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Hey!... what? Where was I? Where was I?! Uhmâ€¦ I took a sabbatical, went to find myself, studied on my head in the mountains of Mongolia: that sort of thing. Okay, okay. I got a new job, this time doing what I went to college for, and I lost track of time. A lot of time. I posted the second part of this in June of last year! Itâ€™s almost June of this year! Anyway, youâ€™re here for more writing stuff, right? Well, I know what youâ€™re thinking: Juju! Youâ€™ve already yakked for hours about linear narrative, and youâ€™ve even talked about story props and proper skiing techniques. What else is there to talk about? Well, since we talked about starting the story, and continuing the story, what about ending the story? Consider this: You, the reader, have found a book that is the beat-all, end-all to every book you've ever read before. The characters are great, the plot is intriguing, you've cried twice, and now, at the end, at the very end!--it sucks. Like, crash and burn, third degree burn, burnie mac but without the comedy. You've spent the past ten weeks of your life slowly slogging through this giant book, biting your nails to nubs in concern for the leading heroine, heart pounding at the peril of the hero in the hands of the villian, and now what? You feel like you've wasted your life, right? "It's not about the end, it's about the journey." That's Book Sacrilege (BS) and you know it! It's always been about the end! You wasted spent ten weeks of your life leading up to learning about that end! You're legitimately mad! I think you can see where I'm going with this. Y'all smart. So you don't want your players to spend ten weeks, or even ten minutes, on your game just to see that it ends up nowhere. They've skied down that mountain slope only to end up in a disappointed heap at the bottom. Oops..... (wince) So, I guess what you're saying is: YOU HAVE A GOOD STORY, BUT HOW DO YOU END IT? The first thing to do is to relax. You're not alone. Every author has had this moment. I can name a million quotes about how the story never really ends, you just choose to stop telling it, yadda yadda yadda. But I won't, because we're talking video game stories. And ending them right. And time's short. Secondly, we have to understand a little about conflict progression and resolution. Any Engish / Lit teacher will tell you that stories usually follow this pattern, because... it works. I would ask that, for a more detailed view, please look at the nice words and nicer pictures on this website. But I'll give you the most basic of basic outlines, for your viewing pleasure. First of all, we got the beginning. In the beginning, you have CONFLICT PROGRESSION. There's a problem for the character, and it's getting worse. Let's use my favorite Shakespeare play for reference: Taming of the Shrew. What's our conflict, and its progression? Easy: All these dudes want to get their grubby palms on Bianca, but to do that they have to find someone to marry her mean-tempered, incredibly smart, bossy SHREW of a sister, Kate. Now, no man in his right mind is gonna marry her! There's our problem. Second, we have what's called the middle, where we lead up to THE CLIMAX. Now, the climax is the highest peak in the story where everything goes to HFIL by falling off Snake Way, so to speak. In our example, this would be the wedding between Kate and Petruchio, and his "taming" of her. Basically, she ends up marring a guy even crazier than she is and this is a bit of a problem for her. Last, we have the RESOLUTION, or the end. Now, this would be Bianca's wedding in our example, but the end is where everything simmers down and is, well, resolved! Or not, depending on your sequel status. But it never grows back up to the hectic frenzy of the climax, that's for sure. Now, when looking at the story you've lovingly crafted, fed, bathed, treated as your own child: where's your progression? Your climax? Knowing these things makes it far easier to know where your end will be. After all, once you go on the straight and narrative--er, narrow--path, you don't often stray from it. In that story, at least. Thirdly, we have to think about what sort of ending it is that you're going for. By that, I mean that you need to think long and hard about what you want the player to take away from your game. After all, the ending is the last bit they're see, and it's one of the things that will stay with them the most. Now, the rule of thumb is that the story MUST show some sort of progression. That is, the main character needs to come away with a better understanding of his world, himself, and his place in said world by the end of the tale. This, of course, may not always be a good thing. He may do all these 'great' deeds only to understand that he was unwillingly a pawn and therefore an aid to the bad guy. Or he might even BE the bad guy. Think about, if you have played it, "The Illogical Journey of the Zambonis." If you have not played it, go play it now and then come back, because it's something you need to know. Also, spoilers below. The Zambonis lesson isn't always a happy one, but it's one they needed to learn. There's morality in that game, I tell you what. That's just the thing. I can't write your endings for you, no one can. They, like your story, have to be as original as you are. (insert angelic chorus). But you can write your stories. Think about your characters. What are their flaws? What should they learn about themselves by the end of the game? What should the player learn about them? After all, they're the ones going in blind. Think about your own favorite--or not so favorite--endings. What went wrong? Look at it, learn it dissect it, BE IT if you must. But think about it. Follow your story progression. Look at all angles. The end... it's already inside of you. Actually, that's all I have this time around. I hope that's helpful; I feel as though it wasn't quite as helpful as my other parts, but this is the series finale. If the ending to this is about endings, and it's a bad ending... don't take my advice. Heh, heh.... (clears throat). Anyway, I'm off to enjoy government-run America and corporate benefits. See ya!
JuJu posted a topic in Developing ToolsHmm? Oh, hello there! Come on in, I- what? No, I'm not busy! Come in a sit a spell! What's up? What's that? Writing tips? Sure, I've got writing tips! Oh, I see, you: WANT TO MAKE A GAME, BUT HAVE NO IDEAS / ARE NOT GOOD WITH IDEAS... You want to be a game designer and make cool games so that your friends will be like "Wow, cool game!" but you have no ideas on a story, or even how to begin a story, and you're beginning to stress because what if they put a ban on new games or something and you haven't finished and how do you start do you plan or just wing it or what's the starting point how do you find it-- Okay, just take a deep breath for me. Let it out, take another. Okay... good? Good. So, you're ready to make a game. Great! No ideas? Preposterous! Think of an idea right now. Well, let's start slower. Think of a guy. Any guy. Got him in your head? Okay, this guy has a family, or does he? Something happened to him. What happened? There's an idea. Make a game about it. Okay, maybe it's not that simple... No, it's really that simple! Ideas can come from anywhere, anything, any time. What do you like. Space? Make a game about an astronaut. Or cute planets trying to find their star. Chess? Okay, a white and a black chess piece travel across a board-world together. Gummy worms? Make a gummy worm harvesting simulator. "Well, Juju, I might have an idea now, but an idea is not a story." You're... right! It's not! But, how do you flesh out a story? Well, sit back down and let Juju clue you in on a very magical four letter word that happens to be a computer program: WORD. "...Word? Word!? That's your answer?!" Yep, that's my answer! Word, or Notepad, or Writing Software #3, or something! Write your idea down, and then think a bit. Here's some things to think about: Who's the main character of the idea? Are there any secondary characters? Will you allow for a happy ending, a sad ending, or both? Do you want to go a conventional route, or do you want to channel your inner M. Night Shyamalan and have a crazy plot twist? More important things to think about: How long do you want your idea's story to be? A few hours of playtime? A few days? How will your game assets fit in with your idea? What sort of assets would you need to find to make your idea come to life? What sort of scripts would you need? Is there anything your idea has that the RTP of RPG Maker can't do without a special script? When you have answers to these questions, then it's time to think about something called the LINEAR NARRATIVE. That's just a super fancy term that means a story that is told from beginning to end, without doubling back. For first-time writers, this is the easiest option. Doubling back usually means extra work and cross-referencing which, while good in its own way, is often rather confusing if not done right. In any case, this means that it's time to give your idea a beginning, middle, and end. "How do I do this?" you ask. Well, think of your idea. For example, let's say our idea is this: A girl lives in a house. Your idea may be more or less flourished. Still, let's first take our idea and... embellish it a bit. Let's add some adjectives and maybe even a preposition or two, shall we? A girl lives in a house. A small girl with red hair lives in a shabby house on the edge of a futuristic city. Look! With just 12 extra words, we've added so much to our idea! (applauds) But it's still not a story yet, is it? I mean, the girl's only LIVING, and not doing much else. Let's add more to the idea, using a semi-colon. (Grammar Reminder: One uses a semi-colon to add combine two full sentences; it doesn't work if you have a run-on sentence or a sentence fragment. ) A small girl with red hair lives in a shabby house on the edge of a futuristic city. A small girl with red hair lives in a shabby house on the edge of a futuristic city; she goes from her house to find her missing mother. Okay, great! We have our first, most simple outline! We've done the most important thing in the story-making process: We've given the main character a goal. Without a goal, the main character doesn't have a reason to do anything other than the norm, and the game won't exist! Okay, so you have to make a decision here. Does the girl find her mother, or does every effort turn up in vain? What sort of people live in this futuristic city? She's a small girl; what sort of challenges does she face all alone in this large place? Her house is shabby; is she too poor to afford bus tickets and has to go everywhere on foot, or does she have a bicycle or some other form of transportation? Answer these questions, and the story grows. Tip: It's easier to separate your story into three acts. The first act should set the story. For example, we'd show the girl, part of her life, perhaps her mother, and then we'd segue into act II, where her mother goes missing and she embarks on her journey to find her. This would lead to act III, where we'd show a climax. If you had a boss battle, the final boss would be in part III. We'd see her ending, and then her story is finished... for the moment. What else? Well, we have the story here, and if you wanted, you could even just leave it at that. But we can still add! Why did the mother disappear? Was she taken, or did she leave of her own initiative? The little girl, if the game is true to life, will have grown and learned on her lonesome journey. How will she face her mother after the events of her story? Will actions the player chose to take have an impact on the girl, and if so, how will the end of the game be affected? Will there be a cliffhanger for a sequel? Write all this down in your word document. Make notes. Wanna change something? Change it! Afraid you'll lose your progress? Nah! Write new ideas in different colors, so you can change without really changing a thing! Never be afraid to expand on your idea. Even if you think it's stupid and no one will like it. It's YOUR idea, and despite everything, if you take initiative on it and work hard, you're 100% guaranteed that someone, somewhere, will enjoy it. Remember: even the corniest movies get a cult following at some point. So get out there, and make some ideas! Like what you read? Can't wait for part 2? Think I'm stupid and the worst tutorial person ever? Let me know!
Hello everyone, First and foremost, I suppose I should introduce myself. I'm Jinumon, and for years now, I've been wanting to get RPGMaker, and I finally have. I've been really big into Table-Top RPGs since I was 10, and some of my favorite games include the Mass Effect series, Dragon Age: Origins, and The Elderscrolls III: Morrowind. Needless to say, I'm thrilled to be a part of the community. Now, on to my question. I'm looking for general tips and tricks of the trade for making a good game, but first and foremost I'm looking for a method of starting. I have a strong idea for a narrative, an outline of a world map, and a few characters in mind. I'm sure I'm not the only one who looks at the task of creating a full RPG as daunting, and I'm looking for any advice on how to make the project seem a little smaller. Should I write an outline? Work through it in a linear fashion, start to finish? Do all the maps first? Any and all help would be most appreciated. Good to be here, Jinumon