What is your method to adding in more content?

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What is your method to adding in more content?

#1 Post by Twisted-Eva » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:33 pm

Get simple things done first and then add more gameplay complexity? Or something like trying to add in both the simple and complicated coding at once?

Sometimes impulsive thoughts would enter my mind and I'd think it would be a great idea to add in but more time would be required. My basic list:
  • 1.Write and type in each guy's branch one by one.

    2.Type in the common story points that connect each unique branch event

    3.Assign affection and rejection points

    4.Draw the character sprites

    5.Draw the CGs

    6.Make the imagemaps for the menus and CG Gallery
If I was done with that, then the impulses come in such as:
  • 1.Separate screen that has all the guy's stats: Bar with affection increasing to the right and rejection increasing to the left. Then there would be an area where factual snippets about the guy would be unlocked if encountered in conversations (e.x. Guy likes x and y. Guy's hobby is z)

    2.Assign variables where characters can "remember" the actions the heroine did or behave according to the accumulated positive/negative points the player has. Comments like "I don't know why you're still here after what you did X" or "You're acting strange; First you were amicable and now you're insane".

    3.Create variables tied to "jealousy" where love triangle events can occur.

    4.The game can end up mutating into a VN with stat-raising aspects such as rifle, swordsmanship, and intelligence attributes and a gauge where the player can keep track of how often the heroine reports back to her home country of the results of spying on the enemy. Too little means laziness or attempts to defect/escape and more letters sent out arouses suspicions from the heroine's colleagues.
    Throw in imagemap of clicking on places to go to and then there's the ability to do fetch tasks or buy gifts.
Then it would just spin out of control if I wanted to import assets and make a Novelty version of my game even though the Novelty engine is still in the Beta stage. The impossible would be using RPG Maker VX Ace to make a more interactive in-game world where the player can move around, make stat-raising more interactive, and still transition to traditional 2D VN view of background and sprites for events. Parallaxing assets makes the graphical part of creating the map to look more unique by utilizing a graphical editing software like Photoshop. H-Mode 7 script gives a nice change to the traditional top-down camera angle and has a vanishing point perspective. For example, the camera angle in-game for Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku: Kinetograph is the kind of angle I'm talking about that H-Mode 7 can do, but many forum users from the RPGMVXAce forums say it takes a lot of work to make it work and even then lag or bugs can topple the whole project.

The first list is already a large workload as it is since I'm only doing this to make my vision come true and I'm working alone while attending school. The second list is feasible after I get the basics out of the way and I make the game more complex without making the game stop working because I'm missing a line of code while trying to multi-task with the storyline complexity. The third list with Novelty and RPG Maker VX Ace is feasible and next to impossible, respectively. Novelty I could do despite the Beta stage it's been in since 2010. RPG Maker would end up being a large time sink if I wanted to use H-Mode 7, make all the graphical assets from scratch, and try to make the VN graphics transition well from the pixelated world. H-Mode makes the view of exploration a refresher, but will end up being a wild beast to tame.

All in all, my organization to slowly add in content and complexity to the game prevents my brain from overloading and not trying to add all of my impulsive bells and whistles in at once.
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Re: What is your method to adding in more content?

#2 Post by Sharm » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:44 pm

My method? The entire time I'm developing I'm cutting complexity wherever I can. If it doesn't enhance the basic story, it goes! It's the only way to ever get anything done.
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Re: What is your method to adding in more content?

#3 Post by Sexo Grammaticus » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:41 am

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

Not every game needs to be a bells-and-whistles laden grindfest that'll last you for months on end. Make it as long and as deep as it needs to be to say what it needs to say, then edit it back smaller.
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Re: What is your method to adding in more content?

#4 Post by nyaatrap » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:38 am

I barely think adding... I always think how to subtracting plans/ideas into secured budget/time. Game creation is almost how to give up for me.

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Re: What is your method to adding in more content?

#5 Post by Funnyguts » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:35 pm

Don't worry about all these other people telling you to cut, that can come later. If you need to add things, do it iteratively! Make a core concept and finish it. The finish part is very important. Then come up with an idea that can improve and enhance the core concept, and implement it. Check to see if it still make sense. Repeat that, adding things to your core idea, and making sure it meshes with all the other things you've added. When you can't come up with any more, then start thinking about what to simplify.
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Re: What is your method to adding in more content?

#6 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:16 pm

I have multiple lists of ideas I'd love to add just to this one particular project. Seriously, there is probably 50 or 60 different ideas, and it wouldn't be hard to add to it.

I'll add whatever I think will make the game more interesting. I have figured out a way to make many things optional, so players only encounter them if they actively look for them.

The main hurdle is whether I can actually add them and make them good. It's not so hard to remove features if they get negative reviews during testing.
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Re: What is your method to adding in more content?

#7 Post by Arowana » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:26 pm

I have problems with these kinds of decisions, too. ^^ On one hand, you don't want to be overly ambitious, else you'll never finish all the cool stuff you've planned. On the other hand, you want to put out the best project you can since you're already invested in it, so it seems like a shame not to add at least some cool stuff.

In the end, I think it boils down to a motivation balance for me. If adding X would increase my net long-term motivation to work on the game, then I'd probably go for it. Things to consider in this regard:
  • Will it be fun for me? (this is my top priority, lol)
    -Will this new feature make me more excited about working on the game?
    -Will implementing this feature motivate me to strengthen important skills, or learn something new and cool that I can use later?
  • Will it help the game?
    -What are my goals for this game (fun player experience, proof of concept, elevate the medium lol, etc.)?
    -Would not having this feature significantly impede these goals? How much would adding this feature enhance them?
    -Does this feature fit in with or build upon other features in the game? Or would it seem gratuitous and out-of-place? (if so, that's okay - save that idea for a future game instead!)
  • How long is it going to take?
    -I want to finish this project at some point, dang it! How much would adding this feature delay that?
    -Would I lose much interest in/time for my project with that much of a delay? Would my interest in this feature counterbalance that potential loss of motivation?
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