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Lynck

Game Idea * Need Suggestions *

15 posts in this topic

Ok, I have been working on an idea for a game based on the information in the book series "Harry Potter" by J.K. Rowling. After I make the game design document, I will actually present it to Rowling, and see what she thinks. If she allows me to make the game, I will return to the board to find workers, but first things first. A: What do I start with first in a game document? B: I am hoping to make this totally 3D, or atleast most. You take place as a person that you make with the character creation system, and use the character in either single or multi-player mode. You get to go to all the places in the book, including Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where you learn the arts of magic. You get to do EVERYTHING and more that is in the book. For those not familiar with the book, they may either go in the library at the school, or do ARENA mode, where they do battling for spectators. They get to do stuff like fight, fly broomsticks to knock eachother down ( Like Jousting,) and even for advanced users... Kill... Well, I need Suggestions, comments, but no flames, terrible comments, or riots. I just want basic imput. By the way, many people say "Well, it is no good if you don't know anything about creating games" Well, I know how to do 2D characters pretty well, I am starting with 3D, I know some Visual Basic, and I have made a game... But it got killed in the virus... Well...Thanx! Edited by - Lynck on 6/8/00 3:28:35 PM
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Dear Lynck!

I have been reading a book on Game Design lately (it was called "Game Design" ), and I want to share some of the information with you...

How to start a design document?

Well, the first thing you should do is a kind of brainstorming. Just write down everything that comes into your mind! Share ideas, talk with other people what they think about it.
If you -in general- know, how the game should be like (and you should know that exactly!!!), you can sit down in front of your computer, and start typing your design doc.
The technical issues is the last to deal with, at first you have to make the circumstances clear. That means to write down (a simple) background story and describe the hero/heroes of the game. But note to write it clear enough (if you want other people to get involved in your project, they should read your design doc first...and it would be cool if they understood it too ...)
Now that you have described the hero in the game, you should deal with the "bad guys" (if you want to include some...)
Describe them in detail (you can add some things later on, so you don't expect to have a "final design doc" at once ...)
Now that you have described all the characters in the game, turn over to the features. Do you want to give the player(s) weapons, and if, what kind of weapons? Try to explain the equipment and the effects of it.
The next thing is what do you want the player to do. Should he be able to trade, to jump, swim or do you only want him to shoot everything in sight? This issue is linked with the storyline.
Now turn over to the menu design. How to design a good and efficient (main) menu?
Simply imagine an actionpoint system. One mouse movement is one actionpoint, one mouse click is one action point and one keypress is one actionpoint too.
The player should use a maximum of 2-3 actionpoints to use the most important actions, and a maximum of 3-4 actionpoints for the less important actions.
If you want to know more about that, just post another reply, and I'll explain it more indepth ...

At that point your design document has already a big size!
Don't forget to save it on disk too! (In case of another virus......)

Now you can turn to the technical issues (important for the engine coders...)
Explain how you want the screen to look like, talk a bit about the features the engine should support.
Talk about AI (monster behaviour and so on). Talk about the background music and the mood it should
Don't forget to read your design doc, add or delete some things and finally make it "public" (send it to everyone involved in the project).

If there are any questions left, feel free to post a reply or send me mail!

Yours,


Edited by - Indeterminatus on June 9, 2000 9:39:20 AM
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This is right up there with writing fan-boy episodes of The X-Files for a website and expecting Chris Carter to jump all over them. I suspect that there are, um, more people than just you interested in a license that could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
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Hiya,

Granted that there probably are bunches of people all over this idea, but don''t that make you give up. You *may* get rejected, but you *may* get the nod too. Either way, have fun and enjoy the experience.

Best of luck!

-Krylar
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Here''s a sample design document for a game called Shadow Stalkers(yes I realize it sucks):




------------------------------
SHADOW STALKERS


Midnight. A full moon shines on an ancient castle. Wind rustles through the trees, and somewhere in the distance a wolf howls....
1. Overview

Shadow Stalkers is a single player FPS meets RPG game. Set in the late Feudal Ages, the player hunts vampires and other supernatural things. The player manages items and cast spells like in an RPG, but also has a first (or third, if someone can implement it) person view, and can go around swinging a sword or using a crossbow.
The game resembles Blade meeets Dracula and a touch of Thief.

2. Game Objectives

The player''s first and foremost objective is to hunt down vampires, and particularly one supernatural individual named Deakanis, supposedly the Lord of Chaos and Death among the supernatural. The player can also buy new weapons (for use in FPS mode). You can aquire money by selling things you come across, and also looting those who get in your way.

The player also can gain experience by fighting, and as a result will miss targets less, fight better with a sword, etc.


3. Graphics
The game is mostly played in First Person shooter mode (or Third person) and will be fully 3D. When going through shops, it will use a third person mode where you can talk to shopkeepers and buy things. May have to license an engine.

4. Playing the Game

While adventuring, the game reverts to a default third person view (like in those screenshots or Age of Darkness I keep seeing) but when the player undertakes missions (RPG) it switches to FPS mode.

5. Character Types
(INCLUDE REALLY REALLY LONG LIST OF MONSTERS AND NPCs)

6. Combat
Whenever going into combat, the game switches to First Person mode, and you can either take out your sword and fight with it, or use another weapon. Note that whenever you undertake a mission, the game will switch to First Person mode until the mission is accomplished.
It''s possible to snipe targets with a longbow, and it''s best to kill monsters using an arrow dipped in Holy Water. Silver arrowheads are particularly effective against werewolves.
The combat resembles Thief, as you supposed to sneak in. While the character has a few supernatural powers of his own (like in Blade), it''s best to do things quietly until the character is experienced enough to do open combat.


7. Game World
When missions are over, you can stroll through town, buying things, and living a "normal" life. However, some people may ask you to do certain quests or missions, like hunt for a killer werewolf, or maybe investigate a castle that supposedly has vampires.

8. Mood and theme
(NOTE TO LYNCK: Mood and theme are very important, a game will suck if they''re bad!)
The game resembles something out of Dracula. When in adventure mode, it''s usually daytime, and you stroll through medieval villages and towns (like something out of A Kid in King Arthur''s Court). However, the actual missions always take place at night, or if it''s daytime, inside caves and other dark places. There are foreboding castles, full moons, and the forests are filled with the sound of nocturnal animals.


----------------------------------

That''s it for now. You''ll probably want to include some more things like Story, a list of NPCs, some other game features. What I''ve given you is a bare bones design doc, it probably won''t impress THAT many people. An actual doc is usually 10 or so pages long (or so I''ve heard).

Good luck on your game!

- DarkMage139
"Real game developers don't change the rules. Real game developers don't break the rules. Real game developers make the rules!"
"Originality (in games) is the spice of life!"
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quote:
Original post by DarkMage139
won''t impress THAT many people. An actual doc is usually 10 or


That is it? 10 pages? Last time I checked the one I am doing now it was over 250?

I also think the one stored in the archives here on gamedev for the game Claw is also up there in page count.


"Five passengers set sail that day, for a three hour tour, a three hour tour...."
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check out the articles in the Game Design area of this site.. there''s four articles specifically about Design Docs..
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To Joviex:

Yeah, well, I find 10 or 15 pages is enough for me. But then again, I''m not doing commercial games. If I were, I wouldn''t be

FLAT BROKE

like I am now...

- DarkMage139
"Real game developers don't change the rules. Real game developers don't break the rules. Real game developers make the rules!"
"Originality (in games) is the spice of life!"
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I just started rewriting my design doc for a very complex adventure game and already it''s hit 20 pages (and I''ve just put the basics in, like game objectives, features, and input mapping...I still have to do all of the REAL stuff, like puzzle and level stuff...I''m anticipating that to take a hundred or so pages).

I think the most important thing relating to the design doc is to DO IT, and put as much stuff in as possible, even if you''re too lazy. Just DO IT (not to steal Nike''s slogan ), cause it''s a good habit and it could come back to bite you in the end (especially if you''re working in a team).

------------------------------
Changing the face of adventure gaming...
Atypical Interactive
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Ya, I just finished my 50 page design doc for my upcoming Pong game. Come on guys.
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I''m going to have to agree with most of you and say that the design document is very imortaint. It needs to be long enough to fully explain every aspect of the game. Dont worry about the exact length. What you should worry about is putting every little detail you think of in the document in no particular order. This is more like brainstorming and does not belong in the design doc as it muddles the final creative vision. Put those little brainstorming ideas in a notebook somewhere until you are absolutly sure you want them in the game. Remember, any idea you come up with is usally a great one until you show somone else. If someone else dosn''t like it maybe they don''t understand your vision. If 100 people say it''s bad maybe it doesn''t belong in the game. Good luck with your design document.

Creativity -- Concept -- Code

Your game is nothing if you don't have all three.

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Hi again!

I just wanted to say, that the design document is very important, yes, and you should plan every little detail, but there should always be a little space for changes while coding. That doesn''t mean to totally convert the game, but you should always have a little bit fun on coding

I wish you good luck with your game!

Yours,
Indeterminatus.


Indeterminatus
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quote:
Original post by Lynck

Ok, I have been working on an idea for a game based on the information in the book series "Harry Potter" by J.K. Rowling. After I make the game design document, I will actually present it to Rowling,


Don''t want to quash yer idea, love the book series, but I am 99.999999% sure that WOTC (Wizards of the Coast) own the rights to games published under the Harry Potter name. And, just a reminder, WOTC is owned by Hasbro

They already have a card game for it, not sure about a computer thingy though, I would check through their site.



"Five passengers set sail that day, for a three hour tour, a three hour tour...."
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quote:
Original post by Joviex

Don''t want to quash yer idea, love the book series, but I am 99.999999% sure that WOTC (Wizards of the Coast) own the rights to games published under the Harry Potter name. And, just a reminder, WOTC is owned by Hasbro


On the other hand, they might be more than happy to publish your game for you and collect 50% of the profits at virtually no expense to themselves Just be sure you can change all the intellectual property around in case they don''t like it

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quote:
Ya, I just finished my 50 page design doc for my upcoming Pong game. Come on guys. - Julio

- Pong''s attraction was partly that the idea of videogames was new, but also the fact that it had a strong basic concept. -Something that not many videogames can manage these days, especially when you compare the variety of videogames worldwide to the variety of board games worldwide. - I personally like Half-Life quite a bit, but when stuff like "Rollercoaster Tycoon" and "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" comes along and blows Quake/Unreal/Half-Life away in sales, I kinda wonder not about who is buying the FPS games, but about all the people who aren''t. From a casual non-scientific comparison of boardgames/tablegames vs. videogames, I have noticed the following points:
- Board and table games for children tend to have a definite ending that one player reaches first, but adult games tend to continue until all but one player has lost & dropped out.
- Most board/table games for children tend to have concrete concepts: a predefined gameplay along a predefined path that is presented using familiar ideas. Most board/table games for adults tend to be more abstract, not directly representing anything, such as Poker or checkers. The level of abstraction tends to increase with the age of the players. (Many videogames strive to be realistic when realism clearly isn''t important to adult players)
- Chess seems to be the upper limit of how complex a game can be, and still be widely popular. Many videogames *seem* to add more factors (such as different weapons needed for different enemies) in a misspent effort to increase the challenge of the game, when clearly, the challenge of checkers is not how to move the pieces, but which piece to move and where to move it.
Just some observations. - Lubb
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Well, thank you. All of you. You have been a great help, and I have started my design document. By the way, I made a interactive web page online game at http://hogwartsrpg.freeservers.com
It isn''t really good, it hasn''t been updated in a while because I am redoing the layout, and making graphics, which takes time...
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