How do you outline your game?

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vutaikt
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How do you outline your game?

#1 Post by vutaikt » Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:57 am

So I've run into a problem-- outlining my story is pretty difficult.

Originally I had it in my head to do something like this:

PART ONE - INTRO:
Introduce MC
Introduce love interests 1 & 2
Give option that gains favor for either
Introduce love interest 3 & 4
Give option that gains favor for either
Give final set of options in which the answer launches into plot of whoever has the most points.

PART TWO - DATING:
Introduce relationship with chosen date
Drama/Story concerning date
Options about date that determine good or bad ending
Resolution to conflict and/or onset of bad ending conflict
Chance to redeem self from bad ending/cause of bad ending

PART THREE - ENDING:
Good ending or Bad ending set up
Possible choice for secondary ending
Ending

But the more I think about it, that intro doesn't really give enough chances to choose a date. For example:

Rayven has the choice in the first act to chose whether he wants Randy or Hawk. He chooses Randy.
When he meets Donovan and Faux, he has an option for them and chooses Faux.
During his final option, he chooses Donovan.
...THEN WHAT HAPPENS SINCE NOBODY HAS GAINED FAVOR???

I don't know how else to say it, but: How do you outline your game? Any tips on making a option-based game that makes sense?

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Re: How do you outline your game?

#2 Post by verysunshine » Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:25 pm

I find using a flowchart works fairly well for outlines. For things like favours, I use "if" scenarios.

With your example, we have the following points: (using one point per favour)
Randy: 1
Hawk: 0
Donovan: 1
Faux: 1

The first thing to do would be to have an "if" statement so that if one person has more favour than the others, you would automatically be directed to their route.

In the case of a tie, there are a few options.

One possible solution would be to only show people for the choice that already have favour. The final option would show "Randy, Donovan, Faux".

Another is to limit the options for the "option that gains favor for either" to the winners of the previous two rounds. The final option would show "Randy, Faux".

Check out "if, elif, else statements". These will be your friends.

Build the basics first, then add all the fun bits.

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Re: How do you outline your game?

#3 Post by Snowflower » Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:15 pm

I make like a short branching flow chart, with not a whole lot of details. Just to get the basic frame of the VN
Then I create a document in which goes in detail with every event and branching.
Also, if your story can be divided by a day by day basis, I divide them chronologically in the detailed document.
In the document, I also color coordinate everything. Like branching/events of different characters in certain colors. I highlight the places where I want CGs. etc
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Re: How do you outline your game?

#4 Post by ColaCat » Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:19 pm

@Snowflower
What do you use to make flowcharts? I know there seems to be a mixed opinion on which software is best. I sometimes use https://www.draw.io/ .
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Re: How do you outline your game?

#5 Post by Enigma » Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:45 pm

I do not one outline, but as many as I need. I only outline small chunks of game at a time and then make the next part of the outline based on how actually writing the story has changed my understanding of it. Sometimes characters get different nuances than I was expecting as I was writing, so they can't be the person my previous viewpoint on the story was, so I change it. It's honestly a laborious process, but I think it helps the game in the end.

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Re: How do you outline your game?

#6 Post by OokamiKasumi » Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:56 pm

ColaCat wrote:...What do you use to make flowcharts?
The flowchart program I use a Free program called FreePlane.
-- It's easy to use, comes with a spell checker, and you can connect the bubbles with hyper link arrows. This way you can test-drive the entire game to see if 1) it actually works, and 2) if you have any plot-holes, and 3) if you've made it Too Large to create with your current resources.

My FreePlane outlines look like this:

CONCEPT Outline:
GamePlanA.jpg
GENRE Outline:
Otome01.jpg
Bubbles Collapsed
Otome02.jpg
Bubbles Open
STORY Outline:
EroticAuthor_Act1_PG13.jpg
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Re: How do you outline your game?

#7 Post by Snowflower » Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:39 am

ColaCat wrote:@Snowflower
What do you use to make flowcharts? I know there seems to be a mixed opinion on which software is best. I sometimes use https://www.draw.io/ .
I'm a bit of old school when it comes to flowcharts. maybe it's because i'm not that wonderful and technology LOL
But I actually draw my flowcharts on my notebook. Idk, I just really like handwriting stuff
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Re: How do you outline your game?

#8 Post by ColaCat » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:54 am

Thanks for all the info. I'll give Freeplane a go.
Yeah, my notebook drawing is a bit scruffy though. >.< A bit like my handwriting on paper really!
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Re: How do you outline your game?

#9 Post by kaleidofish » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:27 pm

It's hard for me to deal with visual flowchart types of programs. I prefer just writing out a list of what I need to do, like paragraph descriptions of what's going to happen. Putting it into chart form slows down my process too much. I think the cleanest outline example I have is for The Mishka Effect, a time travel VN that definitely required a strict outline. I blocked it out by days.
Any tips on making a option-based game that makes sense?
I agree with what verysunshine said. Write the variables into your outline. I color-code & number them when I'm writing...highlighting the if this or if that. If you do the flowchart method, it'll be much easier to keep track of. For your example, vutaikt, try making enough scenes that there won't possibly be a 1-to-1-to-1 tie. Make a tie-breaker for the "favor" value.
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