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Creating a Fangame
Author: xtraverseDate: April 27th, 2005
Views: 3170Rating: 5.5

Those who have been in the Keen Community for more than a couple months know that countless fangames have been released, most of them being extremely bad. I’m going to discuss what makes a fangame worth playing.

Many say that for a fangame to be good, it must be programmed, and cannot be made with a "Klik" program, such as The Games Factory, or Multimedia Fusion. This is completely untrue. Countless people have taken advantage of the fact that you do not need to learn how to program with these tools, and have thrown together horrid fangames as a result. If, however, one puts time into their game, just as they would when programming, they can get just as good a result.

The engine of a game can refer to many things, but I’m mainly talking about the movement of the player. Klik tools have a built-in platform movement system, however it is plain horrible. To get the correct physics and feel to the movement, you have to do what one would do when programming: create your own system for moving, and keep working on it until it looks, feels, and plays perfectly.

Also, to make a fangame Keenish, don’t leave out what made Keen stand apart from other games in its age. Include the pogo stick.

The story of a game is where you can be as creative as you want, and be sure to make it as perfect as you can, because it will determine the atmosphere of the entire game.

A story should above all, make sense. Second to that, make it exciting and funny. Some boring secret agent mission or rescuing your spaceship from a random planet will not interest many people. Add funny, weird, and strange stuff, like slug poo and burping fish. The more Keenish, the better.

The graphics of a game are very important, and are the downfall of many of the fangames released. The most important thing about graphics is that you make them yourself. Do not, under any circumstances, rip graphics from the original Keen games. It’s completely uncreative and shows that the creator of the game didn’t want to put the effort in to
making a complete game.

Graphics should express what the story tells. If you have a good enough story, it should give the reader some idea of the location(s) they’ll be in. If the story results with the main character in a jungle, make some nice jungle tiles and creatures to match that. And remember, add variety. Having one type of atmosphere the entire game would be completely boring. You might want to have a couple of levels in a swamp, some in the high foliage of the jungle, and others underground.

Once you’ve finished your graphics, you need to begin to design the levels. Levels, above all, should not have just one path to the exit. They should be large, complicated, and not mono-directional. Make fun and cool secrets, and be innovative. Do not make the levels insanely hard, and make sure you place the graphics in ways that blend together smoothly. Endlessly complicated mazes are not fun either.

Sounds and music are key. Try to use imaginative and funky sounds whenever possible, and write music that will fit the atmosphere of the level.

Another important part of a game is it’s opening screen and menu. If they’re boring and hard to use, people will tend not to want to play your game as much. A good idea is to include a minigame for people to enjoy when they need a break from the main game.

That’s what makes a quality Keen game, in a nutshell. So go on, start making games, but NEVER release a game unless you think it’s perfect in every way.

posted by: Fordka
on 12.31.05

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