How much time/money do you spend on research?

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Sapphi
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How much time/money do you spend on research?

#1 Post by Sapphi » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:22 pm

When writing a story or developing a game, how much time and/or money do you spend on researching for it?

I got curious after I started to think seriously about what kind of research I'm going to need to do for mine. Being a pseudo-period piece, it obviously requires a little bit more digging than if it was a story set in the present day. I realized that even though I want my KN to be free, and I plan to do most if not all of the work myself, I'm going to have to invest some money into research. (I don't really mind, since in the end I'll learn something I wouldn't have otherwise :) )

For instance, artists: have you ever purchased a weapon or piece of clothing solely to be able to draw it in better detail or with more authenticity?
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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#2 Post by fleet » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:34 pm

Research time: For my current WIP (relatively short, 6000 words, 30 minutes playing time) I spent 4 hours doing the research (reading books, searching the internet for facts, free art, and free music).
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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#3 Post by Anna » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:39 pm

Sapphi wrote: For instance, artists: have you ever purchased a weapon or piece of clothing solely to be able to draw it in better detail or with more authenticity?
Sometimes I buy books for this. I don't buy the actual thing though - a picture can tell you a lot too! Especially with weapons *hugs her super thick weapon book* :'D

Anyway, if you keep your research to what you can find on the internet and pictures in books, then it doesn't have to cost much. That book was about 10 euro and you can find almost anything on the net.

What also helps is visiting museums, if they have what you need :)!

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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#4 Post by sheetcakeghost » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:43 pm

Museums are fantastic. They're also usually very nice about letting you take pictures of things if you tell them what it's for. Plus the curators usually have some interesting insights on the period you're researching. If you don't have a museum near you that has what you need then find one that does and call them. It never hurts to ask.

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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#5 Post by Junker-Kun » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:45 pm

Well, my researches mostly costs me nothing. Well its if I don't need to check something in book I can't find in the internet. So for me researches are just info searching. Though sometimes (for example if I need to check how fast glue will dry) I have to buy that same glue and check it in real life.
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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#6 Post by redeyesblackpanda » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:59 pm

I'm pure time pretty much. If I spend money on anything, it's supplies. I spend money on books and such because I enjoy reading them, although I guess you could call that research. I suppose I'm taking classes in music, but that's not exactly project specific, so...
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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#7 Post by yummy » Sun Dec 25, 2011 2:38 pm

If you really need to invest time and money into research, you might want to take a look at your local archive institution. What I mean is that it is a compendium (even so quite restricted) of what mainstream media used to broadcast. There are lots of things to be learnt. Maybe some facts will inspire you, make you delve into other archives in the library... In France there is the INA (ina.fr) which provides semi-free TV documents.

If the topic you are searching for is more specialized, you might want to try to read the associated magazines that talk about it. For example if you are searching for science articles you might find what you want from worldwidely known magazines such as Science magazine or National Geographic.
You might even get more info from your local science juridiction (CNRS for France, publications from MIT, CERN, other universities and organizations...).
I'd say, don't trust second hand info that you can't check.

But really I didn't spend a lot of money for that because the majority of the info was available nearly for free. What I spent the most would be time. Sometimes you don't have time to do everything by yourself. So it's best if you have helpers doing the research along with you.

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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#8 Post by Fawn » Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:34 pm

I try to apply what I learn in college classes to my stories (psych classes, science classes- sometimes I get story ideas just from learning new concepts in class). Usually my stories are pretty simple and not specific to any real-life things. The only thing I really reference is my own clothing, often my female characters have very similar wardrobes to mine haha)

But as for other references, you'd be surprised how much free information you can get. I mean, duh, the internet- but not only that- libraries, public places, just talking to people. Specially talk to older people if you're doing something from the recent past, not to mention they're often just fascinating to talk to. All free :D (besides maybe paying for transportation) Maybe try to watch some free media based on what you're interested on, libraries often have plenty of period-based media for free.

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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#9 Post by Sapphi » Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:47 am

Sapphi wrote: Sometimes I buy books for this. I don't buy the actual thing though - a picture can tell you a lot too! Especially with weapons *hugs her super thick weapon book* :'D
I have "Weapons File Photo Reference Vol.1", but it's rather thin as far as books go and doesn't have nearly enough weapons for my tastes. :P Where do you get yours?

On the topic of museums... that's actually a very good idea and one I hadn't considered. Of course, I can never take enough pictures to be satisfied, being a hands-on learner. And I find that I have a hard time concentrating on things in museums because crowds stress me out... but I'll have to look into it.
yummy wrote: I'd say, don't trust second hand info that you can't check.
I agree, which is partly why I started this thread. The internet is a valuable source of information, but it's often difficult to find information that hasn't been watered down or isn't just plain inaccurate. The same goes for period films.
Fawn wrote:I try to apply what I learn in college classes to my stories (psych classes, science classes- sometimes I get story ideas just from learning new concepts in class).
Me too :) In my first semester of college, I accidentally signed up for the nursing-oriented Human Biology rather than an easier biology class. I was not happy when I found out that it was specifically geared towards nursing students, because I'm an art major. There was so much information crammed into that one semester that I didn't get a very good grade at the end. I did learn quite a bit, though, and now I'm actually glad I took it because the main character in the story I'm writing is a doctor. :P
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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#10 Post by Joey » Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:13 am

I try not to spend money on research when I have to do it... After all, the Internet is free and the game I'm making is going to be freeware so I won't be able to justify the cost >>; And my time costs nothing (it's the holidays, after all!) so I don't mind wasting an hour or two trying to look something up xD

Since my game is in a Japanese school setting I'm basing most of it on my immersion experience last year. I got to go to a middle school in Sapporo for two weeks... But I heard middle school and high school are pretty different, so I'm trying to rope myself in for a high school immersion program next year. >_<;; hopefully the requirements won't be too stringent. It's a lot easier, and a lot more realistic, to write from experience rather than from what I read in manga/novels.
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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#11 Post by Glasskitten » Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:52 am

Looking things up on the Interblag is so much fun that the Glasskitten constantly forgets she was supposed to be writing or drawing something. ._.
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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#12 Post by Van Knox » Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:21 am

I can get pretty obsessed with research. I had a few archery classes to make sure I got an archery scene right - then I cut the archery scene right out of the story because I realized it couldn't possibly work in the context I wanted it to.

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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#13 Post by Anna » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:40 am

Van Knox wrote:I can get pretty obsessed with research. I had a few archery classes to make sure I got an archery scene right - then I cut the archery scene right out of the story because I realized it couldn't possibly work in the context I wanted it to.
Well, at least your coolness stat went up a little, because that is awesome haha.

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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#14 Post by azureXtwilight » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:16 am

Sometimes things pops out when I'm learning something, like "Hey, this looks good for a VN idea" and then I'll start digging to it more XD

So far, for doppelganger I researched many facts about guns and medical conditions... and also mental diseases. Took me hours~
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Re: How much time/money do you spend on research?

#15 Post by Lumen_Astrum » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:32 am

I use what I learn in school sometimes :3 Actually last quarter we are studying about sickle-cell anemia that I can use ;)
(And to be honest I can make a VN idea out of almost anything.)

And if the story I am writing is interesting but I have.... totally no knowledge of, I research by interviewing people, finding information in libraries, researching in the internet. I don't really search stuff in the internet unless I'm time constrained, because the information you find in the internet is sometimes as inaccurate as they are abundant. I do the first method the most, because they are experienced people in their areas, so you can surely extract accurate information.

Well, they are my methods.

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