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Article - 'Mascots In Your Game(Basics)' by Fighter

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

This time, Fighter looks into mascots on and ideas for one that concerns your game. NOT JUST FOR RM2K. This article is almost like an FAQ.

Body

Hello, Fighter here, on yet another article, this time concerning mascots of your game, a totally underlooked concept that is a nice addon and can help race your game into the media and fierce competition that is found commonly today. So, with further ado, I present to you Mascots in your game.

What is a mascot?

When the word mascot races to your mind, you usually think of those irritating highschool football game animals running around aimlessly, while horrendously funny, they are only a little in comparison to a game mascot. A mascot can creep anywhere from the game's title screen, nifty icons, loading screens, or even in minigames or sub-appearances in the game itself, but usually they play a comedic relief role that is a little minor. An example of a very famous mascot would be the Final Fantasy's Chocobo, which appears from game to game, and in the various other things mentioned.

Some Mascot Do's and Don'ts

Well, don't pull something random from your uninspired, Spanky(I had to say that), think of something that ties in with your game's plot, most people would choose a cartoony version of the game's hero, or some sort a cross between various animals, or even a common monster. It really is all up to you, as long as it is pleasing to the eyes, for example, if you had a game called Jimmy's Adventures, you wouldn't put his house for a mascot, you see mascots need some sort or role or movement, and usually animation is the solution.

Specifying With Animation

Well, if your mascot was a cartoon version of the hero, during loading screens and the like, would you prefer to see him moving around tripping, and overall entertaining the crowd, or just standing there with a blank look on his face, you see choice can be good, but it needs to be great, try adding some comedy as it lightens people up while they are impatiently waiting or anticipating the next scene. They need some depth, otherwise, you would be better off as a stone for your mascot.

Too Much Of A Mascot = BAD

Yes, that statement tells all, people would be irritated if they saw the mascot on the corner of the screen all the time, or if the mascot was seen all over, however, if executed properly, this rule can be slashed off, by that, I mean, the mascot does a unique thing that makes people fall out of their chair laughing, or ties in with hints of where to go next, etc. You might wanna choose wisely if you decide to assign such values to a mascot, especially if it doesn't suite it at all.

Icons, HOW!?

Well, I won't go too in-depth on this one, try various sites to make icons, but proportion it well, don't make the mascot's eye take up the full icon. I would think that Rast's site would provide info on icons for rm2k, the rest of the gamemaker icon settings are pretty simple, just rm2k that you wanna watch out for.

Some Final Tips

Be patient if creating your own mascot, it doesn't come overnight, it requires thought, depth, and fittingness, just think of the past few steps, and if you want to take it further, you can add the mascot to your website as a guide etc. Also, don't make the mascot a playable character, that essentially defeats the purpose, at most, give him a few appearances in the game, but don't overdo it, or it could become a hassle. I might do a second part on this article, so keep your heads up for that, this is pretty basic, but can get you on track for things.

This is Fighter, need I add credits? I would like to thank MrY and the crew for staffing me, Erave, Real, and Cless for being friends, and umm..that's it.

And remember, things that halt you one day, jet-boost you the next.