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Article - 'Help making a great game, easier.' by Stevester

An item about Game Design posted on Aug 8, 2003

Blurb

This article tells of ways that can help you create a great game, along with poking fun at rap, nu-metal and slipknot. (Whee!)

Body

So you’ve read tutorials (or not) and you kept on thinking “I can’t do those things” or “I don’t know how.” Well, my first suggestion is go look at better tutorials, you dirty bum. My second (and better) suggestion would be to listen to me!

Part 1: What you should do
This section basically describes what you should do in a game (duh).
Alright. Firstly, if you don’t have very high brain power, than you shouldn’t be making a game. Instead, you should be biting electrical wires, sending an electric impulse through your brain and hopefully stirring up the vast un-used part of your brain and shaking off that seemingly ever-lasting “blonde moment.”
Eh, now that my rant is over, I can explain what you should do if you don’t have high brain power. You can do things that have a task set out for you, like making graphics. As long as the person knows exactly what they want, you won’t have to think at all.
Now, if you have medium to high brain power, you can start programming.
It only takes a little thinking to use RM2K, as it uses a lot to program with almost any other language/game maker. Now if you’re an “ace of the trade” who uses RM2K or some other language/game maker, can compose midis, write, draw, design graphics, play a sport and not suck at it, play an instrument and still get above a C in school/college, than I must say that I salute you.

Part 2: Ready your mind
You should ready your mind before you do anything with your story or game design. There are many ways you can do this: One, you shouldn’t stay up late and wake up late, as “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” I don’t know about the wealthy part, but I’m sure that it will ready your mind to make a good game. Second, drink wine about a half-hour before you start (yes wine, not six bottles of beer and a shredded up tea bag mistaken for black coffee.) Wine actually helps you think, I found out. If you eat mints, this also helps you think. Mints contain peppermint which is known to help you think, along with sugar which gives you energy. You need to think a lot when making a game, and this helps. I also tried working with caffeine in my blood, and I must say it makes it horrible, especially when you’re up late at night. Three cans of Surge will practically make you explode. I went outside at 12:30 and ran around my yard a couple times, came in panting from lack of nutrients, and fell asleep on the floor. So remember: If you’re going to drink a lot of caffeine, make sure you have some other activity nearby like one of those cheesy fingerboards or a cup-and-ball game.

Part 3: Sufficient breaks
When taking a break, the most important thing is not to loose interest in your game. I found the best break time to be around 10 days, starting on a Friday and ending on a Sunday, or something of the sort. When you take a break, watch movies, read books, and do whatever else that’s going to get you back into your game at full speed. Also, don’t take too short of a break. Make sure your ready to go back and start working again. If you’re taking a break for other reasons than being tired of working on your game, then make a plan or a log that make sure that you’re coming back in time. What I usually do is take a break and watch a great movie, read some Forgotten Realms novels (along with J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels) and try to blend them in with the story I have, without making a drastic change. I make resources for people and get back into my other hobbies that I love to do. I, personally can’t stay away for more than a week. I need to be back at my game because so many new ideas spring up at me. Some of you may need at least two weeks away, and that’s understandable, as long as you don’t loose interest.

Part 4: What you can do to help you think
You can work on RM2K only on weekends. This helps you think better when you do work on it. You should do some sort of physical activity. If you don’t have any physical activity in your schedule, you’ll find that it becomes difficult to think and you eventually become tired just from walking up steps. If you listen to music, there are certain types that help you think, and certain types that well… don’t. This is mostly depending on the person, but I’m going for the majority. For instance: Rap, “Hardcore metal” (which I don’t consider music at all) and any of those relation make it harder to think for everyone. Country may make some people’s minds foggy, along with some Rock, but mostly their just neutral, along with pop. Techno, Classical, and some Hip-hop can make you think much easier and clearer. Of course, you don’t have to listen to music, but it helps in some cases.

Also, I find watching scary movies helps (no, not Scary Movies I+II) because they mostly have no story besides DEATH. What really inspires me to get up and start working is a really bad story. Thus, watching any type of scary movie will help. Also, try to stay away from emotions like anger as much as you can. Anger confuses you, even if you’re not aware of it (I.e. what rap and slipknot does to you.) I don’t mean stuff these emotions inside of you, I mean don’t go around flaming and starting arguments for no reason. An easy way to avoid getting angry (NOT hiding anger) is to think of how stupid the person flaming you is, as empty buckets make the most noise. However, emotions like sadness (not to the point of depression),and happiness often make it easier to think when coming up with a story. You can also find many games that have horrible storylines (mostly RM2K :D) like the CBS/CMS demos that game makers litter the web with. But then again, movies (or books) with great stories help also, because you might get some inspiration from them.

Finally, my scary “chart” of what game you’ll be best at making, according to the music you listen to. This is defiantly not as accurate as it could be, but hey, give me credit, I’m a working man!
Punk/ Oi/ Ska: Futuristic, medieval, games with brilliant CBS/CMS and customs.
Rap: Futuristic games
Techno: Futuristic (again), Modern
Country: Med evil, Sci-Modern
Rock: Sci-fi, Medieval
Classic: Medieval
Pop: Futuristic, Sci-fi

Tell me if I’m wrong, but I’ve been monitoring games from the Project Hoster and this is what I found to be true.

*salutes himself in the mirror*

-Stevester