Game design begins with building a world before adding characters and then a story. At least that’s the case for Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island co-creator Ron Gilbert.
“Maniac Mansion is really all about that mansion, that was the genesis of it. The Secret of Monkey Island all started for me because I loved the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney – I wanted to live in that world.”
“It’s the same thing with The Cave; it started with the setting and the characters kind of get built up from that – I think, okay, now I have the world, who would live there? Who would want to adventure in that place?” Gilbert continued, before going into a little bit about game design in adventure games.
“So the characters come about, then the story starts to form, and very quickly after that I start to figure out the major puzzle beats – because in an adventure game it’s the puzzles that drive the narrative forward.”
“ I start with that over-arching narrative then, I go, ‘okay, I need a big puzzle here, another one here, and one there’, and I start building backwards from all those big puzzles to all the little ones that lead up to them.” he added.
Ron Gilbert’s The Cave involves taking three of seven adventures into a cave, battling monsters, solving puzzles and stealing loot. It’s scheduled for release by SEGA on PC, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network early next year.
There’s more from Ron Gilbert here on The Train2Game Blog in this video where he discusses game design with Tim Schafer
What are your thoughts on game design? Does the world form the base of the games you’re building?
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