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gambit924

Questions about making a game and a general idea

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Hello all.  I was wondering if you all could give me some advice, as I am in need of guidance as a new comer to making games.  In all truth I think of myself as more of a writer, but the truth is, if I get my idea started, I will probably take on a designer role.  Here comes the idea: I was thinking of creating a game that would be a little like Harry Potter, but not at all set in that world or using those characters and it would probably be for a more mature audience.  Think kind of a young or new adult novel set in a magical world with a school for magical people.  The goal would be to attend school, and then once you are out of school (or even during) whether or not you want to fight for the forces of good, or the forces of evil.  After school you would also have to get a job in the magical world, and you would have to continue to contribute on one side or the other.  Okay here come the noob questions: It sounds like what I have heard the most is that it is impractical to make an MMO unless you have access to funds and talent.  As much as I would like to make this game an MMO, if for a first game it is impractical maybe I should not go that route. WOuld it be more practical to make an action RPG single player game, and if people like and buy that to make a new version of the game that is an MMO later on?  Also someone mentioned Steam to me.  Is that a good means of distribution, or it that something that I should avoid and try to get my game published by other means?  Also, I really like this site, and I like the fact that you can post hobbyist projects here.  Is this a good place to find talent?  I have friends on facebook, but none of them are rallying to my call just yet.  And last but not least, what do you think of the idea?  Is it viable?  Or do you think that I should try something else to start out with?  Anyway, those are all my questions at present.  If I have more, I will post them, you can be sure.  Thank you in advance for your patience. Cheers!!

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Yeah, everything Tom said is pretty much the gist of it. If you have little to no experience making games (which is similar to my own department), it would be very wise for you to either start with things as simple as possible (if you want to make something yourself and develop your own skills) or work on a game that someone else plans to program. You essentially need to decide whether you want to learn programming and really become proficient with it. Since you said you were more of a writer/designer, that may not be something you want to devote yourself to - in which case, you'll wanna find someone else already making a game and help them as a writer/designer. I think of myself as a programmer, game designer, and narrative designer, but I'm not talented at actual narrative writing, so I understand the predicament a bit, especially since I am not yet in contact with any writers willing to do free work on a project that likely will not yield any funds.

Edited by facehead1992

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Yes I agree.  I had no experience designing and creating games so I started off small, creating games like Tetris, Pong, Chess (without the AI) then I moved onto bigger projects.  If you are going to be the designer of this game then make sure that it is a game that you would want to play otherwise your project will fail.  You should play other games of the same genre to get a feel for what works and what doesn't.

 

You idea is a good start but you need to flesh it out with a lot more detail.  Once you have a detailed design document then you can start gathering a team to develop it.

 

Best of luck to you.

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On my own, I'd be interested in a single player RPG game like this (sounds like KOTOR to me) but I am probably an extinct race. Nowadays games are multiplayer and console oriented. So your project would be near impossible to realize without substantial money involving.

 

But still think a KOTOR like singleplayer game is niche atm, as a Simcity game is.

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It sounds like what I have heard the most is that it is impractical to make an MMO unless you have access to funds and talent. As much as I would like to make this game an MMO, if for a first game it is impractical maybe I should not go that route.

MMO means multi million online, you can still make an online game.

An online world is a bit much, but an online trade-center, arena or just a social happening are a bit easier.

(your game does sound like a single player RPG though

 

 

WOuld it be more practical to make an action RPG single player game, and if people like and buy that to make a new version of the game that is an MMO later on?

World of Warcraft did it like that, it came from Warcraft, it even switched into another genre.

edit:it could be a good idea but i think it would mean you 'd have to reprogram the whole game, so i wouldn't call it practical.

 

And last but not least, what do you think of the idea? Is it viable?

Hard to say, not much on the game itself.

It seems you 're just starting out though, so maybe see this game as a learning experience ?

Edited by powerneg

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A type of online game that often goes unmentioned is what is called a 'villiage game' -- a term mostly-inspired by the first few successful examples of what is, essentially, a small-scale MMO.

 

Now, any game -- single player offline or , multi/villiage/massively-online -- is a huge undertaking, but there are a number of these small-scale MMO 'villiage games' that have been successfully running for years. No one's getting fabulously wealthy from them, but they're making a living. Villiage games are typified by embracing their modest player base (typically between 1000-10000 active subscriptions, and a few hundred to a couple thousand online players), rather than designing for mass-market like WOW. Players appreciate the more-intimate setting and community, and the devs typically provide a framework for the universe but incorporate community feedback seriously -- in a lot of ways, you can think of it as a smaller, more democratic MMORPG. In return, the player base, although small, tends to be extremely loyal, and generally lacking in griefing or other misbehavior. Most of these games are simpler in nature than WOW, or what you seem to describe, though -- many are 2D even -- but you can't expect to pay for modern AAA content on the backs of only a few thousand subscriptions.

 

 

Now, I'm not saying that a villiage game is much easier than an MMO -- its largely the same type of infrastructure and technology, just with less emphasis on scalability and related concerns. Every game is a tough technical challenge if its polished to professional standards. Mostly what I'm saying is don't limit yourself to binary thinking of "I can *either* make a simple, single-player game, or a complex, 3D MMORPG." There is a world of opportunity in between.

 

Imagine if the movie industry only make two types of movies -- Mainstream Blockbusters and obscure art-house films. Sometimes it seems like that's the reality, actually, because those two categories are what gets the most attention. But there's a few studios dedicated to the in-between -- movies with modest budgets, using competent actors rather than well-known ones, telling different kinds of stories for a particular audience, and not compromising any of that for mass-market appeal. Sometimes, even the big guys do things like that, although their business structures and ways of thinking often aren't aligned to it. Anyways, don't lose sight that the in-between is there.

 

Stepping off my soap-box; I agree with the others here that it sounds like you could use some practice before taking on something so large. You say you're a writer, and that's great -- its a useful skill, but one that is just a small part of making a game. Its great that you'll step up to act as a designer, but again, that's just one small part of making a game (and, frankly, one which many writer types think they're capable of, but actually know nothing about.) Another challenge you will face is that most artistic and technical people already have a dozen game ideas of their own, so why should they work on yours if writing and design are all you bring to the table? Not to mention that what you have presented here is a premise or high-concept -- not a design -- its not much more fleshed out than a gamer musing that he'd really like to play "Zelda but set in Egypt with an Indiana Jones-like protagonist". I would suggest that step 1 for you, if you elect to not seek experience by volunteering for existing projects, would be to really sit down and flesh out your idea -- leave the game-design parts out, even -- concentrate on your characters, settings, relationships, story-arc, side-stories, and all that writery stuff. Without going into design details, incorporate elements that support your envisioned gameplay into your fiction. That would put you in good stead to take the next steps.

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Okay, thank you all for your responses!! They will be very helpful.  It is true that what I have here is a premise that needs to see more developement, but I figured I would ask the question anyway.  Maybe when I get a more solid idea of where this is going, I think I will share more here so that you can see as well.  Right now I am thinking that maybe it would fit more into the in between spaces, as it is not going to be a major release to start out with, so it might be wise to start there.  I just wanted to know if it made more sense to just do a single player to start out with.  I think what I would go for is gameplay somewhat like Fable, as I really enjoyed that game when I first played it, and maybe there will be online elements.  Something like that would be useable on both consoles and PC. But even if it is single player, I would like to have very costumizeable character creation, with choices you might find in a Sims game.  Anyway, these are just random thoughts at the moment. I will have more later.  Thank you so much!!  If there is any other advise you can give it is most welcome!  Cheers!  :)

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Here is the story I came up with for the game.  It is just a brief synopsis, but tell me if it makes sense.  And of course, any feedback or observations you might be able to add are well taken and useful, so please, let me know.

Welcome to the world of Seonia, a world where the magical people and the normals are quite aware of each other but refuse to acknowledge each other. However, a threat is looming on the horizon. A dark sorcerer named Cascaval has come out of the shadows, and he seeks revenge against both the magical world and the world of the normals for slights unknown. He is in search of a great weapon that will help him in his revenge, a crystal of amazing power, if he finds it, all is lost.
Welcome students to Brightstone Academy, the premier school of magic. Here, as the player, you will follow the story of Cascaval's search for the crystal and take part in the effort to stop him as the storyline moves forward from school days to adulthood. A player will be able to choose from four races, the human boy/girl, the centaur boy/girl, the elven boy/girl of the fairy boy/girl. From there, a player will be able to choose a class from Spell Warrior, Charms Master, Beast Master, Rune Sage, Plant wrangler, and monster slayer. Then a player will enter Seonia, go into instances where they will earn new spells and skills, take part in the storyline, and earn experience while taking part in the day to day quests of Brightstone Academy.
A player can then choose, to join the fight against Cascaval, or to join with him in his evil quests. Your alignment is your choice. When you are an adult wizard you can make this choice, building on it in school and then making the final decision. This is Seonia, and there are many secrets within Brightstone Academy, some of which may change the world forever. Your adventure has only just begun, sorcerer.

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