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Article - 'A Guide to Presentation' by Mateui

An item about Game Design posted on Aug 9, 2003

Blurb

Learn how to present your game - maximizing the amount of downloads it gets and deciding whether one should create a demo or not.

Body

A Guide to Presentation:

By: Mateui



What do I do? What do I do?!



Before you start to panic, relax! I’m here so you don’t need to worry about anything. Just read and then follow up with what I told you to do. And I mean everything that I tell you, including giving me money. Ok, so I’m not that heartless.. just continue reading and forget what I just said in those last two sentences.



Let us begin. Well, I’m sure you’re curious as to what the topic of discussion will be today. It’s in the title.. Yes, presentation! But what type of presentation? Do you need a definition for clarification? I’m sure everyone’s tired with all those fancy words from the dictionary, so I’ll explain this word in the natural way. (But what really constitutes being natural? Hmm.. A dictionary would help, but I promised that I wouldn’t use it.. Darn!)



Oh my, I’ve talked for way too long. Must get back on track. Basically, this article will focus on aiding the people who have already completed a game, and are looking to present it in such a way as to maximize the amount of downloads. Also, it will help those out who are releasing demos or those debating whether they should release a demo. That’s a lot to write about, isn’t it? So let us start!



Hyping it Up!



So you’ve already finished the game. How do you present it? Hmm.. let’s think. Now where do you think the majority of the GW population hangs out? Yes, the Forums. This would obviously be the best way to start.



Ok. So you begin to create a new topic, but you freeze. What now?! Calm down, I haven’t left... yet. Think of your topic title, and the subheading underneath it. Generally, mentioning the title of your game is important in the title, while a cool catch phrase could be included inside the subheading. Need an example?



Thundaro’s Rage

(yournamehere)’s (adjective) Game!



Easy. You can always change the title and subheading to meet your own needs.



Now onto adding the actual info. Now, you’ll actually have to work a lot here and put in a little bit of effort. What your write depends on what type of game you have constructed. Therefore, I will provide you with two examples – one for an RPG game, and another example for a platformer.



An RPG Example:

What should you include in a post about your RPG game? Generally this is what you would see:



- Story

- Characters

- Features

- Custom Systems (If Applicable)

- Screenshots



Under Story, you would write some basic info on the plot and what has occurred before the game takes place, unless that would spoil the game.



Under Characters, give some info on the basic and general characters you would see in the game. This includes that main character(s) and sometimes, if it won’t hurt the overall effect of your game, the villain(s).



Under Features, describe what is unique in your game and the types of mini-games/quests the player can expect to see. Explain very well, for this may give the people reading this section a boost wanting to play your game even more.



Under Custom Systems, discuss, in length, what types of CSes you will use. For instance, Battle Systems, and Custom Menu Systems are favored in the community, but you can include other smaller systems in this sections, like a Mood System, Day and Night System, and so on.



Under Screenshots, post some pictures of anything pertaining to the above sections. But be forewarned, and I’ll tell you this honestly, not a lot of members enjoy it when all someone posts is some screenshots of the Rm2k3 DBS. Believe me, it gets annoying. A few are okay, but concentrate on showing your map making qualities and character dialogue.



A Platformer Example:

Platformers are generally different from RPGs because their specific task or purpose is to provide quick and easy entertainment, not dulling the player with countless dialogue. Many times a platformer has a very simple plotline or no story whatsoever.



The Sections include:



- Story and Characters (Only if applicable)

- Features

- Screenshots



Under Story and Characters, describe the basic storyline and give the reason as to why the main player has gone out on his/her quest.



Under Features, you can add some info about some cool things your platformer has, like moving platforms, realistic enemies with AI (Think the original Rayman), flying, and others. The more the merrier!



Under Screenshots, just post away, showing your neat graphics, and the game in motion. Possibly show some enemies, the public goes absolutely wild about them. Also, if manageable, grab a screen of your main character jumping across a pit. (This is for effect, yet it gives a game an image, and provides the character with a daring and brave personality. Use it often ;)



Creating A Site and Hosting



Do you need your own website for your game? Well, not necessarily, but it can be a good addition and you can use it to store screenshots, story, characters, info, and guides! And it won’t disappear like a forum post if left alone for some time.



Need a Website Provider? Well, I don’t mean to be biased or anything, but if you are looking to easily post your screenshots with having to copy and paste to view them, FreeWebs would be a good choice. You can find them at www.freewebs.com. (No, I was not paid to write that… I can see those shifty eyes of yours..)



But what about the download? You can store it on your website, but FreeWebs may not necessarily be a good choice. You can try for a different host, but bandwidth issues can arise. I would recommend just sending it by e-mail to the Admin of Gaming World, Bart. Someone will play and review your game (Namely AnonymousGuy, so suck up all you want… no don’t do it. You can’t corrupt the system anyway! ^_^!) If all goes well, and your game doesn’t suck, then you could very well expect the honor of having your game on mighty GW.



Demos: To Do Or Not To Do?



Should you release a demo of your game? Well, let us look on the pros and cons of giving the public an early version of your game.



Pros:

- Gives your game extra hype, and anticipation for future versions

- Makes your name more well known in the community

- Creates a fan-base of members

- If a new, never-before seen feature is introduced, your game can be pinned as the original prototype



Cons:

- If the game is not well viewed by others, future versions can be deprived of downloads

- Code can be stolen before it is finalized

- Graphics/Music/Resources could also be stolen or taken

- Can give you a bad name if your demo was horrible



Decide if the Pros outweigh the Cons and vice versa. Get someone to test out your demo and ask for their opinion before releasing to the actual public. If you decide not to create a demo, keep hyping up your game, but try not to over-hype, as this can actually make people hate your game before it is actually released.



Conclusion:



This article has finally come to an end, even though I didn’t want it to... Hmm.. anyways, there’s not much else to say, just weigh the facts and do accordingly. I believe that that is a good closing line.. ^_^!





- Mateui