it was a little dreadful. This time I had all the maps in the game outlined just like they were in my notebook (more or less) before I even plopped the first tree on the first map, and it definitely seemed to go a lot faster and more pleasantly this way.
 

Galenmereth

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For me it's the "waves from the ocean hitting the shore" approach; I first start out with an idea, and work on that until I have a concept. Usually this centers around very basic gameplay prototypes when it comes to games. I then ride the wave backwards and return to the original idea, and start asking questions, like "what is the reason for this gameplay" or "what story would improve upon this". Then I go with that until I've gotten something reasonably solid drafted, and return to the origin again. And so on and so forth with characters, settings and new gameplay mechanics.

I don't plan everything in advance, I plan as I go along. For me it's important to always be aware of all the elements of my games (or any other project) as I go along, and keep going back and forth between simplicity (core concepts) and complexity (execution of concepts and ideas). I'm very much anti-routine; if I get stuck in a routine for a while I instinctively break free from it. The reason for this is that it's part of a personal mantra for me; to always be fluid, and to always be aware of the now.
 
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