Fascinating description, Thomas.
Cheers,

Imbar
Ms Imbar Golt
im...@netvision.net.il
----- Original Message ----- From: "Thomas Ward" <thomasward1...@gmail.com>
To: <kimfr...@verizon.net>; "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2011 5:54 AM
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] Developing a game


Hi Kim,

Well, you are right that developing a game requires several different
talents/skills when creating a game from start to finish. First, and
foremost the developer has to have an active imagination and have
fairly decent creative writing skills. Second, there are a number of
technical skills such as learning a programming language as well as
learning a variety of APIs for handling input, sound, music, speech
output, whatever. A developer may need to know various programming
techniques such as artificial intelligence which can cover several
books in and of itself. If a developer wishes to add something like 3d
graphics then that would involve some fairly decent math and physics
skills in order to render the graphics on screen correctly. So
programming games certainly rrequires skills from both a programming
and non-programming nature just to produce a game of any real quality.
As to your questions I'll answer them in a question and answer format
below.

Question:

I'm very curious to know how developers go about making a game,
particularly those games for those folks who enjoy role playing? If one
is blind and doing the developing, I'm wondering what is done to give
the world verisimilitude?

Answer:

Well, by verisimilitude I assume you mean seem realistic/probable its
like any other roll playing game. A game developer would build in stat
checks, rolls, using a common rule set like d20 to figure out if an
action succeeded or failed in game. However, in a computer program all
stat checks would be handled internally foregoing any need to pull out
your own dice and do your own rolls and calculations.

Question:

How is developing a RPG similar
to and different from writing a novel or short story?

Answer:

Well, as far as the non-technical part goes they are very similar.
Before a developer starts programming a game like an rpg he or she
will need to write the back story for each major campaign or adventure
and write up the descriptions of everyone and everything in the game.
A lot of this initial writing will become the majority of the text you
would include in your rpg game. For instance, consider the following
text.

"You are standing in the small sea-side town of Southport. As you
stand there gazing at the small village you can detect the salty sent
of the sea not far away. There are a number of people passing in and
out of the buildings along this street. What would you like to do?

Visit the SouthPort In
Visit the Local Taverin
Visit the Docks
Travel Somewhere Else"

You'd be surprised how much time you can save by having all these
textual descriptions of people, places, and things written up in
advance before doing the actual coding. So in that respect its kind of
like writing a short story, but its all from a second person point of
view.

However, unlike doing creative writing there is the technical side to
creating an rpg game. There is quite a bit of coding involved here,
and of course you will need something like the Dungeons and Dragons
handbooks to actually create a realistic enough system for handling
stat checks and things like that. Since the DND guides are fairly
standard I'd use those as an example for doing combat, skill checks,
and other rpg elements that requires a dice throw.

As it happens I'm working on a rpg game myself, one based on the DC
Universe, and I'm using the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 handbooks to kind
of help with the stat checks, building custom classes, and things like
that I need to make the game somewhat realistic.For instance, since
the Flash can move at the speed of light I obviously set his dexterity
to 18 the maximum allowable in DND. That would give him an extra 4
points to any dice roll requiring speed/agility.I also created a
custom class called Speadster which gives him an extra 2 points to a
dice roll for speed as that's his unique special power. See how the
DND rule handbooks can help with creating a custom rpg?

HTH

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