Developing Thoughts 15

Motivation and Conflict Like many other aspects of game development, motivation is two-pronged. Not only do you need to consider the motivation of what drives the player character through the game’s story, you also need to consider how to keep the player motivated to continue playing the game. All games, whether they have a story or not, should ensure that…

Developing Thoughts 14

Dialogue? What dialogue?Part Three That this subject had stretched itself to a third column shows the importance I feel that dialogue plays in story and character driven games. As I touched on briefly last time, if vital game information is revealed through dialogue, conversations should not be separated out from the overall gameplay. This means that because dialogue becomes an…

Developing Thoughts 13

Dialogue? What dialogue?Part Two There are many games where dialogue is an important part of the gameplay experience, yet it’s often handled in a way that strikes me as being far too convenient. Supporting characters almost fall over themselves in their eagerness to give the player the information he needs to progress. The following lines illustrate a simplified version of…

Developing Thoughts 12

I’m going to blast them all onto the blog in one go. You have been warned! 🙂 Dialogue? What dialogue?Part One Not a simple subject even at the best of times, I realised as I was writing this that what I wanted to touch on could only be done by spreading it over two columns. I’ve worked almost exclusively on…

Developing Thoughts 11

I’ve really been lax in updating these and it’s been nearly a year since I posted the last one, which was the tenth in the series. So thanks to Erwan for giving me a nudge on this. I’ve also been through the older posts and attached labels to them so that you can find them all in one place. Showing…

Developing Thoughts 10

Another in the series. Though this one may be less than topical now, I’m still reproducing it for completeness’ sake. Secret Panels I was reading a weblog posting that made the claim of scripting weaknesses in some aspects of Doom 3. It struck me that, from the description, the underlying problem wasn’t the scripting but the design behind it. A…

Developing Thoughts 9

The ninth installment of my original Developing Thoughts column. Fun, fun, fun! Danny: Don’t worry yourself. I’ll find the proof we need.Estelle: You?! You couldn’t find the floor unless it was covered in beer. The above comes from a document of ideas I’m developing for a game project. For me it illustrates what games should be about – the player…

Developing Thoughts 8

Yet more of my old words… Giving the customer what they want The old saying, “The customer is always right”, is often taken too literally and many customers believe it allows them rights and privileges beyond what should reasonably be expected. However, the one thing that we must remember is that the customer is always right to choose only that…

Developing Thoughts 7

Another of my columns… Going with the flow Ensuring that a game works as a whole is very important to the satisfaction the player will feel as they complete it. As with story and research, the flow of a game can make or break the experience. I’m not, of course, talking about the story flow – though in some games…

Developing Thoughts 6

Yet another installment of my column from 2004. Researching the Unexpected The key to establishing authentic detail is plenty of research – geography, terminology, clothing, equipment or historical facts, for instance. The level of authenticity can determine how deeply players will immerse themselves into the world that’s been created. In the early stages of Revolution Software’s game, Broken Sword –…

Developing Thoughts 5

A further installment of the original Developing Thoughts Column. Let me tell you a story… At school one year, when I was about eleven, we used to have one hour each week put aside for writing stories. It was always the final hour before lunch every Wednesday and I would look forward to that part of the week like no…

Developing Thoughts 4

Continuing the posting of the Developing Thoughts column from 2004. Taking the Rough with the Smooth When Revolution released In Cold Blood, after working on it for nearly three years, one of the first magazines to review it gave it only four out of ten. I remember being quite shocked that this thing of beauty, this long labour of love,…