Best practice for creating an adventure

  • #1, by basenicTuesday, 22. November 2016, 13:52 7 years ago
    i know this does not have anything to do with the Visionaire Studio Software itself, but i am curious on how you start planning your game. Does it make sense to start with a plain document where you write down your story itself and after finishing the script start creating a prototype? Or do you start with a prototype-project and just sketch out the raw story? How detailed are your stories when you start creating your game in the engine? How detailed is your script on describing all of the hotspots?

    Maybe someone have some links (focusing on adventure games) where this kind of questions are addressed? Or even have an example script to share?

    Best regards.


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  • #2, by afrlmeTuesday, 22. November 2016, 14:13 7 years ago
    I think everyone works differently in this regard. As with all design & story related things, sometimes people have a basic idea in their mind & they just start to work on something until it all clicks into place. Some people on the other hand focus on the story first then translate that across into the final product & then you have people who write & create elaborate game design documents (gdd aka god damn documents) that cover every single aspect of their idea down to the minutist detail.

    Some useful things to have are:
    • paper/notepad + pen/pencil for jotting down ideas/rough sketches
    • whiteboard for jotting down important things/reminders that are always in your visible area
    • microsoft word/open office or something similar for typing up notes/ideas
    • cloud mapping software like yEd or mind maple for creating flowcharts (very useful for branching content & figuring out what is linked to what)
    • articy draft (if you want the best gdd program out there - covers everything, but it's pretty expensive)

    As to how I work, I couldn't say as I work with/for other people, but if I was working on a game myself I would probably base it on something or somewhere that I am familiar with - writers apparently often do that...


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  • #3, by NigecTuesday, 22. November 2016, 14:55 7 years ago
    My game design is like me, total manic chaos
    I have a friend who was been doing her game for 9 years, nothing is really written down apart from simple layouts to jog her memory
    The problem with "just winging it" is you can end up with big holes, its really easy to end up with a beginning, end and nothing in the middle, I know all about that one lol.

    There's text game engines like Quest that you can use as a drafting tool, you can simply outline a story with it add pictures you don't need to get down n dirty with code, its simply linking pages

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  • #4, by sebastianTuesday, 22. November 2016, 15:55 7 years ago
    it depends really on the way you want to go and of you work alone or in a team. 
    Also when writing the story and expanding the ideas you should also be sure if they are programmable in the engine of your choice. I for myself are expanding my game step by step to make sure everything i plan works as expected. 

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  • #5, by MachtnixWednesday, 23. November 2016, 03:45 7 years ago
    i know this does not have anything to do with the Visionaire Studio Software itself,

    I think it has, because Visionaire has it's individual way how to make games. Unity may have others (sure it has).
    For example its not that easy to change resolutions afterwards, so its better to make a good plan what you need and how big it should be. Scenes with action areas and objects couldn't enlarge on one mouse click. It's difficult to change your game resolution from 4:3 to 16:9 (maybe) later. Action parts and conditions (!) need a good preparation, because changings are long-drawn-out.

    So you need a story first ( your start idea, your main plot), then you need a kind of story board: which scenes you need, how many main characters, where are they and - important - what should  they do, because you have to create a lot of outfits and animations. What kind of riddles you want. How many hours the gamer should play? Do you need additional languages? What about voices, noises and music? And, most important - if you want to make funny or demanding dialogs - a script, to whom and how often the charakters talk. To think about every situation - dialogs change after a character has answered a question or after actions (better they should do).

    Because Visionaire isn't based on graphic nodes to move free you will lose your target and whats going on. Believe me: you WILL without a good plan. There are submenues and submenues and submenues and all submenues depend on other conditions and submenues; and there are mostly global variables. You need a kind of decision tree (a very good one!), because: if the player founds a dead end - it's the dead of your game. I HATE games with dead ends because the developer didn't work properly and forgot something to check! EVERY gamer's decision must have a solution (or a way back, maybe).
    I think the concept is the most important thing of an adventure game. Graphics and locations follow.

    Sorry, but I hate to write in English, its very difficult to say what I want to say... It takes some hours...

    Good luck in any case!


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  • #6, by basenicWednesday, 23. November 2016, 13:05 7 years ago
    Thank you all for your input on this subject. I for myself am prototyping alone and obviously there are more than one good way to start creating. At the current project i started on creating the story (including narrator- and character-text) within a word-document and simultaneously putting story-bits into Visionaire Studio.
    However i agree with the overall tenor of this thread, that you need at least a rough structure of your desired game. Without it you will run into loose endings which are very hard to fix.


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  • #7, by jmbmWednesday, 23. November 2016, 13:16 7 years ago
    I write my story in a tool called scrivener. But i started with a simple *.txt file in notepad and as soon as i realized that things get complicated, i where looking around for a tool thats fits my needs and workflow. 
    But that's a thing everybody needs to figure out on its own. Not every tool is useful for everyone. 

    Also i don't think that there is a perfect way of planning a project. If you work in a team you sure need to describe every aspect, the other teammember should know. If you work alone, just go with a notepad and start from there. If you think you need every detail described somewhere, then do it. But at first you should start somewhere and then you will figure out what you need and want. 

    For the technical part i have a test-project where i learn the stuff about visionaire. I highly recommend using a second project where you can screw around. So it won't matter if you screw it up completly.

    I don't have much experience with adventure games. But someone who does (Ron Gilbert), wrote an excellent text about planning and writing adventure games. 


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