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How do you make YOUR Scenarios?

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I'm pretty new on scenario design too, but I guess this order should be appropriate:

1. Outdoors -

Becuase it's the world. Everything is "inside" this section, so to make things work together and get the idea of what your world looks like I would do it first.

2. Town -

You usually start the game in a town, so make sure you have a place to start before you do the rest. Other towns can wait.

3. Items -

Do some items for the first town and make sure it looks good. Other items can wait.

4. Dialogue -

So you can get the first quest and make your town alive.

5. Dungeons -

So you can finish the quests you got in the first town and get some XP.

6. Other towns -

When you're done with most of the dungeons, you can start with new towns and new dialogue for them.

7. Items -

Create the rest of the important items, then create less important items as you work.


I guess more experinced designers can help you, but this is the way I'd do it...

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1) Write out the plot, what happens, plan, etc.


2) Make the custom monsters, terrain, items, etc. that you need. Also write/find appropriate creature scripts, terrain scripts, etc.


3) Outdoors


4) Towns and their dialogue together - Town 0 and Town 0's dialogue, Town 1 and Town 1's dialogue, etc. Remember that you can (and should) always go back to add more dialogue.


5) Dungeons. You can do these interspersed with the towns too.

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I do things differently from the norm, it seems (no surprise to me or those who know me wink ). As with just about any creative endeavor, I figure out where I want to end up (the big finale) and a general idea of how I'm going to get there. Then I start in just as the player will... in this case, by creating the first town. From there, I create items, creatures, terrain, etc. as I come to them and need them. Makes for some nice variety instead of doing too much of one thing all at once. smile


That causes a bit of "back and forthing" (e.g., leaving "holes" in an NPCs dialog in the first town because you know he's going to have to talk about something you haven't really figured out yet); but overall, it's the way that works best for me. Otherwise, I tend to get entirely too formulaic.


One caveat: you have to really trust yourself and have a firm handle on your creative process to do things this way. You run the danger of either painting yourself into a corner or running afoul of the dread bloat beast (I don't know what should happen here, so instead I'll add this...). But those are easier to avoid, for me, than the staleness it seems I always get if I try to plan every little detail up front.

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I do things in the order the player will encounter them, in general. Exceptions are particularly interesting/boring bits which I'll do earlier/later, and the intro, which I leave to the middle. Of course, I'll go back and add or change things, it's not totally linear.

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I was curious to ask the question as I was starting to try do one too. In fact I had already a global story and some plots details and variations. But Not a fully written story with all details.


I read advices to make something small for the first try so I got only the prologue of this story. For this prologue I have more details written and various draft ideas and possibilities.


I had no idea where to start so I did few tests with the editor, far not enough.


Written with more details the story was too abstract with the game and the editor in mind. So I tried to take a different aproach :


From the story I had, I extracted :

* List of the main NPC. For each I try be more detailed about traits and dependencies with other NPC, more than what is already written.

* List of the main places. A short description for each plus some special use this place has.

* List of events, not a point in the time but an event with a beginning and an end. For each a short description, the "Stuff done flag" for its start and for its end. For few the timer.


In this phase I started a translation in english. laugh


In parallel I started different tables of dependencies :


* A table of events dependencies to have a rough global idea of required chaining. This also help me to think more in term of possibilitie than just a written story that tends to linearity. I also try set up the base of start conditions and done conditions.

* Table of links between NPC and events started or done. this includes bits of possible dialogs.


All in all I try to translate and complete the story into these various tables.


In pratice, I have already reach some limits in term of sizes. I think I will have to define different level of events in order to do different tables and keep their size not too big. I'll probably keep the table of links between main NPC and events.


But seriously even if I get fun to do it (that's the more important!), I dunno at all where I go. :p

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I design my scenarios one sequence at a time, and then just link those sequences together. I think the farmhouse was the first thing I did in Deadly Goblins. Revenge was a fun experience - loads and loads of individual bits, and I had little idea how well they were going to work together. Then I linked it all up, played through the bug-infested alpha version, and had a blast.

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