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Article - 'Making a Sequel' by Angroth

An item about Game Design posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

Help on making a game, more specifically a sequel.

Body

You’ve just made your game and published it on the internet. Maybe it’s a classic and maybe its just pure arse, either way you want to make a sequel which surpasses it. You know that if your game was a good one then people will be anticipating high standards for the sequel. How can you make sure your game lives up to these expectations? Well hopefully, I can give you some help to ensure your game will be just as much of a success if not more so than before!

Before you even contemplate ideas and build anything to the sequel you need to find what needs most improvement. If you could do a poll in the forums or on your website (if you have one) then that would be great. Another thing you could do is email people to review your game, that way you know what the strengths and weakness’ of the game are. Afterall, without knowing what to improve on you could ambitiously get rid of what made the game good and increase the amount of what hindered the game.
When you know what needs improvement you should sketch down ideas for you game of how you will overcome them. Bullet point form is usually easy to follow. So for example, you might have noted that you need a custom menu, more character building, easier battles and more special effects (rain, snow etc). The main thing you need to do when create your game is refer to these notes and ensure you have applied them throughout your game.
The most unfortunate thing is that you might have a game which strictly fits the notes but everything else has been lost. How can you stop this? It can be hard to follow in the footsteps of a game but you should make sure you know everything about your game and try to recreate its atmosphere. Just make the game as if it were an extended version of its prequel. If the game is generally very similar to the last one then you’re in even more luck! You can simply tweak the game up with the notes you have made and because it is so similar then its enhancements will make it much better.

Here is what games should have a lot of:
- Good graphics so that the game can get good recognision. But aesthetics alone will not make your game a winner. All looks and no play makes rm2k a dull game!
- Gameplay is a very important factor. If the game doesn’t have much variation or fun gameplay (because it’s too difficult or something) then people won’t want to play it. Try making it good by having some mini-quests and mini-games, a cbs would be good but they can be difficult so if you’re not up to it, it shouldn’t matter too much.
- A good original story without too many clichés. Everything seems to be considered one in this age however a strong story and good character development go very far. If the story is not interesting then whats the point in playing? People play to find out what happens and if what happens is arse then the whole rpg point is defied. Also, role play game (rpg) suggests you play as the role as someone. If you don’t know much about this person and can’t relate to them, then you could end up with a very boring game indeed!
- Music should be utilised well. It needs to be good atmospheric building music, timed well. This should hold the game together and help you express what is happening to greater effect. Sounds are also helpful. If used correctly, sounds can make a game very interesting and give it an extra spark it could well do with.
- The minor things such as what the layout of maps are is also important. These subliminally effect the players mind to be either biased for or against your game without knowing! The key to a good map is to put things in a characters path so that they cannot keep merely walking in a straight line, vary their route.

And so it would seem that everything thinkable is important in your game and to an extent… it is! If there’s something you can think of that would make your game good then it needs to be included.
Anyone can make a game, few can make an exceptional one!