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Game Plan & Prep


Resident Dragon
Hey folks,

I've been wondering for a while...what do you guys do as your first steps for game planning and preparation? I have my own methods, such as developing a rough outline of how I want the story to go, planning parts of the database and working out main characters and such, but I'm interested to hear what planning and preparation you guys do.


Not sure if it makes much sense, but I always end up focusing on the world. As I build the lands and terrains, I end up working out the history of how certain landmarks came to be. Slowly creating a backstory for the main story to have when I switch over to it. Helps me out since I've always been a fan of new worlds and what potentials they can hold.
Because I'm more of a writer than a game designer, I usually start with an inspiration, work out the plot from there, then think about the characters and their personalities, and then start building the world around them. I usually don't have everything plotted out, which means that later on I'll have to redo stuff from the beginning. I also try to talk to as many people as I can and tell them my idea so I can get some feedback. I usually end up hearing things that I wouldn't have thought of myself, and it helps reshape the story into something a lot better. I always have a tone that I aim for, which is dependent on the storyline, and work towards always balancing that tone.I also try to add as much thinly-disguised allegory and social/political commentary as I can get away with without bogging down the storyline or tipping my hat too far. I feel like a lot of game developers/writers don't bother asking the question of why their work exists, and it makes for a shallow experience. A game designer is like the hand of God in old Twilight Zone episodes. If you can, say, take a racist and make him live through the experience of being a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, why would you instead choose to make another "go save the princess and the kingdom because you're the chosen one"?