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  Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:56 pm
So Long As You Believe
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Location: Bronx, New York
Everyone has a core set of beliefs that they rely on. Believe it or not, us game designers have some too. Introducing the Eleven Video Game Survival Commandments. These commandments ha really helped me in many ways. Hopefully this list can do the same for you.

1.) We're in the entertainment business, Not the game business.
We look at the content we create as entertainment. Our platform for distributing that entertainment experience is games.

2.) Build your design and story to break.
Every game design and story will be subject to multiple and technical and production realities that will stress them to the breaking point. Inevitable cuts will happen, so get out in front them.

3.) Somebody always knows something you don't.
Just when you think you know know it all, someone proves you wrong. Instead, learn from everybody you work with.

4.) Dialogue is the tip of the dramatic iceberg.
Throwing dialogue at a broken story never fixes the problem. Good dialogue and stories come from well-conceived characters in exciting dramatic situations.

5.) You are only as good as your relationship with your team.
All the great ideas in the world are meaningless if no one wants to listen to them or implement them in the game.

6.) Be willing to kill you babies.
Don't be precious with your ideas, or fall in love with one in particular, because it will, almost without fail, be the one on the chopping block. But...

7.) Protect your vision.
This is the flip side of killing your babies. If you lose your vision for a project, or lose what was meaningful about it that inspired you in the first place, then what's the point in doing it?

8.) Make your deliverables.
You are only as good as what you contribute.

9.) Don't shine a spotlight on a turd.
Every game will have it's shortcomings. Don't go out of your way to highlight them.

10.) Choose collaboration over compromise.
Collaborating gets you to the same place as compromise, but without the negativity.

11.) Making fun should be fun.
We're not digging ditches or performing brain surgery here, we're making games. Lighten up.

Makes a lot of sense doesn't it....

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  Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:28 am
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Omnipresent Merchant
Ganstaquay5000 wrote:
6.) Be willing to kill your babies.

Taking this further. This is a good rule to follow with characters. Not to long ago I read something about writers always keeping their characters safe. Even though they walk through hell and back or are put in a life or death situations they always walk away with barely a scratch on them and their limbs intact.

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  Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:51 am
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To continue on coyote's comment about 6:
Aeris makes a fine example. She gets killed fairly early on (If this is spoiler to ANYONE here, it's another problem entirely than me spoiling), which drives the story forward as well as prove that killing off characters isn't a problem like many make of it.
So yeah, good topic post there, really is insightful and useful.

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    Armor King 108
  Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:06 am
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Location: Another dimension
which drives the story forward as well as prove that killing off characters isn't a problem like many make of it.

Maybe for you, but it ruined the game for me. I don't like it when my favorite character gets killed off. Those are the kinds of RPGs I only play once, never more. The only thing they have going for them is the surprise factor, which only works on your first playthrough. But a fun factor is good on all playthroughs until you get tired of it.

What I'm saying is...don't kill off characters just because people think it makes a story more intense. It's rather unrealistic for every good important character to survive, but I personally do not care. I don't play RPGs for realistic scenes, I play them for fun, and I do not have fun losing party members, especially if they are killed off.

If you have to kill off characters to make your game more "dramatic" then whatever, that's your deal.

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  Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:16 pm
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Well, I didn't mind Aeris much myself... She, to me, was one of the less interesting characters.
Still on topic of killing, I concur there are bad uses, though the entire "remove a character" deal is fairly rare. There are alternatives, one of which applies to a game I'm not gonna spoiler (Legend of Dragoon) but dealt not only with the follow up to the removal properly, but did well with replacing too.

As for 9, I would like to address it with a personal experience. I had to do an art exhibit towards the end of my senior year at high school and among other things - to present my art to the person grading me. My teacher, who helped prepare me and my class for it, instructed us never to start with and hardly even mention the bad things - if at all, as an afterthought on improvement.
9 applies as well - try make the good things stand out more than the bad since no one wants to hear about bad things.
I know I kinda repeated, but meh.

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  Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:38 pm
BEWARE: Glitchfinder's sense of humor sucks.
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Party Mascot

Location: Approximately 93 million miles from Sol.
Personally, I think there should be one more:

12.) Murphy's Law always applies.
When making a video game, it is important to remember that if it can go wrong, it probably will. This applies to every aspect, from schedules to art to the coding itself. The corollary to this is that, if any bug, glitch, or exploit exists, then someone, somewhere, will find it, and post it on youtube ten minutes later.


Just call me Glitch.

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  Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:57 am
Wutz Effert?
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Location: Australia
I'm pretty confused over #10

So let's say I have an awesome artist, I can compromise and leave the art and release the demo or wait for the artist to draw for me. And this is where it gets tricky, between any of those decisions the artist can leave or not make it at all. While if I compromise and end it and not use the artists' art to begin with it would have my results way faster and without to go through all that wait. But if the artist makes the art, I'll get awesome art. While compromising will only be the same as collaboration if the artist decided to leave me hanging, but it will be completely different if the artist made it and one comes with a price.

In shorter terms, You cant control who you cooperate with nor their results, but your own compromises are under your full control as are the results from them, so compromise and collaboration isn't the same now would it? :psy:

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  Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:13 pm
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I agree with with the OP - especially the parts about cutting out your fifty useless pooping scripts and actually releasing stuff (although I do think that full-on turds should be cast aside as such!).

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  Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:50 pm
Am I really the monster here?
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Location: Out in the rain
Eleven, very valid points.
All of them make perfect sense.
Thus I made a poster of them, now on my wall. Wiiith (c) Gangstaquay5000.

The rain falls ever heavier
As a thick mist does grow
within the mist you spy a figure
Dancing in the moonlight's glow.

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    Super Llama
  Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:28 pm
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Aeris was one of my favorite characters in FF7, but I have to say that she wouldn't have been nearly as interesting if she hadn't died and provided one of the most memorable death scenes in gaming history.

But yeah, I have no problem horribly breaking and even killing my characters if it provides good drama.

All these college professors teaching classes about Shakespeare, who was the 16th-century equivalent of a director of summer-blockbusters, makes me wonder if 500 years from now we'll have college courses on the subtle nuances of Michael Bay movies.

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