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How do you make a game?

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How do you make a game?

Postby MikeDesert » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:14 am

I'm watching netflix, drinking and adrifting...and it just occurred to me that I don't really know the best way - or at least the common way - to write IF in Adrift.

making a map and story outline first is generally a good idea I know, but do you fill up all the locations first? all the objects? or do you make one location then do every object and task possible in that location before adding the next location? I'm really curious.

I wish there was a clean way to organize all the tasks in some kind of sub menu of the rooms they apply to, cause my S**t is getting messy already..especially with similar rooms and tasks.
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Re: How do you make a game?

Postby Mystery » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:39 pm

I think everyone has their own method of doing organizing and creating their adventures. I've tried several ways myself, from just creating single room and filling with objects & associated tasks and even pre-planning an entire game in a notebook (which worked very well for me). I know some would label their tasks such as #Kill Butler-In the Library (just an example).

There used to be some pretty decent software recommendations for text editors that seemed to help make organization a little easier (links should still be around here somewhere). For myself, I went through the trouble of creating a database in Open Office to help keep my game data organized. The benefit for me is that if life happens, I can leave what I have for months and when I come back to it, everything is organized in a way that I can pick back up where I left off because query functions in the software made it easy for me to sort related data.

What version are you using? In 3.9 & 4, you can definitely label your tasks with #task title (You put that as the first command in your task- so you could have #Task Title-Room Name to make it easier). I'm not certain how V5 works yet in that regards. I'm sure there are others that may have some fantastic recommendations as well.
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Re: How do you make a game?

Postby Po. Prune » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:09 am

Myst is right... Everyone has their own method of operation.
I think that this subject has been discussed before, but with so many new people it would be fun to hear how the different people go about creating a game.
Personally, I get the idea, it be from a book, a movie or, like with Camelot, just a silly thought that slowly developed.
I then roughly map out the game. I've been using Trizbot (I think it's called)
A text editor like Open Office is a must.
I write the location description, and then I create objects for everything mentioned in the description. Finally I write all the tasks needed for that location,
Once I'm ok with that I start "coding"
One thing you need to make room for improvement. Most likely you'll find out that you need to add a location or an obejct.

When the locarion is all done, I go on to the next location, and so on, and so on.
A glass of wine or a whiskey can help get the thoughts flow :? but be aware of the next day side-effects... :whistle:
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Re: How do you make a game?

Postby MikeDesert » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:58 am

oh that's cool about the hash marks for tasks, I'll give that a go. Never thought about using a text editor before bringing it into Adrift.
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Re: How do you make a game?

Postby David Whyld » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:11 pm

I'm usually really disorganised with my game writing, and often regret it at some point. I come up with an idea on the spur of the moment and start writing a game a minute later. At first, it seem to go brilliantly and I'm convinced my game is going to be one of the shining lights of the IF world. Then I come back to the game the next day and wonder why I ever thought it was a good idea in the first place. I've probably started and then quit a couple dozen games in this way over the years.

I'm terrible at planning things beforehand. 90% of the time when I begin writing a game, I have no clear idea how it’s going to end; the storyline, in fact, is made up as I go along. Sometimes it works out fine, sometimes it doesn't. Funnily enough, on the few occasions when I've tried to plan things out before I start writing the game, I give up on those plans partway through because I've come to dislike them and usually the finished result is light years away from the game I originally planned.
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Re: How do you make a game?

Postby KFAdrift » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:03 am

David Whyld wrote:I'm usually really disorganised with my game writing, and often regret it at some point. I come up with an idea on the spur of the moment and start writing a game a minute later. At first, it seem to go brilliantly and I'm convinced my game is going to be one of the shining lights of the IF world. Then I come back to the game the next day and wonder why I ever thought it was a good idea in the first place. I've probably started and then quit a couple dozen games in this way over the years.

I'm terrible at planning things beforehand. 90% of the time when I begin writing a game, I have no clear idea how it’s going to end; the storyline, in fact, is made up as I go along. Sometimes it works out fine, sometimes it doesn't. Funnily enough, on the few occasions when I've tried to plan things out before I start writing the game, I give up on those plans partway through because I've come to dislike them and usually the finished result is light years away from the game I originally planned.

Just goes to show! That is my way of writing too and erm, look how many games I have finished writing. The important lesson is don't ever think there is one way of writing, there are loads and every writer has to find their own way to go.
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Re: How do you make a game?

Postby Mystery » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:07 am

I can only imagine how many games were started by the lot of us and never finished. Some probably would have been great if we had the motivation to see it through. Sometimes I think we are our own worst enemy, and overly critical of our ideas which can quickly kill just about anything on the spot. I swear I saw a thread ages ago named "What keeps you motivated" If I never replied to that (if it exists) my answer should have been "I'll get back to you on that."
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Re: How do you make a game?

Postby Po. Prune » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:54 pm

MikeDesert wrote:oh that's cool about the hash marks for tasks, I'll give that a go. Never thought about using a text editor before bringing it into Adrift.


# marks for tasks aren't necessary in V.5. For instance if I have a location called dining room, I create a folder called dining room under tasks in the tree at the left side of the window in the developer, and place all the tasks necessary for that location in there. I do the same for all the objects (but under objects, of course.) This way I always know where the tasks and objects for this specific location is and I can easily find them if I need to alter them.

A text editor is absolutely a must One of the things reviewers all over the IF world seem to pay a lot of attention too is spelling and grammar, not taking into consideration whether the author is English, American, or Russian. :wink:
In a review of one of my games one of the complaints was that I had used the term, General Secretary (Which is the way we say it in Denmark) never even thinking that the correct term is Secretary General. I don't know if this would have been caught by a text editor though.
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Re: How do you make a game?

Postby Lumin » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:06 pm

I generally will let ideas stew in the back of my brain a few days, then when I've got a big enough pile of them I'll open up a text editor and sort them all out. I break down all the important plot points scene by scene, with asides about any puzzles needed to progress, and if I'm dealing with a unique setting I might babble on about that for awhile too; things like history and character backgrounds and any other details that may or may not come up in the finished product itself. I just like to put it all down while it's fresh in my mind so that if I need to I can come back to it later for a reference.

Only then do I open up the generator and create my map. Then I go through and write all the room descriptions, then descriptions for all the objects, then I pat myself on the back for a job well done, save the file and never touch it again.

...so far this has worked out about as well as you'd expect. :(

But seriously though, with my new 'Get back into IF' v5 project I'm experimenting with a different technique, and just creating empty rooms and placeholders for the dynamic objects until I have the framework for the actual puzzles in place and working. Then hopefully it'll just be a matter of going in and writing a bunch of descriptions.

But like everybody's already said, you really just have to mess around until you find your own strategy that works for you.
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