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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsRandom Dev. Stuff (formerly seeking advice)
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Author Topic: Random Dev. Stuff (formerly seeking advice)  (Read 1972 times)
ElTipejoLoco
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« on: February 08, 2009, 10:22:08 PM »

To avoid making a new topic later on, I'm going to work on a couple of things and just post whatever I end up making here. If I make something finalized/playable, I'll change the topic's title to the game's and add FINISHED/DEMO or whatever up there.


An mock-up for "Not To Be", an AGS project.


Sprites for the main character of "A Terrible Trip", the CommonplaceBookCompo entry that never was.

There's several old concepts on my Photobucket that I don't believe worthy of spamming people with here, but they're all mostly original characters and not really game design ideas, per sé.

Tegaki tag for game ideas. I'm the only one that's used it so far, really, and only one of them has been an actual idea not related to "Not To Be", my AGS project.

Updates later-er.

Quote from: Original message
I'm hoping it's appropriate to ask for help here. I was a little torn between here and tutorials, really.

Anyhow!

I downloaded Celtx from looking through the forums here, and have been messing around with it (accidentally deleting a lot of work and whatnot, whee, organizational experimentation and forgetting to Save every five steps of the way!)...

Anyway, it occurs to me that I have no real idea what a neat way to organize a Game Design Document would be at all! And being a complete amateur (I never finished my CommonplaceBookCompo entry), I have no idea what I'm doing.

So I was wondering if anyone had any advice. I've done a couple of things (Notepad things!) that I guess count as very basic, stripped down design documents, but am unsure if they get the message across to a third party (i.e.- maybe they only work for me and me alone). And with college barking at my heels constantly, I figure that I may not be able to do anything (at all) solo.

Here's an example for anyone to critique:

Quote from: CommonplaceBookCompo - A Terrible Trip
Game Start //150 - Train, Hill, House

Screen 1 = Front Yard
//You are not allowed to go left yet
"I just left the house, and I have my wallet and keys with me."
//Press up to look at the screen
"It is a nice winter day. Not too cold, not too warm. The ocean breeze feels nice."
//Go right

Screen 2 = Cliff viewing City
//Press up to look at the screen
"It's the town. It looks like the merchants that arrive in the mornings are getting ready to leave."
//155 (Sail putting out to sea, town not dark yet- it is sunset)
//Go right

Screen 3 = River Bridge
//15 + 50 (Not yet)
//Press up to look at the screen
"It's a sturdy bridge. The water from the river flows into the gulf the town is next to."
//Go right

Screen 4 = Staircase to Town viewing Cliff
//185 (Old, damp, mildew covered houses built next to waterfall)
//Press up to look at the screen
"It's the old town. There was an incident, and now the houses are barely jutting out of the cliffside."
//215 (Amnesia sign 1)
//Only add this line of narration once, make a switch for it and set it to 1:
"Why am I still living up there, again?"
//Go right, into town

Screen 5 = Semi-Active Street
//Press up to look at the screen
"The main street of the town is always bustling with activity, but I don't really know anyone well enough to strike up random conversation."
//Go right

Screen 6 = Train Station
//You are not allowed to go right
//Press up to look at the screen
"The train station. I'm taking it to avoid hours upon hours of walking. It's cheap, anyway- the town is near a coal mine."
//Walk up to booth
"One ticket please."
"Here you go, sir! Enjoy your trip." (<- Write in pink or something)
"Thank you."
//Go right

Screen 7 = Train
//You are not allowed to go left, entry doors are closed
//Press up to look at the screen
"It's the passenger cabin I boarded. I tend to enjoy walking to the front cabin, however- it feels that I arrive at my destination that much faster once I do."

Bash/Praise/Comment away, good sirs/sirettes!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 03:50:10 AM by ElTipejoLoco » Logged


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TeeGee
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2009, 01:21:41 AM »

Are you working in a bigger team? If you are the only person working on the project, then just screw the whole design doc and use that time to work on the game. You can always make notes in some notebook when/if necessary after all.
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Tom Grochowiak
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2009, 01:50:29 AM »

Are you working in a bigger team? If you are the only person working on the project, then just screw the whole design doc and use that time to work on the game. You can always make notes in some notebook when/if necessary after all.
This is probably the best thing to do. Unless you are making a huge game, which of course you shouldn't be if it's the first one you're making.
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ElTipejoLoco
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2009, 02:18:55 AM »

Are you working in a bigger team? If you are the only person working on the project, then just screw the whole design doc and use that time to work on the game. You can always make notes in some notebook when/if necessary after all.
This is probably the best thing to do. Unless you are making a huge game, which of course you shouldn't be if it's the first one you're making.

Hrm, yeah. The problem is, I have no idea what differentiates a big game from a small game.

It would help if there was some sort of set way that I could determine that on my own, but as far as I know, there's no way to measure ideas in size due to their complexity. (What for me could be a small game may be a big game to others, and vice versa)

All I know is that with college in the way, every game feels big. Every second I waste not doing college work feels like I just did some huge endeavor and wasted a lot of my time. Doesn't help that I'm learning economy and business (now I call everything an opportunity cost, even typoes! Ahhh!).

I don't think I'd ever want to release a small game with any of the ideas that I've had so far, sadly. I'd feel unfulfilled, I'd think. But I wouldn't know yet.
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2009, 02:32:05 AM »

If you don't have too much time to spare, then writing lengthy design docs is definitely not going to help.
Really, the best way to determine if the game is small or not, is to just start making it and see how it goes. Especially if it's your first game and you don't have enough experience to make any educated guesses anyway.

And you can always keep notes for features, content, levels or whatever if you are afraid they could to be lost or forgotten.

 
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Tom Grochowiak
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ElTipejoLoco
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2009, 02:43:24 AM »

If you don't have too much time to spare, then writing lengthy design docs is definitely not going to help.

Curses! This advice comes to me five (I think) years too late!

Darn my ability to get carried away when typing. Oh well.

But yeah, you're right, I should probably just start tossing something together in my spare time. (It kind of hurts to think of doing it, though, but oh well) Thanks for the advice.
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2009, 09:21:48 AM »

If you're working in AGS (I'm going to assume that you're making an adventure game) then I can see where it might be a good idea to make a design document first. Puzzles spanning many rooms are a lot to keep in your head, especially if you're trying to avoid unwinnables. It might be a good idea to at least outline whatever section you're working on. It's hard to think up a good puzzle on the spot; I tend to think them up in the shower and then I have to write them down.

But a design doc doesn't have to precede building the thing and playing with it. You can write a doc partway through.

But if you need adventure game design doc pointers, you can get the Grim Fandango design document here: http://cache.kotaku.com/assets/resources/2008/GrimPuzzleDoc_small.pdf.zip
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