Author Topic: Creation Process  (Read 744 times)

Creation Process
« on: 23 Oct 2017, 09:04 »
What is your initial process for creating an adventure game? Do you write the story? Do you make a map of the world? Do you write the dialogue? Do you create the art?

I have ideas for a game scribbled on notebook paper, but figuring out how to proceed from here seems a bit overwhelming, so I'm just wondering what steps other people have gone through.

Re: Creation Process
« Reply #1 on: 23 Oct 2017, 09:11 »
I'd start with experimenting a little with the AGS engine to figure out what you can and can't do.  If you haven't played many adventure games, maybe try some of those and see how the overall flow of the game works.

Honestly my personal process is fairly 'organic' in the sense that it all kind of blends one into the other. Although certainly you might want to write out a rough idea of what you want the game to be about, and draw up some initial art.

I'd definitely try to get assets into the actual engine as early as possible, to save headaches later (i.e. you have a hundred character sprites, backgrounds, etc. and they're all the wrong size/format/just won't work.)

Maybe try a small practice game first, with one room and one puzzle.

Re: Creation Process
« Reply #2 on: 23 Oct 2017, 09:27 »
Thank you so much for the reply, SilverSpook. The suggestion to try one room with one puzzle is very helpful and makes things seem less overwhelming.

I've played a ton of point-and-click adventure games, so I'm good there.

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Creation Process
« Reply #3 on: 23 Oct 2017, 10:07 »
This question has been posted many times.
I have a more down-to-earth answer: First, ask yourself: "how many rooms in my game?" and "how many people working on it?". the subsequent answers will depend on those.
 

Re: Creation Process
« Reply #4 on: 23 Oct 2017, 10:12 »
This question has been posted many times.
I have a more down-to-earth answer: First, ask yourself: "how many rooms in my game?" and "how many people working on it?". the subsequent answers will depend on those.

Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it. Is there a thread you can link me to where this question has been discussed before? I'm new here, so I don't really know where to look.

I like the idea of first figuring out how many rooms will be in the game. I'll think on that.

Monsieur OUXX

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Re: Creation Process
« Reply #5 on: 23 Oct 2017, 13:31 »
Is there a thread you can link me to where this question has been discussed before?

Yes, several, but it's not easy to find because the keywords are not obvious. I would suggest this, for example: http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=54372.0

Check out the other results with this Google search: site:http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/ what is your process
 

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Re: Creation Process
« Reply #6 on: 23 Oct 2017, 13:43 »
Below is my take on the game design workflow.

Step 1: Idea
I really want to make a game about X with a twist in that Y is the villain and...

Step 2: Planning
Jot down every single idea, concept and plot thread I have in a document. Go through it, refine, reorganize. Most of my projects stop at this stage, for one reason or another. Most commonly I get too ambitious, overdesign a project, then realize it will be impossible to complete in a reasonable amount of time.

Step 3: Planning STORY
Take your story segment from the initial document and ensure that it has a clear BEGINNING and END, as well as a clear sequence of events that lead from the first to the latter.

Step 4: Planning MIMINUM gameplay
Take your document again and plan out what gameplay elements your game absolutely needs to fulfill the story you have. Minimum number of rooms, characters, objects and features. Design these, how they are used, when, how often. Check to see if any can be removed and if so, do it now.

Step 5: Framework
Start your AGS project, set up your first rooms, room layout and characters etc, based on the documents you have. Use crude placeholder graphics, though I also add first drafts of things like rooms and characters at this stage to better drive motivation and mood. Point here is: don't get stuck on the graphics here.

Step 6: Gameplay
Add all the puzzles, GUI's and gameplay elements of your game, so that the game can be played from start to finish. No real need to worry about dialogue and such yet, as those can be added in later.

Step 7: Visuals and story and polish
Your game is working and can be played from start to finish. You probably have some artwork and dialogue already in the game, but at this stage you can start really doing stuff like animating cutscenes, characters and backgrounds. Add in dialogue. Since your game is essentially feature complete now, you are pretty much free to add all the little item descriptions, idle chat dialogues and whatnot freely, as it won't hinder any future work you'll be doing.

Step 8: Sound design
While I add bits of sound to the game earlier than this, I take time to go over all sound assets towards the end of the project. Make sure all sound effects, music and dialogue are recorded, work well and sound good.

With these steps completed, you should have a game that works, can be played from start to finish and has all that it needs.
As you worked your way through, it is more than likely that, during the latter stages, you added a cool feature here or a room there etc. That's perfectly fine, as long as you keep in mind that if some new addition doesn't work, you can fall back to the original, minimalist plan at any time.

NOW there is a final step before release: testing. Have as many people as you can test your game, play it, and document bugs, issues, typos, glitches and opinions. Read all of it, fix what you can fix, and repeat. You may well have to go back and redesign some sections of your game here, but that's what happens. Once you have all your bugs squashed and polish finalized, you should have a game ready for release!

Hope that helps you design your own workflow!

Oh, and a lot of what I use is based on ideas that are put forward by the folks at Extra Credits on Youtube.
Check out their playlist on game design here:



It's well worth the watch!
My Fortnightly Writing Competition collected works
https://goo.gl/VUQbzU

Re: Creation Process
« Reply #7 on: 26 Mar 2018, 18:47 »
Does anyone know what the going rate is to hire professionals to work on a point-and-click game (Quest for Infamy-style graphics)?

Artist?
Animator?
Programmer?

Re: Creation Process
« Reply #8 on: 26 Mar 2018, 23:03 »
I'd say my creative process is a bit different from what the others have described, when I have an idea for a game I usually start with making the sprites and background art,
then I start working on the first room in the game and then build the game up chronologically, making it up as I go along. I do tend to have an ending in mind when I start working,
but most of my ideas tend to shift and change as I work on them. From my experience, it's better to start with a small idea and let it grow and expand rather than starting with a big, complex idea
and gradually having to cut content, but this is my personal way of working and others have created good games from the opposite strategy.

However, most of my games have been passion projects I've done on my spare time, and if you're working on a team, you will have to accommodate the others on the project.
The more people working on a game, the more clear and concise the vision has to be in order to avoid misunderstandings and accidentally ending up with a disjointed product.

As for hiring professionals on your first project, I'd advise against it, it's better if you first do a shorter "test game" to learn the engine and practice game design,
and if you are doing a shorter project, many people here would probably help you out for free just for the fun of it.

Crimson Wizard

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Re: Creation Process
« Reply #9 on: 26 Mar 2018, 23:25 »
One thing I wanted to note. If you are seeing yourself as a team leader or coordinator in the game's development, that actually will be your first responsibility to understand the process of creating and combining all assets of the game well. It's not just about giving out tasks and orders, you need to actually understand how team members (artists, programmers) work, and make sure these tasks are well thought beforehand and well explained to them.

UPD: I realize that may sound as a bold statement, so here's an example of why that's important, from my own actual experience.
When you design your rooms these have "static" objects that never change, and objects that may change. An important thing is to tell the artist to draw the "changeable" objects as separate images, not part of background, otherwise programmers won't be able to script them changing their looks or positions. If you forget about that, or don't consider important early on, the backgrounds will have to be redone in the midst of development.

The morale of this is also that it's better to explain your plans as early as possible, so that the people who are going to draw/program for you had time to consider the work, and possibly even suggest better approaches.


So yes, I support what Blondbraid sais: if it's your first game, better make something simple, having short development time, that will make you acquainted with the possible problems before you start something serious.
« Last Edit: 27 Mar 2018, 00:12 by Crimson Wizard »