I am in a rut

  • And I feel the need to write my rambling here, as my 'real friends' are not that interested in my stuff.

    So, I've been writing and planning alot of stuff for my game. It's supposed to tell a story of an over-confident young girl and her taciturn older brother who she drags in quite an adventure after hearing about a 'walking alien spaceship terrorizing the Northern Coast'. But it's not all as it seems. As everything has it's light and dark side, so does this story. From a peaceful innocent town these two travel into big world full of corruption, polluted cities, crime and violence, the young ones come to crossroads where they should make their decision. Whether to understand the reality of our world or chase the alien spaceship.

    I think you now get the idea what I'm after. I wrote all this because the final content and storyline will be much different from this, since I like to change things alot depending to my life experiences and how I want the story to evolve and in what direction.

    Now the problem came up. I simply do not know what kind of GAME I'd make out of this. My first and strongest idea was to make an RPG with turnbased and versatile battle much like in Mother series (or Earthbound to some), but I simply cannot make myself to work on such complicated system, especially on Construct that is still under work.

    Second idea was to a sort of 'action RPG' much like Castleroid games, but after thinking about it longer I realized it was way too silly for such serious yet cartoony game.

    My current idea is an interactive novel or whatever those are called. A bit point&click and alot of text&reading with freedom of making decisions. Yet this would restrict my vision so much.

    So there you go. I am in horrible whirlwind of failed ideas. Sometimes it feels that I should just write a book or make a comic, as I am experienced 3D artist and making all visuals in 3DS Max. It's just that those two couldn't have sound or interactivity which would completely strangle the last of my vision.

    Discuss if you want and by God give me any suggestions, in whatever tone they may be. Also, there is alot of engrish or other horrible errors in my text, I think. Please do understand that english is not my mother's tongue.

  • If you haven't already, I suggest you make a prototype or demo. Then, you can get a hands on feel and base your decision from that.

  • True that. I decided to start working on a very Earthbound-ish battle system now. My only problem is things like, should I make all the battle screens as seperate scenes and how should I memorize everything between levels. Memorizing includes current party, inventory and stats etc.

  • I hear what you're talking about. I don't think it's really a 'rut' - it's more that gameplay and story are often hard to get to work well together. I have a lot of story ideas, but getting the story to work in the 'confines' of a game (technical reasons like vram, gameplay that's well suited to the story, complexity limitations, stuff that isn't practical in 2D without a huge budget...) is often very difficult.

    I guess the only advice I have is the stories that I've written for games that have worked the best so far have been the stories that were written specifically with a gameplay idea in mind.

    Sorry I don't have much advice for you. I'm still wrangling with that one myself!

    Edit: Oh and for stats, use the hash table. For inventory I recommend an array, though it depends exactly what you want to do with it.

  • Thanks for at least replying

  • If you want to make a "large" game, especially an RPG, it's going to take a lot of work and technical know-how with Construct (not to mention experience with general programming concepts). Before trying to make a game like the one you speak of (massive, epic, story based, etc.), you should first experiment with construct for a few weeks (I recommend months if you're new, tbh), and get a feel for the engine. Figure out what it's good at, and what it's not. With enough experimentation and experience you should be able to come up a with a feasible technical plan and genre for your game. Personally, I would do your game as a top down adventure (A link to the past style).

    If you want a point and click, Construct is not the engine for that.

  • Seconding most of what Davioware said, making an rpg without using something like rpg maker is a monumental task. I've been working on mine for almost two years, and it was supposed to be simple! I recommend fiddling a bit with the game you want to make while simultaneously making a quick, entirely for fun practice rpg to get the hang of it first. Though I tried that, and that "simple" rpg is what's taken me two years, so I'm not sure if that's good advice.

    As for an adventure game, construct is certainly capable of making one, tho adventure game studio is more suited to it for obvious reasons.

  • it's more that game and story are often hard to get to work well together.

    lol. Oh the misconceptions of story. Story doesn't equal walls of text/voice.

  • Hey, thanks for your advice everyone

    Yeah, I'm kinda new with Construct, yet I have alot of experience on many other engines. I know how to put stuff together and have knowledge with simple scripting/coding, but that's not enough to boast about at all. I'm now working on a battle system, but there's still alot that confuses me. Guess I gotta do it all the hard way

  • > it's more that game and story are often hard to get to work well together.

    >

    lol. Oh the misconceptions of story. Story doesn't equal walls of text/voice.

    So I've been doing it all wrong! I've been shoting at the wall of text all the time

  • > it's more that game and story are often hard to get to work well together.

    >

    lol. Oh the misconceptions of story. Story doesn't equal walls of text/voice.

    I didn't say it did. My point was stories often call for stuff that's hard to make work right in games. Like how about a subtle emotional moment between two characters? On film/etc, that's the same process as anything else. For games, how do you do that aside from a cutscene? Press one button to be comforting, another to snap back? How's that different from selecting options from a list in interactive fiction and having the result animated instead of text? Subtle interaction between characters can be quite difficult to make work right in a gameplay fashion, especially if you want it in something with some other gameplay type like a platformer. And what about the story calling for something that would be ridiculously hard to implement?

    There are many things you can do that work. However, it's not as easy as having a great story and making a game of it. My point is, how would something like "Pride and Prejudice" the game play? (If you don't know the story, it's basically a bunch of complex character interactions. Not much there that's suited to traditional ideas of gameplay.)

  • My point is, how would something like "Pride and Prejudice" the game play?

    You add zombies. And then, you drop-kick them.

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  • Man, I frigging KNEW someone was going to bring that up.

    But that actually kind of proves my point. Getting it to work without significantly modifying it is quite difficult - look what they did, added a 'reason' for combat, which is something games can do quite easily - which is what I was talking when I mentioned stories suited for gameplay. A story that has a reason for lots of combat is well-suited to a game, where as pride and predjudice without zombies isn't.

    Again, I'm not saying you can't have good stories in games without walls of text or cinema scenes - it's simply sometimes difficult and there are some stories games are more suited for than others.

    Many new ways of telling/being a part of stories in games have yet to be discovered, but it's not simple and lots of people are scratching their heads about it, which was what I was talking about in the first place.

  • Haha I know the feeling Hasuak. Been thinking about the same thing on and off for over a year now and have only come to the conclusion that it's probably best to try a minimalistic approach to both the gameplay and the story. Not only will that make it more doable in terms of scope, but I think the two will be able to play along more nicely if theyre not fighting for dominance.

    Like Arima suggested, it may be wise to rework the story to see if it can fit with different kinds of gameplay better. Maybe have the story told in a subtle way throughout the game, where the player would have to fill in a lot of the blanks. Have you ever played Out of this World? It's a pretty good examples of this.

    I personally also feel that combat heavy gameplay kind of distracts me from story... I think adventure type games are better for immersing players but the challenge there is to make it feel like you're doing something even when you're stuck, else it can get boring fast. Most people these days don't seem to have much patience for obscure, often nonsensical puzzles and such.

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