Creating or designing videogames professionally is one of many dreams among video gamers, including you reading this article. The thought of creating our own characters, stories, plots, designing maps and scenarios, is both challenging and attractive. Although it seems easy and quick, I will try to give you some insights that creating videogames require many hours of your day that will test your passion and dedication for this industry more than anything. I will tell you about my experience trying to create an amateur 2D videogame in the simplest software there is, so I thought: RPG Maker XP.
Honestly, I don’t know what triggered me to go and plan how to create a videogame. I mean, I love videogames and I play them since I can remember, but creating one just seemed hard and troubling. I just had that dedication in me… and some free time. Anyway, the first thing I had to do was to create a story and a plot. I didn’t care about the software I was going to use or even if I had the skills enough to start doing it. I just took a pencil and an old notebook and started writing all the ideas that came to mind. After a few weeks and after the notebook was full of scratches, graphics and plain texts, I realized I had a nice story to keep going. More about my videogame’s story later on.
Okay, so the story and the characters are done, the plot is more or less completed and the ending is also done. Want to know a secret? I’ve heard from several videogame creators that the first thing to do is to write the beginning and the ending of the game. The plot will come along the way. Agree or not? Doesn’t matter, that’s how I decided to do mine. Oh, the title for game is: Time Break! Since I was convicted I was doing some professional stuff, I renamed it simply: Time Break Project. Yes, now Square-Enix would be proud of me!
By the time I had all the “paper work” dispatched, I realized the following detail: I’m all alone on this project! Where were the designers, the programmers, the beta testers, the promoters? Nowhere, deal with it. We’re halfway through this article but take this first lesson: don’t start a project all by yourself if you’re not sure you can handle it. Well then, it was time to choose the software I was going to use to create my masterpiece. The chosen one: RPG Maker XP! It’s not the most sophisticated software in the world, I know, but if we use it correctly awesome works can come out of there!
It allows us to mess with the entire database: characters, enemies, items, weapons, objects and so many more! And I have to confess: I’m not that good at programming and this engine has RGSS system, which is the new and improved Ruby language for videogames. But it was ok, since the scripts were default and I didn’t have to mess that much with the programming.
Oh, the torture it was!
Today I’m a proud graduated in Design & Multimedia, but by the time I started this project my knowledge in the area were very limited. So, you can already imagine the torture it was for me to design all the maps and scenarios – I’ve created over 300 different maps. It was definitely one of the most gruelling and challenging tasks for me, but thanks to this experience I could develop my knowledge in design and learn a lot from RPG Maker XP. After a few weeks, I was already designing simple and cool maps bug free! Yes, this is important.
Now, creating events is fun! Remember when you’re playing a videogame and your character reaches a specific spot on the map and an event triggers? I have to say that learning how to program events was one of the most satisfying things for me to do on this project. I was able to get the insight on how the pro companies make their own games and the way the program it, whether they’re simple or more complex.
Curious about the story?
I’ll tell you anyway just for you to get a general idea on how to create your own plot. Time Break is about two wizards, Alex(playable character) and Shadow. During Time Break’s events, they’re elders who travelled back from time due to a brutal bout between them. They were once partners who separated and built a rivalry through the years. Now in a different timeline, they must investigate paranormal and strange events which they will eventually find out to be connected with their own timeline. I hope you’re not confused at this point. No? Good.
Through their adventure they will meet a few characters who will join their party (obviously) and help them and of course, lead to more adventures and quests. Compared to the true dimension of the story, this is just a sketch. I will eventually provide you the full story on another opportunity or even when Time Break comes out to the market. I sure hope so!
Benefits of hard work
I didn’t know if this article would be motivational or not. If it served the purpose to motivate you to create your own videogame, that’s good enough for me and I’ll try to add more motivation into it: I worked on this project essentially when I was taking a computers course in high school. After two or three years of hard work on the game, it wasn’t completely finished. I was just about to give up on the project and “let it be” until one day I got the urge to finish it. But at the end of the course, it was necessary to present a final project to a judge who would decide if we could graduate or not. That’s the moment I was waiting for, my work could possibly be finally acknowledged! And indeed it was: I got a grade of 18 out of 20! I couldn’t be happier, my first ever amateur videogame project allowed me to graduate from high school with flying colors.
Do you also have this kind of passion about videogames? Do you dream about creating your project? Then do it. Don’t think of anything else, just do it. Gather a small team of passionate video gamers and start working on the project. Write down all of your ideas on paper and let your creative side comes to life!