A Book that Let's You Level Up With Every Chapter
In the last "tutorial" I wrote (Honestly it wasn't much more than an educational rant
) I explained ways to start your stories in games and how to organize them. If you would like to read it, it's in the Tutorial's Forum. But, as some of the comments stated (correctly), a game is a proxy for the player; the player pretends to be the character in the game. I am going to move on and give you some hints at how to efficiently apply your story to your game.
The Great Transition (Not Really)
You will find that the transition from paper to RPG Maker is not all that great. The most important thing to do before you apply your story is to EXPERIMENT! I learned the majority of my RPG Maker knowledge from a few good afternoons just making random events and playtesting them to see what would work and what wouldn't. There are a few things we are assuming:
1: You Have Completed your Story: You know what you want to happen in your game. Stick it on a wall somewhere you know you'll see it so you'll always be reminded of your game. Your Princess is ready, your swords are sharpened, the evil demon in Part 3 of your game has been turned loose, whatever.
2: You Have a Basic/Intermediate Understanding of your RPG Maker: Shakespeare didn't write Romeo & Juliet with a pen he wasn't familiar with; Hayao Miyazaki didn't make Princess Mononoke with a bucket of paint and his fingers! Knowing how to manipulate your method of expression is crucial, and in this case, it means that you need to know a thing or two about RPG Makers! This is not the tutorial for that: Much more technical ones exist all over the tutorial forums, so LOOK!
3: YOU HAVE THE TIME!: Let's all be honest with ourselves. Unless we are the rare exception of an actual game developer using an RPG Maker to create a cool game (KNight BLade: Howling of Kerberos, Dragoness Edge 2080, all of them chock full a' AWESOME!
), we probably don't have hours upon end to devote to our RPG epic and IT'S...O...K! You don't have to make it the center of your life until it's finished, but you do have to make sure you do have some time to devote to it if you're serious about making it. If you keep on putting it off and putting it off then what's the point of having the software? You're just polluting disk space with that "program I bought a year ago but never got around to using".
So Now What?
The first thing I want you to do is to remember that text heavy and story oriented games are a recognized and popular style of gameplay. Also remember, though, that it takes a balance of text and action to make a game truly interesting. Take God of War, for example. It was ok gameplay. The kills get repetitive after a while, but it was still fun! And do you know why? It applied its storyline EFFECTIVELY! Yes, you had crucial events in the game but those were offset with puzzles, boss fights and other fun doohickies. You have to think about your game as though you've never played it before and you don't know what is going to happen in the game because this is how the people playing it are going to think. Hints and Tips: The Player is Not You
: Never put anything in a game that the player can't get. In other words, anything you can't conveigh to the player on the screen needs to be revised. Let's just use KOTOR as an example. Bastila was a Jedi. Now, if the people who made KOTOR didn't tell you she was a Jedi and then waited until the end of the game to reveal her evil, master plan you'd be fairly confused wouldn't you? Now, this is not to say that a plot twist is a bad thing. A plot twist is different than just plain misinformation. It's kind of hard to understand and it's fairly hard for me to write, so e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Cinematic Sequences: Short and Sweet
: If any of you have played the Dynasty Warriors series, you will know that 10 minute cutscenes filled with inane segues and annoying and unrelated side plots are tools of the devil that promote the homicide of game developers and wars on the internet between punch-drunk fanboys and actual gamers. SHORT AND SWEET! A cinematic scene's sole purpose is to showcase an event that you cannot conveigh in game, in other words, major events that require the player's attention. In an RPG, a cinematic sequence is fairly common so you need to use restraint! EVERY RPG EVER MADE HAS A LOT OF CUTSCENES IN IT, YES, EVEN THE FIRST FINAL FANTASY AND PHANTASY STAR! It is one of the hallmarks of the genre! Every cinematic cutscene doesn't have to be a masterpiece of cinematography, it just needs to show something you can't in real time game action! Training Sequences: It's Your Move, R2
: A training sequence is largely left to the devices of the game designer. Whether you have a formal training setting or you do the more popular method of training sequences and train your character in the midst of battle, remember to KEEP SECRET MOVES SECRET! Naruto didn't learn the Rasengan in the first episode and neither should your player!
Some Final Thoughts...
I just got a mole removed today (biopsy my foot!) and I'm pretty tired so I'm fixing to go to bed. Before I do, though, I want you guys to remember that your game and your story shouldn't be separate. Mesh them as closely as possible. The great thing about a story is that you can go back and edit it, much like a forum post. YOU DON'T HAVE TO STICK TO YOUR FIRST DRAFT! Allow for creativity, encourage yourself to view the game in different ways so you are hit with inspiration. Don't change your storyline every second, but don't set it in stone either. If you type in "General Grievous Concept Art" on google you'll see that the goofy general had his inspiration in the nozzle of a bottle of window cleaner
. Comment often, stay safe, and please see me at email@example.com for any more questions or comments!