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Article - 'The World of a Game' by Angroth

An item about Game Design posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

World development.

Body

When making a game, great effort should be used to create the world. Most rpgs these days (most I will remind you) have very intricate details of the history, locations and very deep cultural stuff. Personally I thought Final Fantasy X was the best for this (from what I've played, with the Al Behds speaking different language and wearing very mechanical looking clothes). How can we cut down the scale of this to fit a smaller rpg? Making a decent world in which a game revolves will certainly make it easier when making and much more fun to experience for other people who play the game.

Idea's to think of:

Language & writing
Language is inevitably an obvious one some might say, yet I haven't seen many if any rpg maker games with different languages. Languages should be different from country to country or continent to continent. Some races might rely on languages which others might not. Another more less obvious thing is the writing of certain areas. Once again, if languages vary, so does the writing. Books, signs and anything with text should be different for each language. But there is liable to be a certain style in your game of text and language. Despite everything else time periods could well have significant effects in your game. Some languages might have developed from older ones. Also, the general font in the game (if using some pictures) might depict a certain form due to its time period and setting. With much straighter writing likely to be older more primitive writing and big curly swirly writing from a time where poets and plays exist etc. But fonts and languages vary on players opinions of them, of course!

Any religions
Religion is always a good one to put in your game. Lots of non-rpg maker games have different religions and they can usually have a significant impact on the story. Religion is a good thing to use and play on. If you want to make certain statements about religion this is the place to put it too! But make sure the religion fits in with the rest of the game and doesn't contradict itself in any way.

The context
Keep everything in context. Don't place illogical things around. Unless there's good reason you shouldn't be having magical swords and bows in a futuristic game and cars and planes in a medieval sword slashing rampage. Its obvious but worth noting. yet once again, this can be played on as can everything else. the final fantasy's have always been ones to try and include swords and mechanical objects with good reason, as does Breath of Fire games. Whereas games like Vagrant Story take a much more traditional medieval role.

Story
Story should incorporate all of the above. You'll need good historical background for a game. Wars, alliances, discoveries and inventions are what makes for good history. Even implementing simplistic history ideas can benefit very well. It is especially handy if there is some large openings for debates upon the mini topics mentioned. If you have a great library it gives even more excuse to have more history; its a decent chance to express the past, maybe it could clarify certain things in the game if someone did read from the library, who knows?

The environment
Environment is a major factor in a game. The settings and locations of every area. This will help distinguish between what you might consider, modern, futuristic, medieval, sci-fi or anything imbetween. Maybe certain areas are ruins from past wars between different countries. That will certainly spice things up and make them less happy. The environment in which you play can be manipulated for some good effects by using the languages, religions, context and background. As the only main physical aspect from the article, this section will be the main one to draw the links between all of the above together. Use it well.

In the world of a game, there are many things which some of I have mentioned. Many things to think of which will make it much more of a world than a random place. Professional game makers spend much time and effort into the likes of a world. A decent world will create a decent foundation for making your game.

PS: I hear people from non-UK are calling 'Take Aways', 'Take Outs'. Whats all that about eh? You're not taking it on a date or something, you take it away to eat not out to the cinema ^__^