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Maximike

Questions on Designing Games


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Ok, a couple of my friends (we are students) and I came up with an idea for a videogame. We have the necessary software and skills to develop it, but we would need cutscenes for this game and none of us know how to do that. So, for making cutscenes, should we approach another company? And at what point in designing it should we approach said company? Should we wait until we're done and only need cutscenes developed?

By the way, please forgive my ignorance. I haven't exactly had much experience in this.

 

Also, we had a problem with the design which we simply couldn't decide on our selves, so we decided to ask online. We plan for this game to be an RPG, with singleplayer story, singleplayer freeplay, survival, and multiplayer survival modes. We have agreed that for survival/multiplayer that you should be able to make your own character, but we cannot decide if the main character in story and freeplay should be designed by the character or set to a specific person. 

So, in short, should the main character have a specific name and looks or should you be able to customize that before starting?

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It really depends. Is your game very sandbox-like in which the player has lots of possibilities for roaming around the world freely and interacting with the world? Or is your game very story-driven and linear? If the former, then you should be able to customize the character. If the latter, then the character should have a set look (and probably name too). The reasoning for this is that in a story-driven RPG you want all of the characters to be distinct and memorable, and appearances and names play a large part in this.

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Also, we had a problem with the design

Have.

It sounds like you need a designer. Or else you need to stop trying to jump in and do something before you've decided what it is you want to do. Don't make a game just to make a game. Figure out something you want to make and make that.
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If it's your own game, figure out yourself. Really think hard about the multiplayer experience from a client perspective. About the cut-scene tech, build it yourself. You'll learn lots!

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1. custom is always good. give the player more ownership.

2. a story based game should have PCs that fit the story. 

3. a non-story based game should have PCs that fit the game universe.

 

so you want custom, while still fitting with story or universe.

 

in a story base game, this might mean a named PC, or a few to chose from, or limited customization that still fits the story.

 

in a non-story game, anything custom that makes sense in the game universe is ok.

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We have the necessary software and skills to develop it, but we would need cutscenes for this game and none of us know how to do that. So, for making cutscenes, should we approach another company?

 

you should use the game's graphics engine to do cutscenes.

 

canned ani's from a workstation render farm coupled with game graphics that are anything less is sort of ripping the player off. they think they'll get this great game based on the intro etc, only to discover the game graphics are lame by comparison.

 

the quality level of graphics should be pretty even, otherwise the good stuff makes the bad stuff look worse.

 

so no high dollar cut scenes and low budget game graphics. it just makes you look worse than you already are.

 

instead, spend the time on your graphics engine and make your own cut scenes. and save the money for the next project.

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When I play RPGs, I pretty much always want to customize the main character's appearance. You can still make the player character have a specific backstory and integrate it into the story, but a lot of people will identify more with the player character if it can be customized at least in appearance. (I for one, usually try to make the character look like myself) There doesn't have to be a huge amount of customization, but I'd suggest options for male/female, a variety of skin colors, hair colors, and a few different hair styles.

 

I also think cutscenes should be done within the game's engine if possible, or at least using mostly the same models or sprites from the game if you're making it in some other animation program so there isn't a big difference in quality between the game and the cutscenes. It kind of also depends on what kind of graphics you have (is it 2D or 3D?) and how much action you want to show in the cutscenes (is it just dialogue and backstory, or do you want them to depict epic battles and fight scenes?) Simpler is probably better, since you'd be better off spending most of your time making game content instead of cutscenes.

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Well, the game is quite story-driven, but there are secondary goals or quests. Also, the levels are free-realm 3d areas, so you can fool around if you want to.

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