Creative Process

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This page consists of a few tips and tricks for getting the juices flowing. If you're stuck, be patient with yourself. Eventually the ideas will come, usually in a flood.


Structuring A New Area

  • It's very helpful to have a plan before you jump in. It gets old very fast to change your mind about where something is and have to change everything else you've made to accommodate it.
  • Draw it out first on paper - graph paper is particularly useful, especially if you're using the 3D mapping system.
  • Think about your area as an interdependent place. If you have a tavern that sells food and drink, where do they come from? Is there a brewery that provides the ale, a farm that provides barley for that ale? A granary, a grocer, a metal smith, a furniture shop? Who makes the clothes the shopkeeper is wearing? The jewelry? Everything relies on something else, and when you start perceiving all your separate places as relying on each other to function, you'll have dozens of options before you know it.
  • Make sure things are laid out in a way that allows people to get to them easily. Have enough streets that a player doesn't have to wander in circles for an hour to find a store. Big complex areas are fun to explore, but it's not fun to be lost, and no one will see all the work you've done if you don't make it relatively easy to find.

Room Descriptions

  • This can be one of the most challenging parts of creating an area, particularly if it's a large one. After awhile you start feeling like there's just no other way to describe a furnace. One way to think of it is not to try to picture the room in your head, but to picture who lives or works there. Imagine someone you know, or a sterotype you're familiar with, and figure out who they are. Once you know who occupies the space, it's a lot easier to figure out how they would furnish that space.
  • Are they meticulous? Sloppy? Drunk? Organized? Do they like decorative objects, or do they have no patience for frippery?
  • What tools do they need to do what they do? How are those tools stored and arranged?
  • Once you know what makes them unusual, your description of their space will be unusual too.

Additional Resources

Due to several requests, Lysator has begun documenting the setup used for various specific coding project, which may also be helpful. These are in a state of continual upgrade due to new features being created and incorporated.

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