1. Lesson 16: Innovation

      written by Ray Benefield
      Wow lesson 16. I've been at this for like a month now. Not bad, eh? First of all to those who have endured the pain of the previous 15 lessons congrats and I hope you get to use them soon. Remember that sometimes it helps to go back and reread to remind yourself about some of these things. You can also use the lessons as a checklist. That is kinda what the Lessons menu link is for. Anyways, according to my traffic stats I have created some homework for some poor high school souls out there. If you are one of them, my apologies cuz I hate homework. Regardless I hope you guys learn something from this series and keep studying and growing. It is never to late to learn peepz. I graduated 4 years ago and I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to go back to high school. And I hated it. Anyways I would love your guys' comments on what you think of the series. For you regular readers check out the lesson from Mr. Cross. He asks some very good review questions for lesson 1. Also check out the his Game Design and Development course in the sidebar. There's some useful stuff there. See yall tomorrow and remember next lesson is Thursday. Come with your pencils sharpened.




      So you know how to make a good map right? How the hell do you get it noticed? There are thousands of maps out there, what is going to get people to notice your map and want to take their time out of the day to play your map above all others? The trick… you’ve got to have a little pizzazz and give people that WOW factor. You’ve got to do something that is unique and powerful. Otherwise you’re just another fish in the sea. It is time for you to be the whales of the sea. Who could miss an animal that large? ;)


      The power of jaw dropping


      I’ve seen the power of innovation cause crazy things to happen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people register for a site and post just so they can comment on how crazy and innovative something is. That wow factor is a very powerful thing. Have your maps ever caused someone to just pause and look around instead of play? Innovation is defined as something newly introduced, such as a new method or device. Think about something that your audience has never seen before and do it. Whether it is remaking the Titanic or making a game out of betraying your friends. Look through all the competition. What is everyone else doing? Now do the opposite. If people are making maps with lots of cover and hallways make a map that has lots of open areas. If people are utilizing blue and red lights everywhere then use the yellow and green ones. Be different. Stand out. Profit.


      Judging by a book’s cover


      Your best way of creating shock and awe is using aesthetics. Players normally see a map before they actually play it. So make them see something crazy. Make a statue that is as tall as a building (cue Statue of Liberty). How about making a map that is based around dark alleys? Maybe base the map around the sun and utilize those burning visuals. Build the map completely underwater like in Bioshock. Maybe you can recreate a popular symbol in the world. Have you ever thought of a yin yang shaped map? How about one to resemble a lizard or something and capture a player’s attention with the map overview? Looks are the easiest way to attract attention, but that isn’t the only way to do it.


      Break the rules


      I have found great success in going against gameplay standards and practices. It is common practice to create multiple paths and what not around a map in order to address the issue of Combat Congestion and Traffic. Well what if you intentionally didn’t have multiple paths and only had one linear path? Surely that is unique (cue Conquest). What about the standard of having multiple paths into a base? Could you make a successful map with only one path into the base? Is there something that people tell you not to do ever at all? Find the exception to that rule. Take every challenge that people present to you. There is no such thing as impossible in your mind. If people are saying it can’t be done you tell them that it can and you show them. If you are the first to break the rules you will be the innovator. The rest will then just be posers, and while they are being posers you can go try another challenge. Try something else new. Never say never. Be that person to break the trend and do what they say can’t be done. Anything is possible. 


      7 comments:

      GunnerGrunt said...

      I am a whale.

      But I agree, innovation is very important. Ell3ment and I always tried to come up with crazy new ideas for our mini-games. Ocean Arena, Gophers, Wraith attack, Uplift Peril... all pretty innovative. Great lesson today. Also, may I call dibs on a side lesson about "Atmosphere?"

      I'll PM you about my other idea...

      GodlyPerfection said...

      I'm always up for guest authors like I have been doing with Bartoge and Cerberus. Feel free to definitely PM me with the details of it. Try to keep it in the same format as I do. Short sections and what not. I like my blog style lol. Anyways, I am looking forward to seeing what you are talking about. And you say atmosphere, I might actually have a lesson already written up talking about that depending on what you are referring to lol... but PM me the details and we shall discuss.

      I do want to point out though that you and Ell3ment are some of the best innovators of the community and that is why you guys have earned your popularity. Congrats to the both of you. Btw, does Ell3ment know about this place yet? lol...

      BadCompany Brik said...

      A baby beluga whale in the sea?

      That part about signing up just to post how awesome something is was pretty much exactly the same as how I made my first post on FH...

      I think the most common way people do this is with aesthetics. Unless you base your entire map/gametype around being different, it's usually the looks on your map that you can make really cool without changing your essence.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaUPjMeXd4A#t=4m43s

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Rofl... that video is a fuckin' classic. I'm so glad goat showed us that video.

      And definitely Brik, however it is possible to setup a map that is innovative other than aesthetics... it is just very difficult. And yeah you were my reminder of how innovation can spark crazy things. Thanks for your example Brik.

      IxFlashPointxI said...

      Great lesson... I have less of a post on this one, I have already known this so...

      StingerSplash01 said...

      Holy Crap have I fallen behind, another great Lesson Godly, sometimes not following the rules leads to fun ideas and new types of play, look how race and maze maps broke the mold of what someone could think up, and their explosion in popularity as new tricks were found in forge leading to more insane maps across the board.



      P.S. Looks like I will have to re-earn my spot on your friends list, I have been distracted by school lately, and reach didn't help in that department either, will be more active and catch up to rest of the pack soon.

      GodlyPerfection said...

      Don't worry too much about losing your spot Stinger. I'm sure you will get back as soon as you are settled back in with school and feel more comfortable mixing it with Reach. Once you do that then we can chill in Reach. I just had to make room for people who needed help and had to remove those I haven't played Reach with quite yet.