Design Theory and Working Process

I saw a post somewhere once about working with RPGM that was very illuminating, and I'm wondering if there's anything similar around for text adventures (or IF in general).

The post discussed why a lot of people get sort of lost in their design process and end up abandoning projects. It presented a potential model for outlining a project, including a certain structure common to successful RPG's (essentially 8 iterations of:
explore world > new town > explore world > new dungeon).

I'm just getting back into TA design, learning about Quest 6/JS, and I was about to start laying down items (I previously made a list of the items I want in the game). Then I thought, if the items have an attribute for their location, should I should start by making the locations? Or should I do more outlining first, and then go through the game in order of play, rather than doing all the objects at once?

Point is, I'm now wondering about advice on that kind of design theory. Do I really need flow charts, for example. Is there a good wiki or article about that kind of stuff around that has become sort of an accepted traditional model?

I'm also open to hearing your thoughts on all this, of course. I think if I'm really gonna get anywhere, I need to find a rythm that works for me.

I also just noticed, upon my return to this site after a couple years absent, that I have about 8 unfinished projects listed in the Quest online editor! I don't want my current project to end up on that pile.


I don't think there is anything about "HOW" to write a game, just the how to write the code.
The problem with the "HOW" part is that 8 people can give yo 20 ways to do something, and, after a bit, you can come up with number 21.
Everyone has their own style, and few people can copy, or follow, someone else's way to do things.
I think projects get abandon because the writer lost focus or lost interest.
(I know, I've got a few that are waiting for me.)
And the problem is that if it sits too long, it would be easier to start over from scratch than to continue.
Especially, if you are still learning, and finding easier way to do what you were trying before.
I think, for a TA game, start with where the player starts and follow the player through the story. Maybe going back and adding more detail to past rooms.
But got a graphic game, RPGM, you would start with the world map. and add towns and dungeons as you go.


I sometimes wonder if it is best to start at the end and work backwards. That way, when you test you game, you are immediately at the bit you are working on, and you do not have to plough through the first half for the hundredth time just to find it still does not work.

There is also a good argument for dong the most complicated bit first. If it turns out that it is impossible, you will have wasted less time.

Never actually put that in practice though. I have great ideas for the start of a game or the basic premise, so start with that, and it fizzles out because I do not have a clear idea of what should happen in the middle.


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