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Of the Necessities of the Mental Model and the Plan

"Most ohr games are spur of the moment.  things are added as the author sees fit, usually as the author goes along....  You could spend half a year making something just by adding things as you see fit... and it'll still look like it was thrown together by a one eyed monkey on crack.  What the best games have in common is that they were planned.  Maybe not from day one, but many of them were planned well in advance of where they are now.  If you plan a game, you have to think about many little things and how they go together, and even then the plan winds up being revised a few dozen times anyway."
~The MeAjur Komera Waddi

I've found that the single most important part of making a game is knowing what you are going to make before you make it. This cannot be overemphasized. Before they started building the Empire State Building in New York City, some One knew in their minds what it was going to look like, how tall it was going to be, what it was going to be made of, where the doors will go, where the elevators will go. It was all in their design blueprint. A game is the same way. You can't just go running off with bricks and cement and steel and hope to build a good building without planning, and so you can't just go running off with graphics and music and characters and hope to build a good game without planning. Just as a poorly planned building will collapse, a poorly planned game will, well, collapse.

Look at the Ohrrgpce games which have collapsed, and you'll see concrete examples of why One should plan One's game. Take a game like Ashs.rpg for example. Not only is the game shorter and more boring than the download time, but I could have -made- a better game during that download time. When playing these games One just gets a sense, an intangible knowledge, that the author didn't plan the game, and that the game and story elements were probably thrown together for no rational reason, monsters are in the game for no rational reason, the very plot flow has little to no rationality, and the dialogue can feel... like random words.

Knowing what you will do before you do it is not only the essence of creating a game or a building, it is not merely the essence of creating all art, it is nothing other than consciousness itself. What is a plan but a prediction of some thing or event in the future? What is a mind for, if not to anticipate things, and to aim for things? How can a being be capable of doing anything at all if it is not capable of planning? One might even say that to the extent that something plans, (that is, knows which doings may lead to which results, and decides what it will do in the future accordingly), it is alive, and to the extent that it does not do those things, it is not alive.

And let me add that I will, for this very reason, ignore those 'people' who continue to insist on just 'going with the flow' and 'following their inspiration', they are of no concern to me, as I am of no concern of theirs, as their creations are of no interest to me, my creations are of no interest to them. My view is that inspiration is not something that should be waited for passively, it is something that should be gone after directly and aggressively. If One is consistenly sharply observant, One may easily find inspiration crowding One to death. It is not about inborn gifts, it is about acquired talent, which is nothing more than  that which arises from the sense of life characterized by  a consuming curious listening and looking habit. One of the most famous quotes about writers of all time is that a writer is "one whom on nothing is lost".

For the best possible plan, you must, in effect, live inside of your game. This is what I mean by the mental model. To create and expand your mental model of your game, your vision-in-your-head of it, you'll need to visualize your game's world, and in that way realize it (make it real). You'll need to see, hear, and know your characters, and in that way realize them. You'll need to know what they would do in different situations, you'll need to know how they walk, sleep, and eat, and in that way realize their habits. The more vivid your mind's image of your game, the more vivid your game will appear in the minds of people who play the game, and the more fun it will be to actually create the game. Play out scenes in your imagination before you write them. Often, a scene you imagine may not make it into the game, but even imaginings that don't make it into the game will help you realize your characters.
 
 

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