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Offline Nexrus

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Hello!
« on: December 20, 2006, 12:50:52 PM »
I've been reading some of the threads and there are some great writers and roleplayers here. I just wanted to say hello to everyone and ask a quick question - Some friends and I are in the process of making the framework for an upcoming, small community online game. Due to our poor writing skills and creativity we want to reach outwards for help. In other words.... we need someone that’s experienced in doing so, to write our lore for us. Would it be against the forum rules to start a thread asking people to submit there best storyline, and offer a cash reward for the best one? Thanks in advance.


Offline Murometz

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2006, 01:03:03 PM »
welcome aboard and lets rock. Put forth your framework and requirements, we will help!
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Offline Nexrus

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2006, 01:10:46 PM »
Great! Thanks much - which board should I post it on?

Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2006, 01:26:03 PM »
Ah, an interesting question! I have requested the aid of MoonHunter for this. He is the main architect around here, though he is not the proprietor nor the craftsman. Still, his ideas have formed much of the site. Let us hope he replies.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2006, 01:50:24 PM »
If I had my way, this is what I would say, and this is no hay, even though I'm not gay Fae no matter if the month is May...ok ok enough.

This is the proverbial can of worms. In principal I am all for helping anybody with anything but we have been very strict in the past about advertising and this is basically a "I have a site, come and visit it and help me build it." An advertisement. Throw money into it and well, that sort of throw advertising beyond other things that have made their way here.

If I were to run this site and if I were to make the rules, this is what I would request:

If you want to use this site as a place to get ideas. Sweet, that is the point.
If you want to post some of your stuff here and ask for help with it and link to what you are trying to do. Great.
If you are just going to post links to your site without contributing to the community...well, that isn't much fun is it?
Think about your site and if somebody came to it and asked if they could post what you are asking in *your* forum and think about how you would react to it. Then dial it down a bit because I don't mind it to much as long as there is community involvement and it isn't overly blatant.

It needs to be a two way street.

So I see two options:
You could post your site to Sacred Seal Discussion and ask for opinions and thoughts.

You can interactively create your stuff here and take what everybody comes up with to your site and ensure you give some credit to those who help.

Am I being an ass? Beuller...?

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Offline Nexrus

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2006, 02:07:55 PM »
I do agree that it would be wrong for someone to advertise a site while throwing money into the equation. However that’s not my intent – my friends and I merely lack the creativity and talent to produce a decent storyline. The money offer was a mere motivation, sort of speak. 

If you noticed I’ve not posted a single link to our site – that’s because we don’t even have one yet. The game is in the very beginning stages…and in our opinion, the beginning stages starts with a good story.

Offline Strolen

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2006, 02:17:03 PM »
Hell, post the link, we want to see the site!

You just scared us with your first post talking about actively asking people to develop your storyline for money and all that.

I moved your first post to Sagely Advice and what you are doing is exactly what this site was made for so post away.

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Offline Nexrus

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2006, 02:22:26 PM »
*chuckles* Really, there is no site yet. The game doesn't even have a name yet - We really want to get an amazing story and then go from there.

Which forum would be best for me to post the competition? And one more question - Once we have a solid story can I post the mechanics of the game (skills, spells, quest, etc) to get peoples feedback? After all, it is going to be an rpg and what better opinions to get than that of rp'ers.


Offline Strolen

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2006, 02:36:26 PM »
You can post anything you want to the forum. I can't guarantee response though.

You could even try a test run in the freeform if you want. Sagely Advice is best for any kind of specific questions. The Catacombs is making a comeback so review those forums and see if you question would better fit in there. When in doubt, Sagely Advice...we can move it if it would make more sense to be somewhere else.

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Offline Nexrus

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2006, 02:47:36 PM »
Great! I’ll get a framework together to guide the writers and then I’ll post the details. Thanks again.

Offline CaptainPenguin

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2006, 02:06:45 AM »
Yo
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2006, 12:56:38 PM »
Okay. So you would like to tap us to do writing work for you.  That will work limitedly.

"Boom"  Did you hear that sound? I will explain what it was at the end.

I have worked in the game industry. While most of my work has been in the Pen and Paper side of things, my friends have worked for computer game companies (EA, Griffon (no longer active), among others), let me give you some advice. 

It is easy to work in the "gaming industry" when you are in the Napkin stage. The Napkin stage is a phrase from the technology industry that most great ideas were first outlined on a napkin while people were talking. This is the "big talking" stage, where the project is just a few ideas jotted down on a napkin, the back of homework, or in an email.  It is easy to be a writer/ developer at this stage. Some people never get past this stage. They are the annoying people whining at parties that they never "got their shot". Don't be one of those. Either do it or stop.

I want your crew to scout the field.  What this means is you and your people are going to visit every darn game out there. (Or if you are just making a PC non multiplayer game, check out every game you possibly can).  I don't want you to just go and play... I want you to check them out and make a list of what you like you like and don't like about them.  Work from this list. And keep in mind, "Can you do something like this?"

If you are not the creative talent, but just the coders... either learn creativity (well creative skills, which are more important than sheer creativity) or hire someone who is. Let them run the show and you can be their minions.  Every game (or project) needs a proper vision, guiding principles for the projects.  You need to set down well defined end goals for the project showing what sort of thing you want to make.

Create a project bible and stick to it.

You heard me.

You need to define what you are actually doing. Do NOT waste your time and ours by going at this half assed. Define what you are doing. This includes what you are trying to code, how it is going to be used, and how many users you can support... and how you think you are going to impliment all of this.  This needs to be defined in pretty specific terms. Vague handwaving is NOT GOING TO CUT IT. Be direct and specific. You also need to put the "creatives" in this bible. This bible becomes your reference point for what you going to put into the game. While Bible elements (especially the creatives) might change a little over time as things are new ideas come to the project, the basic ideas should be defined by the start.  (In fact, the team will need to work together when something might be changed to make sure it is okay).

Now check to make sure that your crew can actually deliver.  If you want to create a game, do you have the skills to do it? Artists (very important to game... the look is important)? Coders?  Money to run the server? Hardware skills to support the thing? Do you have writers on board? If you don't have the right mix, you either need to a) learn these skills, b) find/ hire someone who has them, c) Stop NOW.. until you do.

Important! Do you have legal elements resolved? Working with friends is fun, but eventually it comes down to money and ownership. Define who does what and who owns what in the begining. AND DO THE LEGAL PAPERWORK. (Hate to have you do all this work, just to have to "give the game" to the writer because you didn't have a contract and he is invoking his copyright).

Are you really driven to do this? If there isn't any money involved (and there usually isn't) what is going to keep you all going strong over the months to years it will take you to get this up and running. Creating a game is not that much fun (unless you have a really twisted and slightly masochistic sense of fun). It is hard miserable work.  Be prepared and be dedicated.  Unless you are willing to follow it through, don't start.

You see, anyone (with enough skill) can throw up another listing of classes races and crud, but that will just be "another game". Yawn. You can "adopt" some code and throw things up. Do you want to spend this much time and effort to make "just another" game, or is this just a learning process?

A game is much like a book or other story. It has a theme and focus to make it interesting. Without a hook or theme or a focus, your game will be lost to "white noise" of the other non differentiated games.   You need to find one you like or just stop.

However if you want to build a good game, you need to do what the "big kids" do. You need to learn and understand about story, story arcs, and goals. There are a couple of books I think you might want to read first, so you will understand  the concept. I can't find the links for the videogame specific books... I will keep looking.

Story by Robert McKee.   Must Read

Writing for Comics With Peter David  by Peter David

How to Tell a Story, by Peter Rubie & Gary Provost.

The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells, by Ben Bova.

Orson Scott Card wrote some good books on writing fantasy.

These will teach you about interest, focus, and pacing. While these will not help you create your project, it will give you things you need to keep in the back of your head.

You also need to make something that won't make gamers puke, which means you need either cutting edge game art OR a specific style sheet and an art director.

Does this seem harsh? You bet it is. This is what happens when dreams run into reality.

"Boom"

All things that break the sound barrier make this noise. And at the point of the boom one of two things happen: a) the item can not withstand the forces and disintergrate or b) It shoots forward and flies faster.

Do the preliminary work, keep on working, and then decide if you are going to be a) or b).

 
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Offline Nexrus

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2006, 11:33:00 AM »
I should probably start by telling you that I’m a long time player of online games. I first started out with the downloadable smaller community games, of which I couldn’t even begin to grasp how many I’ve tried,  and later trying the mainstream mammoths, which includes just about everyone to date. In the end my heart belongs to the small community games that got me started….My best friend and I often sit for hours and reminisce about our early experiences in online gaming – how much fun it actually use to be before games started worrying about making a buck. Almost always the conversation ends with us both agreeing that we wish we could somehow have that feeling again. And that my friend is what drives me to make a game – I want that feeling again.

Is it normal that I’m embarrassed to tell people that I’m working on a game? I know they’re thinking I’m crazy and maybe rightfully so. I also know in the back of mind that this, in all probability, will most likely fall through in the end – something makes me keep trying, however. 

What’s really sad is that my “crew” seems to have lost interest almost immediately. When I ask their input on things they answer very briefly and never seem to start a conversation about the game development – for that reason I’ve came to the conclusion that I’m probably going to be doing this solo for the most part. This really isn’t a big deal considering I want to make something small anyway.

I think all the time of what type of game I want this to be… by type I mean text, 2d, 3d, etc. For some reason the sprite based games and text games grab my attention more so than anything - so graphically I think I can handle the load.  And again, since I do not want to attract a large audience or make money I don’t think that eye candy is that important. As far as coding, erm… lets just say I’m going to defiantly need to reach out for help there. _but_ I’ve done research (please don’t hold me to this for I could be wrong) and from what I gather coding games like this is, for the most part, is mainly a matter figuring out the math formulas for the damage, etc. And if that happens to be the case hiring someone to code for me shouldn’t be to daunting of a task. The worst skill of all is probably my writing skills, as you’ve all probably gathered already from my post. It’s not so much that I lack in creativity but rather in the ability to explain it or write it down. However, I’m not completely lacking in experience. I have made, hosted, and maintained my own UO shard in the past. Although I constantly thought I was doing a horrible job everyone on my server told me how much fun they had and what a great job I was doing (most likely trying to make me feel good by lying *smile*) And yes, I know this isn’t the same as making my own game from scratch but I do fee like it gave me a little experience that may help me in my journey to make my own game.

I probably failed to elaborate on several things but I hope this gives you a general idea of how I feel and if I’m ready and dedicated enough to make my own game.

Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2006, 01:32:49 PM »
:D

I am a developer. I learnt programming because I wanted to make games.

In the end I ended up writing software for the big corporations, you know: Document management software, CRM systems, workflow, migration tools and so on.

Not what I dreamt of, but the pay is nice! ;)
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