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Splinter of Chaos

How do I show other people?

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I'm no artist, but I had an epiphany for a game and I'm trying to explain it to my friends and family. The idea is that if I can make them understand, then maybe in the future when I get to make the game with help he or she will understand. So I'm realizing that what I need to do is show them how it would look. Well I'm currently writing in my notebook and drawing illustrations, but my humble doodles won't cut it. Is there any way you guys can suggest for generically how to illustrate my ideas? Free software that has easy drawing tools? A commonly used technique that coders who can't draw used? Anything else? And, if anyone's wondering what the game is exactly so you can help better, I'm not keen to sharing. It might not get made for at least 5 years when I finish college assuming I don't fail any classes. Also: is there such thing as too much innovation? I keep expanding and expanding on an already unique idea, and I'm just worried that it'll get to complex or foreign to people's instincts.

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alway616    122
Quote:
[i]

Also: is there such thing as too much innovation? I keep expanding and expanding on an already unique idea, and I'm just worried that it'll get to complex or foreign to people's instincts.


now im not sure about the other stuff but no, there is not such a thing as too much innovation

but if you have a lot of new concepts for people in the game, i suggest have some help menu or something of that sort about it and how to use it to its fullest potential

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Palidine    1315
to demo gameplay concepts:
sketch on a whiteboard as you describe
use legos
use other objects ready at hand (salt shakers, etc)
etc

to demo visual effects:
learn to draw
find an artist (but you have to be able to describe what you want)
play with modding a game (like the Source engine, Doom3, etc)

Mostly it just sounds like a typical engineer communication problem. You have a beautiful idea in your head but can't communicate it outwards. Learning to do so is a skill like any other. I personally find that people follow me better using the "ol salt & pepper shakers as game objects" technique. Even just roughly sketching stuff on a whiteboard for visual ideas helps people immensely to follow what you are saying.

-me

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Trapper Zoid    1370
Quote:
Original post by Splinter of Chaos
I'm no artist, but I had an epiphany for a game and I'm trying to explain it to my friends and family. The idea is that if I can make them understand, then maybe in the future when I get to make the game with help he or she will understand. So I'm realizing that what I need to do is show them how it would look. Well I'm currently writing in my notebook and drawing illustrations, but my humble doodles won't cut it. Is there any way you guys can suggest for generically how to illustrate my ideas? Free software that has easy drawing tools? A commonly used technique that coders who can't draw used? Anything else?

I'm not sure exactly what the difficulty is in explaining your idea without knowing a little bit more about what your idea is - most game ideas I've had can either be described purely in words, with abstract diagrams or by showing ideas through acting them out with counters on a tabletop.

I recommend Inkscape as an easy to use drawing tool - there's a link to my tutorial at the end of the post. It's vector based so it's pretty easy to make diagrams or simple geometric shapes in Inkscape.

Quote:
And, if anyone's wondering what the game is exactly so you can help better, I'm not keen to sharing. It might not get made for at least 5 years when I finish college assuming I don't fail any classes.

Unless your idea is of Tetris like simplicity, I'd recommend being a bit more open about sharing ideas. Everyone here has their own great game idea anyway, so they're unlikely to steal yours. And I think even Tetris was shot down by companies when it was first put out before they realised how popular it would be.

Quote:
Also: is there such thing as too much innovation? I keep expanding and expanding on an already unique idea, and I'm just worried that it'll get to complex or foreign to people's instincts.

Yes, there is a thing as too much innovation. People tend to relate more towards things they understand. That's part of the reason why similar gameplay dynamics or the same fantasy worlds are reused - it's not just unoriginality. If your game is so alien people can't understand it then the game will suffer. There's a reason why the first computer game Space War, while popular amongst computer science students wasn't that much of a success as an arcade game, whereas the much simpler Pong was.

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caseyd    276
This is a common problem and one that will become easier to deal with as you work with more people. I don't know what you are going to school for, but I think I could say that you will see an improvement in your ability to communicate abstract concepts and ideas to other people as you get farther along in your degree. This is also the purpose of the English classes you are required to take in a traditional college. Being a good Engineer (as I am studying towards) is not just knowledge of circuits and computers, but your ability to communicate your ideas to others.

Point of rhetoric is that you should take your writing classes seriously as they will help your ability to communicate and you will most likely see an improvement in your other class grades due to this as well. I wish I would have focused equally on my writing classes as I did in my Technical classes.

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