Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Research – Going Down the Rabbit Hole

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 23, 2014

Today’s post is actually on another site – in this case, Xchyler Publishing. I’m a guest poster there today…

Author Spotlight – Jay Barnson: Researching the Story, or Down the Rabbit Hole

This is another article that could have been written about game design as easily as story development. And for me, it’s often one of the more fun parts of development. While a lot of it happens up front, early in the design process, it’s not something that’s completely restricted to a “phase” or anything. I still go back to research mode whenever it’s needed.

Frayed Knights has also been delightful to do research for. The topics run the gamut – from research into actual old castles and dungeons, to the history of dice-and-paper RPGs, to re-playing (or sometimes, playing for the first time) some classic old-school computer RPGs. I spent a lot of time digging through old copies of Dragon Magazine to remind myself of the “feel” of the hobby back in the day, as that was the essence of what I wanted to capture in the game. That’s something I’d do just for fun, but it’s nice to have a purpose.

In the case of my short-story for Terra Mechanica, I spent a lot of time researching telegraphy and the telegraph industry circa 1880. My discoveries were surprising and actually kinda wrecked my initial story idea. It didn’t matter – what I ended up with was much stronger, I thought. Anyway, the above blog article goes into some of the fun details – as well as describing how all that research gets used.


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