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Creating a Game

by Rinku

As you can see from the outline of this article below (that's the 'Making' section), this third article is mostly advice on how to make the parts of your game. The main point of it article is in section II, and after that I go from game aspect to game aspect, giving what advice I (and Harlock and Charbile) can give in each, with particular emphasis on graphics and gameplay, since most of your story should already be in your game's design document. There is also an emphasis near the end of links toward resources (programs, articles, etc., that are useful to a game designer).

Additionally, I've collected parts 1 and 2 (with some editing and rewording, especially in the case of part 1, which nearly doubled in size), and put them all together right here, in case there is a wish to read or re-read those. Together, they make up an article several hundred pages long. You can consider it a book-length article or you can consider it to be a collection of connected mini-articles. The page estimations are based on the text-format 53% rule: In my experience a book in text format has a '100kb of data for 53 average-sized pages' ratio. I measure only text, picture space is not counted toward the total. In any case, this page is the complete directory to most everything I've publically written on game design in the year 2001 (and a few days of 2002).



I. Deciding to Create a Game
-Implications of the First Consideration: What is a Good Game?
-Implications of the Second Consideration: How Much Time Will It Take?
-Implications of the Third Consideration: How Can You Get Better?
page 1


I. Planning Introduction page 26
II. Of the Necessities of the Mental Model and the Plan page 30
III. Of Knowing What Thing You Create, and the Parts Thereof
-Of Planning Gameplay Architecture
-Of Planning Characters, Imaginative World, and Plot
-Of Planning Visual Artistry
-Of Planning Direction
page 34
IV. Glimpses of a Planned Game
-Story.doc & Final Fantasy 4
-Setting Elements Make Up the Imaginary World
-Characters Make Up the Cast
-Scene Events Make Up the Plot
-Design.doc & Final Fantasy 4
-Exploration Gameplay
-Battle Gameplay
-Battle Preparation Gameplay
-Lists.doc & Final Fantasy 4
page 64
V. The Planning Process and Other Concerns page 90
VI. References & Notes for Part 2 page 96


I. Making Introduction
-Words of Wariness
-Evil and Game Design
page 97
II. Game Development as Picture Development page 105
III. An Outline of the 'What' of Your Game
-The Waterfall Approach
-The Spiderweb Approach
page 111
IV. Graphics 1 - Introduction and Preparation to Graphics
-Graphics Introduction: Why use graphics?
-Graphics Programs
-Placeholder Graphics
page 119
V. Graphics 2 - Map and Walkabout Visualization
-More on Walkabouts
page 125
VI. Graphics 3 - Battle Visualization
-Battle Backgrounds
-Hero Graphics (by Charbile)
-Enemy Graphics
-Weapon Graphics (by Harlock)
-Attack Animations
page 135
VII. Graphics 4 - Miscellaneous Visualization
-Cutscenes & Title Screen
-FMV: Moving Cutscenes
-Functional Graphics
-Graphics Summary
page 180
VIII. Putting in Story
-Story: Scenes
-Story: Non-Scenes
-Story: Plotscripting Scenes: Direction
-Story: Plotscripting Scenes: Alt+Enter
page 190
IX. Gameplay 1 - Ability Improving Systems page 215
X. Gameplay 2 - Battle System & Battle Preparation System
-Battle Gameplay in General
-Battle Gameplay: Balancing Attacks
-Battle Gameplay: Balancing Attack Distribution
-Battle Gameplay: Items
-Battle Gameplay: Equipment
-Battle Gameplay: Weapons
-Battle Gameplay: Enemies
-Battle Gameplay: Enemy Formations
page 221
XI. Gameplay 3 - Maps & Level Design
-Maps: Maps as Puzzles
-Maps: Safe Maps
-Maps: Danger Maps
page 248
XII. Music
-Music in Games in General
-Music Programs
-Midi to Bam
-Making Music Tips & Tactics
-Ripping Music, and the Public Domain
page 255
XIII. Finalities
-Tweaking & Perfecting
-Copyright Laws
-User Documentation
-Reviews and Criticism
page 261
XIV. References, Reading, and Resources page 267
XV. The Future of Game Design page 274


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