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kraed

Starting on mechanics or world design?

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kraed    142

Greetings developers, designers, and artists! I wish for your advice and opinion on a matter at my hands which distracts and dissorients me from organizing efficiently a concept i hope to develop. The problem comes in with the priority of tasks and areas of work which need to be tackled first, i seem to get lost and demotivated because of it. I am planning and laying out the GDD for a sidescrolling adventure revolving around a town reconstruction mechanic (you must help a devastated town regain its state, helping out with simple collect quests and exploring the different areas of the map). I'm aiming for it to be more of a story and atmosphere experience rather than the gameplay being complex and heavy. I am wondering which is the most effective way to get this type of project running in terms of programing, is it convenient to prototype the questing/reconstruction mechanics and build on top of that or is it better to construct the setting in which the events take place and develop the questing system once there is atmosphere and visual referance? I feel lost in this aspect and would appreciate all advice from fellow developers and designers, thanks in advance!

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Dale Thomas    154

I'd say mechanics every time. Prototype it right now. The core game has to be fun and responsive.

But it's not just about the action parts, the UI must be smooth and satisfying too. Once you get that right, the story can be slotted in easily.

Here is a great blog post about priorities in game development.

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kraed    142

I have prototyped a few simple mechanics but i feel they don't have much effect since the game reward system would be watching the place develop to your actions, seeing the aesthetics morph quest after quest to have the sense of managing to salvage a town. Not sure what is the best way to have a correct feel on that experience without focusing much on graphics. What would you recomend is an efficient way to prototype the questing and reconstructing mechanics while also having a sense of how it would feel to see the place evolve?

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Satharis    2444

I have prototyped a few simple mechanics but i feel they don't have much effect since the game reward system would be watching the place develop to your actions, seeing the aesthetics morph quest after quest to have the sense of managing to salvage a town. Not sure what is the best way to have a correct feel on that experience without focusing much on graphics. What would you recomend is an efficient way to prototype the questing and reconstructing mechanics while also having a sense of how it would feel to see the place evolve?

To put it simply if you can't prototype a game, there's probably something fundamentally flawed with your idea. Your response is that you can't really prototype the idea of the sense of accomplishment of salvaging the town.

 

To me there's two sides to that: one the salvaging mechanic should be fun even without polish. Seeing something grow can often be as fun with stick figures as it is with a big high definition modeled building or something. That's the point of "polish" taking a good concept and making it shine.

 

Of course on the flipside if your midway mechanics that actually are most of the gameplay are boring.. well. That seems like an issue doesn't it?

Story is story, no game is built just off the world. Mechanics are what make a game, a shiny car isn't a fun car if it can't go anywhere.

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Six222    453

I think it depends what your working on.. You'll probably want to imagine a world and a basic story line and design out some specific mechanics. For a good game you'll need to have a mind of how your mechanics would interact/work with/in your world and heavily prototype.

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kraed    142

I was very wrong, first prototype is almost done, three days of working and tweaking, i have a blast working the project as well as running and troubleshooting it! I feel beat, though xD but very very good results, thanks everyone, pretty much worked the most important mechanics all together (dialogue, questing and reconstruction) very basic but efficient. I do get some minor crashes so i am not sure if the engine i am using is the best choice for my final project but will keep prototyping. Any more suggestions? 

Edited by kraed

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