By: Paul “Reynard Frost” Walker
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery French writer (1900 – 1944)
If you’re a member of the RPG Maker community, it’s a good bet that you’re here to make games. It’s also even more likely that you also play games. So many games out there to draw inspiration from, so many good features to implement and so many characters running around in your mind that you just simply have to share them with the world! Except your roster of 120 characters and your encyclopedia of YourGameTannica are large enough to break all but the most sturdy of bookshelves. You end up creating and creating and creating trying to include as much content in one game that most would find in an entire series.
What you have is an over-saturation, and a need to simplify your game. Why simplify it? So you can finish it! Today I’ll share with you some tips on how to do just that. Continue reading
So you’ve started your game, but you don’t seem to be getting as much buzz as you like. A few people have played your opening demo but no one seems to care that much.
What we have here, is an opening failure. Now, tons of people will tell you that the opening of a story is one of the most important aspects for acquiring and keeping fans.
And they are right. But with a free indie game, they are even MORE right. Let’s be honest, when we buy a PS3 game (or whatever your system of choice is) for 60 bucks you have much more incentive to keep playing even if you felt the opening wasn’t very good. I may not like the opening, but I’m sure going to play until I get something good just to not have wasted that money.
With an RPG Maker game, even one that you charge a small amount for, you don’t have that luxury. People don’t have anything invested in your game, so you have to GIVE them something to be invested in.
So how do we do that? Continue reading
In the last tutorial in this series we explored story theme, style, and laying down the initial framework of characters, plot, and setting. Today, we will talk about using causality to add details, and more importantly connections, to all the aspects of our game.
The Third Layer: Causality
Let’s take a moment to look at what we have accomplished so far. If you have followed the steps in the previous tutorial we know the following things:
- A Story Theme
- A Story Style
- Basic Setting Information
- Vague descriptions of major characters
- A few major plot points
In this step, we are going to add details to the setting, characters, and plot, but what we aren’t going to do is add them willy nilly. I know I’ve stressed this a lot, but I think its time to stress it again (hopefully if I say this enough people will really catch on): The most important part of a story is how all the parts connect and move together. So, in this layer we will add details by looking at causality. Continue reading
Ask a dozen RPG fans what the most important part of an RPG is and eleven of them will probably respond with the same thing: Story. That’s not to say that you can skimp on the other portions of the game, but it does mean story should be a major concern.
What is a Story?
When discussing the story of an RPG, I think the first thing to do is define what we mean by story. The definition I play to use for this tutorial is this: Story is the combination of the setting, characters, and plot, and how they interact with each other. While the individual parts are important, the most important portion is the interaction. How does the setting affect the plot? How does the plot affect the characters? How do the characters affect the setting? Continue reading
Hi there! So you’re ready to tackle making the game you’ve always wanted to play. You’ve gathered resources and scripts and you’ve made a demo.
You share it with some friends and they are, underwhelmed to say the least. They found it confusing and lacking polish. Its easy to get discouraged at this point, but lets go over an important detail that gets overlooked a lot in games: Consistency.
We as humans learn a lot of things through pattern recognition, and when the patterns aren’t consistent it can be very glaring.
Let’s go over a few things that can turn into flaws in a game: Continue reading