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Article - 'Using General Knowledge' by AutumnDragon

An item about Game Design posted on Aug 1, 2004

Blurb

There is one word for AutumnDragon's work: short but sweet. Once again, SHE gives us a short but wonderful piece of work. Read this if you're interested in designing social/political systems in your game and are curious about the basics.

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Using General Knowledge
By AutumnDragon

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This article will go over basic principles of your general knowledge and how it can be applied to your game. I hope it helps. ^__^

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How many times have you decided to make a hierarchy of monarchs or a financial government for your game and realised that you have absolutely no general idea of what they do or how their system works. Have you played a game where the council of an important matter speaks casually to one another instead of using that very technical colloquial language that RPG Advocate uses?

That’s a real problem in some areas of the game. You want to set a scene but have no idea how the characters would talk, discuss or what they actually do in detail. You could go into what they do by doing research. E.g. The manager of several companies wants to discuss a new position for one of his staff. He’s not going to say ‘You are promoted, start next Monday.’ He’s going to go deep into detail. Sure you might get the speech right, but then, you lack knowledge of what this new area of work will actually require, so you cannot make the manager tell the staff member what to do.

So, I have recommendations for you.

1. Research into it using books, internet or watch TV if it helps the subject you are stuck on.
2. Skip this part and just continue with your game but it might mean your game may lose points.
3. Get help from a friend.
4. Apply your general knowledge to something you are good at instead.

1, 2 and 3 are easy enough to understand, but I’ll go into detail with 3. (After all, that’s what this article is about)

Ask yourself what you are good at? What do you know most about things?
I know a lot about psychology, so I can apply this knowledge into developing my characters personalities. I also study a lot of witchcraft so I know many herbs and their properties, gemstones and many other natural elements. I can apply this knowledge to make special skills in my game and create items using the correct herbs to name it. E.g. Lavender Mixture will cause sleep on an enemy. I know this because lavender is supposed to help you sleep. And as you may have noticed from my other articles, I studied geography as well, which obviously helps on world maps, and cities.

I did get stuck at one point, but I find reading lots of fictional books helps builds your vocabulary up and you can then make events that sound good unless you go to far. (You know who I’m talking about)

What if you are a computer wiz? You could apply this knowledge to create a futuristic game with Chewbacca in it or something, hehe.

I could go on and on, but you should already know yourselves what you are good at and have a general knowledge of.

So say you do help on area you are unfamiliar with. Take option 3 or perhaps create a team for your game that could help in this area. Don’t forget to visit forums for help too.

Yours, AutumnDragon!