Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Let's Make a Game! - Part 3: Nuts and Bolts

Over the past two weeks we have thought about how to come up with an idea and then how to expand and sketch out those ideas. These are really basic steps that almost every game designer takes, and it's important to understand that these are steps that happen before we even get near a computer. It's very rare that a complete game can be made without at least a little bit of preparation and planning. But that's all behind us now, we've got the ideas for two levels - based on the book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - and we've sketched these ideas out to get a feel for the emotions and environments that the player will experience. Grab all your drawings, grab the book and grab a computer. We're about to begin the final evolution from exciting event to game.


For this post we're going to be looking exclusively at the Kahootz 3D software when we're making our game. Don't worry though, we won't really have time to go into any technical details or expect you to know how to use Kahootz. However, if you're a teacher and you're interested in learning to use Kahootz with your class, feel free to leave me a comment or visit us at our website http://web1.macquarieict.schools.nsw.edu.au/index.php/projects/gbl.html.

As soon as we jump on the computer, a game designer has to start by thinking like a game player. What other games have you played before? How did they show you where you were in the world, what you could jump on or interact with. How did they show you something was an enemy or a friend?


You've also got to keep in mind the limitations of the software you're using. Kahootz is really good at showing amazing, life-like worlds from the eyes of the player (ie/ first person perspective) but it's not so good at 2D Platformers like Mario up there.

Fig 1. First-Person Perspective

But that's great for us. If you think back to the two levels we've come up with, both are strongly centred around one character. Lucy is trying to find her way back to the lamppost and Edmund is fleeing from the White Witch and her castle guards. First-person perspective will work brilliantly to help the player think and act like Lucy or Edmund.

This is only the start of the building process, and there's a lot more that I'd like to go into. But for the moment I think we'll leave it there. The very first step when it comes to turning an exciting event into a game is to find the right software to build it in. Some professional game designers even go as far as to create their own game-making software.

Next week we're going to start building and populating our game worlds, and we'll talk about some of the decisions that need to be made about how enemies look and how we explain to the player the rules of our game. See you all next week.

Stay tuned!


1 comment:

  1. Hey Ant. This blog is fabulous! Very clear. Will definitely use next term with my kids prior to Kahootz. Am having the training on July 30th ( Fri) with several other teachers from our school.
    Ta Lizzie