Erik Storrud

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About Erik Storrud

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  1. Setting information in multiplayer games.

    Maybe we both misunderstood elements of each others points. However it looks like you have a lot of lore design going for you. At least in your head you seem to know a lot about the cultures you're designing. What i failed to realize from your original post was how much the problem was communication or conveying. How to communicate the lore information from your head to the players who're going to be playing the game.   If i we're you, i'd start writing a library/document with information on all the species. The post you wrote as a reply to me could be a start. Something tells me you've might have already done this. Then i'd start organising the gameplay elements. Think a chart describing all the possible objects of impression or interaction the players will face. Will the species have special attacks or skills? Will there be loot or unique inventory items? This will enable you to start figuring out names and design for various text pieces of equipments and weapons. Maybe the Simini light handguns we're used to subdue unruly slaves or 'savages' and could be called a "Light Pacifier" for that reason?   Remember Baldurs Gate? You could actually right click and read background information on every single gemstone in the game and read about their cultural significance and so on.  We might however need some more information about the kind of game you're creating before we can start guessing towards the means of communication will be at your disposal.
  2. Watch old episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I'm not kidding! Especially season four is, aside from being entertaining as hell, a great source of inspiration for sci-fi and horror games. [spoilers ahead] In it we get introduced to the Initiative. A military organisation bent on combating the forces of darkness. Asides from not distinguishing between evil and harmless demons the Initiatives tries to build a cyborg from demon parts. Furthermore they drug their soldiers to increase performance. This is all moral dillemas the protagonist have to deal with. In your game that could be the player. Furthermore almost every episode has some clever idea for a subquest or plot. Go watch it!
  3. Setting information in multiplayer games.

    What you really need is human inspiration. I personally believe it's rather impossible for humans to construct truly alien cultures. We just dont have the imagination. Instead we construct human cultural aspects and give them alien form. This way what you really need is to figure out what human cultural aspects inspire your various species. You can convey this by making the aesthetics of the different races resemble human cultures in subtle way. For instance. The slave loving "Simini" could use roman-looking architecture in their buildings or roman-looking combat armor. Or move in phalanx formations or something. If anyone is using a zerg-rush strategy try to sneak in a reference to the D-Day landing in Normandy or something. Game music and quotes and unit greetings can help this along too. Think about star craft: This is the cinematic when completing the terran campaign in the original brood war expansion:   Look how closely it resembles the world war 2 propaganda films:   Even down to the music it's clear to see what the inspiration is.   Now think about what makes the Protoss seem noble in your eyes.   It's in their dialogue. The music. The sleek architecture of golden structures. Their tall stature. These are all how you'd make a human look proud and alien at the same time. The fact that their structures are all golden and their home planet is green makes me think of how the aztecs must have seemed to the spanish conquistadors. Alien and honorable at the same time. So my advice to you is to figure out what human cultural aspects inspire each species in your game. Then start making that the template on their cultural design as much as possible.
  4. You need help with the Writing section? I've written something but it may not be good enough yet. English isn't my native language and i'm really tired when writing this. If you can use it or parts of it go ahead. If you want me to put more work into it let me know and i'll get cracking. Writing Writing for games or, as some would call it working on the games narrative design, is perhaps one of the intuitively accessible aspects of game design, but at the same time one of the hardest parts to integrate with the rest of the development process. As a content writer you have to be intimately aware of all other aspects of game design. You can't use the common split personality or memory loss plot twist you would if you we're writing for a soap opera. The player will remember what happened last episode and will probably go out of their way to break your narrative. The narrative you want to convey has to be brought to the player through a medium that has an unprecedented level of interactivity. If your game is build around reactivity you have to think out all the options the player want to try out and how they will advance the story.   Even linear games have to be a corroborative effort between different aspects. The challanges the player faces needs to work well with the story being told. The graphics or sound may have limitations towards what kind of visuals you want. This isn't meant to discourage you from working with the narrative aspects of the game. It's just to clarify that you need lots of understanding of the entire process of creating the game. Furthermore you need to be able to communicate your ideas and material in a way that's clear enough for the rest of the team to understand and work with. Theres a lot more to writing than merely telling energetically about your great ideas.   Basically you'll want to analyse the narrative experience of games you'd like. What made you cry when a beloved side-character died? Why did you feel such hatred towards the boss at the end of the game? What was the lighting in the environment? What tracks of music was playing at the time?   All these aspects are part of the players narrative experience and are a collaborative effort between all elements of the game. The writer or narrative design is what ties it all together in a story or narrative for the player.   There is an unsurprising lack of standard and resources on how to go about writing. You can't just get J.K. Rowling to tell you what made Harry Potter great one sentence. What makes great fiction great is all of the impressions they leave with the consumer with. However it's a good idea to have a basic understanding on the workings of fiction as you would get from a decent college education. To get an understanding of the various means games can employ to convey their narratives i recommend watching this artistic analysis of the halflife 2 series: (dont really have any other ressources but this guys youtube channel is a must-see to get into the academics of storytelling in games: )
  5. Journey East Beta - Browser RPG

    Like the design and looks though the interface could probably use a bit of polishing. Keep going strong!