Some things just stay the same, no matter what: like character charts, a necessity for gamers – and for game developers, I’m learning. Any of you ever play Dungeons and Dragons? When I was a kid I remember the boys in my junior high class got in constant trouble for writing those up, and hassling over them, till DnD charts were actually banned from the school. The charts themselves (not kidding). It was weird, I thought. But I get it now; I wonder if principals today don’t long for just having to keep pieces of paper out of school! What I didn’t realize at the time, or even when I was playing something like Spore later on, was that such charts are just as necessary for developers.
I didn’t do it too much before this, but I’ve realized now that it’s important to do character charts just as I did when writing – and well, just as I do when I’m playing. I didn’t before, with the last two or three games, because I’d written smaller stuff for them. So, they needed characters of somewhat less depth. Monsters were “the big slime” and it either killed you if you had nobody or you survived if you all were there.
Here, though, with “Nikria’s Menace”, I need to do character charts – oddly enough not for the main characters; I know them. For the monsters, I need it! I need to know how to kill this fire imp or that naiad. I also need to figure a way to keep track of what the Player picked up so they CAN kill this or that creature (or if they aren’t able to do it at all, then they die).
Not so much difference between writing and game design, in this case.
Back then, like I mentioned, the DnD charts were on paper – I’m about to start my own character/mob charts on paper too, like they did back then.