A Guide to Game Making
Hello and welcome to my Guide to Game Making. In this guide I will explain many things which are needed to create a great game, and explain what they are all for. Let’s start with the basics, shall we?
This is the most important part (next to the characters) and without a storyline, you’ve got nothing. The story is what attracts people to play the game, unless the storyline is the same old: twelve year old hero finds a legendary sword, and is called the most powerful fighter in the universe, he heads to the huge mountain which is only five feet away and there he destroys the extremely powerful, deadly and dangerous dragon or demon and is then recognized as savior and king of the world. Great game huh? Not. Go for something original, I will explain some of my storylines later.
What’s happening, who’s doing what and why… the plot is part of the storyline, and is best when revealed later in the story, but piece by piece throughout the game. Not having a plot is almost as bad as not having a story. There will be nothing to do at all in the game.
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No. Characters are always supposed to start out weak. They can of course can have a strong point or two, such as a great speed or a high defense, but making them too powerful and almost invincible takes away the fun. But stats aren’t the only thing a character has. They need a personality, history, age, etc. You can make them any age you wish but try to make it within the limit of 13-25 years. Too old isn’t good you know ;)
As for personality, they need some distinguishing features people will recognize them by. A character could be noble and brave, while still being clumsy. Another could be stupid and strong, while still being a really nice person. Personalities are a must have!
You may compare history to the background, where they come from, why they’re taking on a certain quest, who they heir from, etc. A character could be a prince, whose goal it is to bring a certain artifact to a powerful sage, while another could be on a quest for money, trying to save his family and town with the treasure he/she finds.
The program you will be using is of utmost importance. If you’re making an RPG, then RPG Maker (2000, 2003 and XP) are the best ones for you. Anything else could be made with Game Maker. I use RPG Maker, and RPG’s are the only game I make.
So, we now have the basics. I think it’s time for me to get a few examples up, right? We’ll be using my game: Heart of the Unknown as an example.
(This game was discontinued while I started on Eternal Dreams: The Rage for Freedom)
A young man named Tiro, 22 years old is a terrific warrior. He is well known throughout the land, and he has been Maloran’s Champion for five years. He is also their main protector, and helps them out of trouble when necessary. When he tries to find out more about himself, he sometimes wakes up without knowing what he was doing before. When he wakes up one day and sees him standing over his best friend’s dead body, completely severed while holding a bloody sword, he completely loses it. He tries to find out what’s wrong. While searching through various books, he comes across an article which looks like the symptoms Tiro’s having.
Is a virus that takes over one’s heart, and is a very evil virus. It can only be caught by people who have a very vague history, meaning not knowing anything about themselves. Why this is the case, no one knows, but it is the reason why it is called the Unknown.
While reading, Tiro receives pain in his heart, and had another blackout…
This is the storyline, and it introduces the main character, Tiro, while explaining the main problem.
The Unknown is an evil virus that must be stopped before it manages to take over Tiro completely. The other character’s do their best to stop Tiro from doing any further damage, but will it be enough, seeing Tiro change into the strongest being?
Strong warrior, but suffers from an unknown virus.
Alex & Max:
Brothers who try to stop Tiro from transforming completely evil, with the help of the Secret Prince.
The Secret Prince who is chased by Ace, the Demon Lord. He and his master, Hugh, try to stop Ace, while staying away from Tiro.
The Demon Lord who has been after Krono for many years, but is stopped due to the threat of Tiro.
This is about all you need to know to create a basic RPG. Now we’ll head onto the more advanced stuff.
The graphics include the maps, characters and any other items. The maps will play the biggest role here, as they will be what you will travel through the whole game. Characters are also necessary, otherwise you have an invisible character, and people want to know who they’re playing with.
Not of the characters, but of cities, towns, places, items, etc. This will take you a long time, but it adds more in the game. Because a city named Evil City isn’t interesting at all. You could think of something else, and leave the city off. You could try a Random Name Generator, or create one yourself. Items have the same thing.
Magic and Elements:
The magic you’ll be making depends on the elements. When making magic, remember to think of things such as the basic power, the usage, what it looks like and what element it is. Also think of any added effects. (Magic isn’t necessary, but it adds more fun into the game)
Techniques and Skills:
See Magic and Elements. Techs and Skills will probably be a bit different, such as they can only be learned by a certain character.
Enemies, bosses and quests:
Enemies will probably be the monsters or whatever you’ll fight. They need a race/class name, stats and attacks, experience given along with any items or money.
The bosses will be the main enemies, and you will probably need to defeat them to advance in the story. They will be stronger than normal enemies, so please remember this.
Quests are extra’s for the game. They can be simple, rewarding simple items at the end, but the harder ones always have rarer items. You don’t want a character to capture a rat and then receive Full Dragon Armor along with an Excalibur, right?
Quests usually have something to do with the story, while side-quests are for making extra money or earning items that can help you.
What the character’s will be. They could be a simple soldier or maybe a dragon hunter. Make sure they fit their skills and appearance. Someone who looks like a Mage will probably be called a Mage and need high Magic skills with low Offense skills. A peasant won’t be called a Dragon Hunter and have high stats, but they will usually be weak.
And now for the most important thing to attract players:
The name of the game:
This is what will really attract players. A game called: Dragons won’t attract anyone, especially if you’re fighting against Trolls instead of dragons.
Take my game, Eternal Dreams: The Rage for Freedom. Eternal Dreams stand for their eternal dreaming of being free, while the Rage for Freedom represents how bad they want to be free. Make sure the title summarizes the story, without making it 20 words long. And it will probably need to be shortened once in a while (ED: TRfF) so remember that.
I hope this will help people in making a game, and stop all those who make games like noobs. I will end with a few links, providing some helpful links.
– A great RPG Maker site
– The GameMaker Site
- A great Random Name Generator
- My favorite RPG Maker 2k3 resource site