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Another World Memory Game
A combination of two classic games, albeit two different games. If you are a fan of Another World or Memory Games grab this quickly, even if you're not ;-).
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 Programming an RPG - Introduction   
This series of articles aims to teach you some basics of writing an rpg but the stuff covered here can be applied to any 2d game. If you want any specific things covered here email me, email address at end of article.

This week
In this article I briefly cover planning your game and some things to think about before doing any code/music or art.

What do you mean programing and coding isn't the same thing?
Yes coding is not programming. Programming is simply a set of instructions to follow where coding is usually inputting those instruction. The most "correct" way of creating programs is to design your entire game/program before you start coding. That it a bit on the drastic side, depending on your experience and knowledge you may not know what to expect. I recommend that you at least give your program some thought as how you plan to do it. E.g. If you want to create a side scrolling game you would need to have some idea of how you would have the illusion of physics i.e. your character falling due to gravity.

Story who needs a story, I have great graphics!
Most games are created to put forward a story or an idea. Yes, there are a lot of games that don't i.e. tetris, chess, etc. don't have stories but those are exceptions. Game like rpgs rely heavily on a good story to keep the player intrested. Great graphics is often the first attraction to a game but if there isn't anything besides the great graphics the player wouldn't continue playing. Stories need to have a purpose and some things different to games that are alredy out there. Unless you are making a clone that is important. Making the story along the lines of "You are a hero, the princess has been kidnapped go save her in the dark tower up north." is boring as it has been used countless times. Players want to have something new. Also there are plenty of fantasy based games, try to make your game stand out from the rest.

Characters? Towns?
Strong characters that have a personality increase the immersion into the game without a strong main charater what is the point of playing? You have to balance the characters carefully. Also try to keep the characters style, personality and reactions constant. If they change there must be a reason behind it. As the player has been playing the game for a while he/she will guess/predict what a character will say and if itsn't that there must be a reason for it. e.g An npc shows a kind hearted approach always trying to be helpful, and then suddenly you ask for another favour and the npc says no.

In this article I have covered some things that are overlooked before games are started. In the next article I will cover tile engines and things associated with them.

Starlight Studios

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