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Member Since 30 Jan 2010
Offline Last Active Mar 26 2013 03:33 AM

Topics I've Started

Forum for 'Orbital' up and running!

23 June 2010 - 10:12 AM

Our forums are now running very smoothly. While there are still some kinks in a few of the arcade games, We've pretty much finished them for the most part.

If you'd like to be a part of the development team, keep up on what's happening with the game, or just sit around, play the arcade, and chat about other things, the forum has it all. Sign up today and invite friends! Support the forum with a donation or two!


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Thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoy our forums!

Tips on Writing and Development

15 June 2010 - 04:52 PM

Table of Contents

Forming the story
1.1 - Introduction
1.2 - How to Begin
1.3 - Getting It On Paper
1.4 - Organizing
1.5 - Adding the Details
1.6 - Proofreading
1.7 - Proofreading Again

2.1 - Why It's Crucial
2.2 - Successful Presentation
2.3 - Accepting Criticism
2.4 - If It's Ignored

From Paper to Program
3.1 - Forming the Team
3.2 - Rebuilding the Plot
3.3 - Having To Change
3.4 - Communicating
3.5 - Working With More Than the Writers
3.6 - Finalization
3.7 - The Wrap-Up


Section 1.1 - Introduction

This giant post is intended to help you figure out, not just the do's and don't's of writing in general, but also the construction of the game. The writer has to be very involved in the construction process, but also has to know when to give people their space. These chapters cover all of these things, plus some extra tidbits that I've learned trying to start up some games. I will be using examples on how to create, edit, and present a compelling game plotline that players will thouroughly enjoy.

Section 1.2 - How To Begin

This is the second toughest part of the entire creative process - creating the story. Beware, this story will not come to you in a day, most likey. Most great storylines take days of formulating characters and events, and that's just the basics. If a storyline consisted of the first thoughts that popped into a writer's head, the story would be boring and unexciting. While your main points are easily your setting, plot twist, and ending, these three alone cannot form a good story for a game.

You begin with an idea. Something you're watching, playing, listening to, or seeing on a billboard, even, can motivate and inspire you with just one idea. From that idea, your entire car ride becomes a ride of thought as your run red lights and ignore police officers flashing their lights at you. The next thing you know, you're on the most recent episode of Cops.

Of course, it doesn't exactly happen this way, but fairly close to it. Something inspires you, and you build upon it. From this initial idea branch characters, events, twists, and great dialogue sequences. You decide not to write it down just yet, and this is not a bad or good idea. If your ideas are that great, you will remember them. If you have poor memory, write it somewhere in your notebook, journal, computer, on your arm, wherever you will remember it. Over the course of approximately five days, you will have a lot of ideas that you can't get straight. This is where you funnel your energy and begin forming the plot.

Section 1.2 - Getting It On Paper

So you have a ton of ideas swirling around inside your head and you don't know what to begin first. Sit at your desk in front of a pen, pencil and paper, or a keyboard and monitor, or even on your iTouch or iPad (I have done this on an iTouch many times). Write the ideas as they come. Don't think about what comes first, just write. You'll spend anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour on this, depending upon the size, shape, and complexity of your plot. The reason you do this is because very few people can organize their ideas as they write them. Do not fool yourself into thinking that you are one of them because, chances are, you are not. If you are, you'll know it, but you're probably not, so just listen to me for right now.

When you look at your 1 - 5 pages of random thoughts and ideas that formed as you wrote, you notice that they are no chronological order...at all. Unless you're one of those people mentioned above, you're going to have to reorganize. This is where classic pencil and paper come in hand.

Section 1.3 - Organizing

On paper, you can draw arrows, cross things out, and do double-arrows because it is much easier than the "control-x ... control-v" or the "control-c ... control-v" formula of the computer keyboard. Also, it helps to visual recognize what you are moving, removing, or reformulating.

So look at your thoughts as written on your monitor. Scroll down, if you can, and keep looking. Sit and think for a second. That's right, don't do anything but sit and think long and hard. Think these thoughts:

Where am I going to start the story?
Why am I going to start there instead of somewhere else?
Who is my main character?
What is he/she like?
why is he/she like this?
Why is he in the position that he is in?
Can I tell his background with a good flashback?*
Who is the antagonist?
Why is he/she like?

*If the flashback travels to time before you want to tell your story (as in the starting point of the game), it is still considered the beginning of your story. Develop everything from the start of the flashback timeline to the start of your game.

You get the idea. These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself. Now you get to deepen the story with a little more...depth.

Section 1.4 - Adding the Details

No good story just has the basics. Every riveting story that you've ever seen, read, or played, had intricate details that hinted at character traits, past events, or even strengthened events to come. These are elements that any writer who wants to create a compelling book, screenplay, stageplay, or game should know.

The details of your game need to accomplish one of three things:

Allusion to past events
Revelation of character trait (strength and flaw)

While a certain detail should only accomplish one of these things at a time, all of these things should be accomplished, but spread evenly before the plot twist/climax of your story.

Adding these details doesn't necessarily mean adding dialogue and the length of the main character's cowlick. Just event details. Don't make a timeline on a piece of paper like you did for a book report in 1st Grade. We're all adults now. Just add events that will add to the depth of the story. I really don't know another way to say this.

Section 1.5 - Proofreading

Ah, the best part of the writing process. Note the sarcasm.

Proofreading actually is one of the most constructive parts of writing. We are, often, our own worst critics. We note our flaws in writing, ideas, structure, and even use of numbers (depending upon your plot). Go through and fix, not only sentence structure and spelling, but your flow of ideas. Sometimes a writer will place an idea in the wrong spot because that's the exactl moment that he thought of it. This happenes, so catch it an fix it. While it probably won't show up in the game, the readers will be thrown for a loop when an idea is presented out of place.

While you're proofreading, use paragraphs to separate general ideas. One thing that I've noticed when proofreading other writing is that everything gets turned into one large massive paragraph that makes it difficult to discern from one idea and the next.

Section 1.6 - Proofreading Again

Yeah, that thing you just did? Do it again. Also, it helps to get a family member or close friend to do the proofreadings. You always need another set of eyes on what you've written, because sometimes, when you spot mistakes, occasionaly you will refuse to admit that it is a mistake and leave it as a mistake. Also, some family and friends may bring up grammatical mistakes that you never even realized were mistakes. This will go a long way in presentation.

This marks the end of Chapter 1 - Forming the Story

[Edited by - Hudaw on June 18, 2010 11:28:06 AM]

Theory: Collective Weathering

06 June 2010 - 01:05 AM

This is a theory that I have been thinking about for a few months. I have very little coding knowledge so I will just state the theory and see if it's possible. Obviously, physics would be included.

Let's say we're in a town in the desert, and the town comes under the force of a sandstorm. The player must take shelter. After the storm is done, the sandstorm will physically pile up sanddunes and alter the surrounding desert. Any winds afterwords would blow sand from dunes and actually move sand around.

Let's take rain. Depending on terrain, the rain will gather up in low areas, and when a player steps in the puddle, the size of the puddle decreases. This would be useful for flodding areas realistically.

For snow, well, falling in piles of snow would alter the piles. Crawling in the snow would move the snow out of the way or even put some snow on the player's clothing.

Random winds would have an effect on the loose landscape (i.e. sand, snow, water) as would any physical contact such as objects or characters.

I'm not sure how else to describe what I'm saying, and I'm sorry if this is confusing. Please let me know if this is at all possible with our current computing power.

Creating a Game - Details inside - Need help

30 January 2010 - 12:32 AM

Ok, I'm sure that you've all seen threads like this before, and I'm sure you've mostly ignored them. I came here looking for modders, skinners, modellers, etc. I'm creating a game. Myself, and 3 other writers are making a fairly complex plot line that takes place in the Domus Galaxy. It involves three governments, anywhere from 25-50 planets, and a private military group, as well as androids and space warfare. All of the good stuff, obviously. I've already got a couple of weapon concepts done, and we've hammered out the general plot line ideas, but where we want it to go, we don't have the EXACT details yet, but I'll give you a summary. After 80 years of war, it is finally time for peace as the Galactic Alliance of Trade and Commerce, based on the planet Alpha Kai, has established alliances with the majority of the planets and outlined trade regulations, bonding the galaxy together. Cameron Forcade is a Cpl. in the Royal Army, the GATC's military branch of ground forces. He is awarded the Cross of Honor after saving most of his patrol when they were attacked by what seemed to be a small resistance group, but Cameron knows that there's something more to it. He is transferred aboard the 'Sibilance', the GATC's flagship. While there, the ship is assaulted by a fleet belonging to the Anti-Alliance Confederacy, a group which has been gaining secret support over 10 years of the 50 year peace. The flagship is destroyed, and Cameron is one of the few that escape. Out of the 20,000 crewmen on the flagship, only 1,600 survive. The group lands on Delta Kai, where they are faced with an immediate threat from the AAC. And that's about all we've got so far. We know that we want a very long campaign with tons of action points, some side-quests, and even some choices in the game that will alter the ending quite dramatically. I need some assistance with this. So please, if you wish to help, reply to the thread, but I'd prefer if you contacted me by E-mail at Hudaw@live.com Or you can sign up on the forums at http://starcorestudios.freeforums.org Thank you for your time.