Sometimes you wander around Ludum Dare and stumble upon some AWESOME entry. It has an awesome idea, an awesome design, awesome graphics and audio. And you, minor Ludum Dare game maker, who haven’t been in top 50 even with a jam game, think: “How the hell can I make it?”
Indeed, making games combines many kinds of art. You use art (drawing) to make graphics, composing to make music, acting to make voice, writing to make a plot, martial arts to fix hardware problems. How can you even do that?
I discovered a way of making everything. If you are not an artist, you can still create a beautiful game, if you never composed music and don’t know what is “half note” and “quarter note”, you will make some music for your game. LD is made for studying, isn’t it?
WARNING: Not tested on anybody but myself. You might
fail succeed. I have a good imagination, but I am not sure about you.
Here is the algorithm:
- Think of something
- Make a draft
- Upgrade a draft
- Goto 3
Draft is the key!
If you are not a game designer.
I suppose you played a computer game before. A lot. And not-computer as well. What’s your favourite one? What is the best thing in games in your opinion? Have you ever made a game in childhood? (I used to draw point-and-click games on paper) Or thought about making one?
Take the best from all the games and your own ideas. Imagine how the game will work. And do exactly the same.
If you are not an artist.
Drawing people/animals, and other stuff as well:
Step one: imagine the result. Step two: make a rough skeleton. Step three: outline it. Step four: polish it. Step five: color it.
Of course, the most important step is step one. Imagine the result as good as possible and simply copy it. And watch the drawing become as good as possible as well.
If you are not a composer.
The hardest part is that you can’t make a draft of a melody. You can only play it in mind. Or hum it. The next part is tedious yet productive: open the audio editor (I prefer PXTone). Hum the first note. Play a random note with the editor. Compare them. Pick another one that will be closer. Do it until the sound will match. Place the note. (If you really don’t know what the “half note” and “quarter note” is, better make all the notes the same length) Do the same to the next note. Yes, it’ll be a bit tedious. But I prefer making short loops.
Random joke: How do you call somebody who participated in compo? A composer.
If you are not a writer.
If you want to make a good plot it’ll be hard. But here is 1 rule: ask the player a question. Preferably about life. Like: “Are fame and fortune worth achieving?”, “Can a weak one survive in a strong world?” and tell the player your opinion as you play. For example, tell about life of a businessman, who works hard to make money, lives a luxurious life and then gets abandoned because he had a bad character. It will be a good plot.
Then use the above-mentioned algorithm to make a plan of the most important events. Like: Event 1: a man sees the life of rich people and wants to be the same. Event 2: he works hard to become rich. Event 3: he starts a lazy thoughtless life. Event 4: he becomes a bankrupt, everybody abandon him. Event 5: he returns home very poor.
Then add some less important events. And so on.
If you are not a martial artist.
So, go on and make something you haven’t made before for the upcoming miniLDs!