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#1 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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World Building...

Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:47 AM

I have been spending sometime thinking about the nature of a world a videogame presents. The dynamics of a subtle background, flavor text, etc that help set a mood, or provide context to, what the player is interacting with.

Sure the complexity of the world presented is limited by the nature of the game, but at some level a world needs to be thought up to provide art direction and even some game play mechanics. Some games that throw this out the window (Robot Attack Unicorn), and other games provide a bare covering (Virtual Fighter), and others go nuts (Bioshock: Infinity).

How about everyone else - do you stop and consider the world presented to you when playing a game? I am reading through the art book for 'Alice:Madness Returns' and enjoying the ebb and flow of the world being created for the game. Themes, colors, and crazy ideas being built and carving out this world while seeing what could have been and what was left behind.

How about creating a world concept? Do you go far in depth when running with a game idea (bounty hunter sent to collect stolen bio weapons from space pirates on their base on Zebes, or just give it a blip in the SRS (Birds and pigs hate each other)

What are some worlds you found sufficiently deep and vibrant? (Sure Final Fantasy, Skryim, etc have giant worlds - how about underrated worlds?)

Are there any particular tools you use to help you along the way? Personally I am an old d&d kid and I still have most of my original game manuals.. that helps quite a bit.

Example resources:

Posted Image

http://rpgworldbuild...-resources.html

http://www.nanowrimo...y/threads/61692

Of course the other option is you, the developer, just say "fuggetaboutit that's the writer's job".

Hopefully we can get a conversation started on what makes a decent game world happen, how does more, or less, of a solid background help the game progress and work with the developer, what sort resources are out there for the 'creatively challenged', and what works best (or hinders you the most) when trying to construct a virtual world so our bits can roam free!

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Replies To: World Building...

#2 snoopy11  Icon User is offline

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Re: World Building...

Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:18 AM

Yeah, all good points

I think for a modern game creative writing skills are very important
consider taking a short correspondence course in short story writing.

I have done this and have had short stories published .

After all a game should have a plot, a beginning, a middle and an end with a twist in the tail somewhere.

Just like a short story.

I think Graphic novels can inspire modern game dev and are a good idea resource if your stuck for ideas.

Your programming skills of course have to be finely honed these days too.
and if you can teach yourself graphics or already have that skill then thats a huge bonus.

In building any game you have to wear a lot of hats thats for sure.

Be interesting to see where this thread goes. :)

Snoopy.
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#3 Kainyu  Icon User is offline

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Re: World Building...

Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:09 AM

The first and second Fable in my opinion had really great aesthetics it wasn't over complex or didnt make you feel too much all at once.

Playing those games with the concept they had in place was probably the most immersive and involving of anything that springs to mind. Everything was fitting perfectly music/sounds were absolutely perfect.I think the more cartoon-type style of visuals is done beautifully by most, But Fable to me will always be the stand out.

I would urge anyone to look at the concept art ect. If you ever found yourself in the mood some of the exclusive behind the scenes stuff was awesome too just to see what process they used and how deeply they wanted to grab the attention of the player it's insane.

As for my thoughts on how more or less backround in a game can effect it i must say music/sounds in a game is a big factor if not the biggest, even if you're creating a simple looking game the sounds you use (ambient or direct) are absolutely critical to create the mood or tone of a world. Take minecraft or runescape even (both repeative non-complex games) neither of which are exactly attractive but still they both get quite alot of play time because they dont fully focus on making you feel a certain way about the world they also take into concideration how the world feels about you during certain times and music is a good way to comunicate that and it can require very little effort.

I could rant about world creating for days, I havent created a world of any impressive scope as of yet purely due to lack of experience/knowledge so most of what I have said is more from an avid gamers point of view. From a developers side of coin I find the transition from what I have in my head into how i put it into the game the most difficult.
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#4 snoopy11  Icon User is offline

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Re: World Building...

Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:50 AM

View PostKainyu, on 27 March 2013 - 12:09 PM, said:

I could rant about world creating for days, I havent created a world of any impressive scope as of yet purely due to lack of experience/knowledge so most of what I have said is more from an avid gamers point of view. From a developers side of coin I find the transition from what I have in my head into how i put it into the game the most difficult.


Yeah I agree,

Music and sound effects have to match the World of the game very closely.

Also, game programming is among the hardest programming challenges you will face
if your game is to be playable and fun.

Don't be disheartened by the complexity and just begin would be my advice dont write too much then
rewrite what you have written probably several times just to get it right.

It's a lot of work but its fun work if you can do it.... :)/>

Snoopy.

This post has been edited by snoopy11: 27 March 2013 - 06:50 AM

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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: World Building...

Posted 29 March 2013 - 02:27 PM

As I've been thinking about it.. I really have to owe all my 'world building' to pencil and paper RPGs. Seriously.. Exposed to a silly number of variation of rules, dynamics, systems, interactions, etc.. all more or less primed me to generate background information on the fly (yes I was the DM more often than not).

That also sort of extends into games like Minecraft. I would generate a world and wander around looking for an interesting place that would naturally fit a castle or house. (Though I've seen some servers where people just strip mine an area and slap up some gaudy looking structure). The dwelling and the landscape depict a story.

Last night I spent about an hour or so just playing the 'what if' game and sketching out various worlds where 'pacman' would fit and be explained.

Then I found this:
Posted Image
http://www.theboredn...n_real_life.gif


Sometimes in my process I roll dice on a table I would gin up.. other times I latch onto one aspect and explode it to cover the rest. Not a bad thought experiment. Ha.. that might be a fun on going contest... give a basic game setup and everyone returns with their version on a world that fits that.. we all vote for the winner and cycle again.
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#6 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: World Building...

Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:26 PM

You remind me so much of a 'game designer' types that I used to work with. What makes a good designer is being able to interpret what players want over your own personal preferences. Sure, you will influence game content with your own preferences, but that shouldn't be the general weight of the game design document unless you are someone like Hideo Kojima! ;)
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#7 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: World Building...

Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:14 PM

Clearly this is just focusing on one aspect.. I find that a game with good world built around it (well as much as it would need) helps dictate choices when they arise. Just like whipping up a Shadowrun level, or tacking on new material when your PCs decide to not take the 'mysterious man in a tavern' quest hook and instead go slaughter the neighboring chicken farmer's stock for the XP. Ha.
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