I’m currently in the middle of Phase 2 of “Nimka’s Menace” design. Amidst RL stuff like rehabbing broken wrist, cleaning, showers, cooking, eating, exercizing and downtime, I’m slowly but surely working at the worldbuilding and the actual storyline, getting it all ready for the actual programming of the thing (which won’t be till stage 4).
Discovering a couple things:
1)I’m more organized than last time. I have a lot of stuff figured out beforehand. I think bigger devs call that “concept design” or something. I remember the president of Anet talking about that a week or so ago, how they spent a good year at that and then several more actually programming GW2. Since “Nimka’s Menace” is a ton smaller, I thankfully won’t be that long at it all, but I’m glad to know I seem to be doing it the “right” way.
2)Lol, and since I’m taking it slower, in a more organized fashion, I am also finding flaws like impatience… Oh I’m absolutely fascinated with the stuff I’m learning and figuring out, the ideas I’m getting, the notes I’m writing. The other day I got positively giddy when I was reading “The Difference Engine” and thought, “Oh my god, I know how to hack a Babbage Engine !” (lol nerd alert)… it isn’t even something they’d likely use in Shiend; I still haven’t decided that one yet. But I know how to do it now at least… oh yeah, much as I get really excited about things like that, at the same time there’s a part of me that’s whining, “when can we do the PROGRAMMING…???”
3)…So, by default I’m having to learn a helping of patience, as well as discipline. I’ve had it with writing (to some extent). However, writing’s different; I’d gotten used to “bang out story in a day or so, submit, rinse and repeat/bang out story, edit, submit, rinse and repeat… or bang out novel in a month or so, submit, edit, rinse and repeat.” It’s a different format BY FAR than the ton of things required for game design since a lot of my worldbuilding was done in the midst of writing the tale down. Ok, well I’ve written about some of this before, but it’s really hitting home with this one, since “Nimka’s Menace” is the largest game I’ve attempted thus far.
4) I thought I’d figured out the different kinds of research required for this before, but not quite: In addition to general old looking up stuff in books/online, writing down ideas, brainstorming, watching movies, playing others’ games to see what they’ve done, and making maps, and then Minecraft models, I also found reading to be rather helpful. I mean reading. I guess it makes sense once I think about it; there’s the old saying about “to write, you need to read”, and I knew little enough about steampunk before I started. I’ve also for the first time ever created a character somewhere for the SPECIFIC purpose of testing out things. I mean, over the years I’ve had MMO characters on which I’ve based writing or writing characters, but I never actually started one with that purpose.
I’m in Phase 2, like I said, though I did notice there’s a bit of Phase 3 seeping in: the storymapping phase. I’m not sure whether or not those two phases should be combined, or what – but yeah, I’ve seen that I’m starting to think of the storyboard and how it relates to this or that thing. How the tale is actually going to go, once I’ve actually started reworking that.
So what have I managed by now in Phase 2?
– Redid maps
– Figured out linguistics (a very important thing to me, even if it’s just making sure the names of people, places and things make sense) So, for instance, now the starting area is called Glaana.
– Started to work out some of the questlines/story branches (there’s still a small love story in the game, but you have a couple ways it could turn out).