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Would love to hear advice on the game intro comics

View Poll Results: How many panels should our intro comic have?
1 0 0%
2 0 0%
3 1 25.00%
4 1 25.00%
5 1 25.00%
I don't care for any kind of intros, I'd skip it and jump to the action 1 25.00%
Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll
08-23-2012, 08:12 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Odessa, Ukraine
Posts: 87
Send a message via Skype™ to Synaptic Wave
Would love to hear advice on the game intro comics

Hi guys,

We're working on a game. If you're curious, it'll be the second chapter of Tesla Wars, but it doesn't really matter.

We plan to add a storyline and we want it to be a little bigger than the original Tesla Wars storyline. Which is nil. Anyway, we plan to make our artist draw some intro comics to show at the very beginning of the game. So the question is how many panels you would agree to see? On the one hand, we don't want to frustrate players with 20-something images. On the other hand, we want to tell the story. Any advice is welcome!

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08-23-2012, 08:23 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
very odd question.. you should use as much as you need to tell your story.

asking for an odd numbers without any knowledge to what your trying to tell is pretty pointless.. maybe your story is so thin that even one panel is too much.. or maybe its so diverse that cutting it down to 5 would be quite a challenge..

this is something you need to answer yourself.. i can't see how anyone else is going to give you good advice here.

maybe the question should be if your game needs an intro at all or not.. instead of asking how many panels one wants (odd odd odd)

then again if your trying to tell a story which actually has content and is not just fluff an intro can be important since well its an introduction to the hole setting, character whatever.. *shrug*

08-23-2012, 09:41 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Odessa, Ukraine
Posts: 87
Send a message via Skype™ to Synaptic Wave
Yay, I've got some objective critique from Mr. Ugly!

We don't really want to have a complex storyline. You may think of an FPS with cutscenes. Or maybe Angry birds Anyway, it's not an interactive story or something so adding an intro would improve the gameplay. Cutting the intro out would worsen it, but it would not break the game.

The game's a sequel. It has the core mechanics of the original Tesla Wars (you may watch the gameplay footage at the end of my message if you want to see it). But it doesn't have any plot - yet. So we're making up a story to explain an existing game, we're not creating a story first and developing the game then.

We have brainstormed quite a few storylines. Some are deep, and some are more humorous. We've been inventing them or thinking about details of the existing storylines for a few days. It seems that adding small touches is not really difficult. Stretching even an absurd story like 'these are aliens invading Earth because green and blue are illegal in Milky Way' isn't that hard. But we don't know if it's worth it.

I don't know if I made the question easier

We plan to finish the game this October maybe, and we'll still have to test it. So it's not like we're in a rush. If you come up with something later, we'll still be eager to hear about it

Here's the video of the old one:

Youtube link | Pop Up

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08-23-2012, 02:07 PM
If the story isn't essential for the game I would aim on making it short and "effective/to the point" (and skippable).
But as previously stated it needs to be as long as it needs to be, its up to you if you make it super in depth or just short and funny.
08-23-2012, 06:39 PM
Marvel have a great e-reader for their comics, I highly recommend checking it out. There are a lot of ways to direct a comic that really add to its watchability on a mobile device.

Keep it short, make it either funny or dramatic, or both, and make it skippable
08-24-2012, 03:26 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Odessa, Ukraine
Posts: 87
Send a message via Skype™ to Synaptic Wave
Thank you, we appreciate your help

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08-24-2012, 12:10 PM

I personally think this is a very good question, and like most interesting question the answer is pretty much ďDepends.Ē

To me there are not many things that can ruin a game experience like a long, boring intro, or a long and boring tutorial; practically any dull chore that stands between the player and actually playing the game. Itís like the developer is so excited about this world he has created that he wants to tell you EVERYTHING about it in the first few minutes. The problem with this is that the player is not yet as invested in the fictional world as the developer is. In simple words the player doesnít care yet; he just wants to play a game. This problem is not unique to games; long boring intros can kill a book, a movie or a comic just as easily.

Mind you, I am not recommending you not to put a comic book intro in your game, as I am not against putting stories in games or even complex long stories in games. What I am recommending you is to think about what you are putting in it and how long it should be.

I think a good way to examine this is by contrasting a game that gets it right and a game that couldnít get it more wrong.

A few days ago I bought a game from the App store called Infinity Project 2. The game starts with a long intro about how some aliens conquered Earth and turned it into a radioactive cesspool and there is some time traveling involved. Then there is a ponderous tutorial that takes you over the minutia of playing the game. I got to a part where the game starts explaining you the differences between power armors. I turned off the game right there and I havenít opened it again. Maybe it is a good game, but Iíll never know because I seriously donít want to get through a graduate course in Infinity Project 2 just to get to play the darn thing.

Letís look at a different game now: Silent Hill for the PlayStation. Silent Hill starts with you driving a car with your daughter. There is an accident and your daughter disappears, now you are alone and unarmed in the middle of a mist covered ghost town. Thatís all you need to know to start playing.

Imagine Silent Hill made by the people who made Infinity Project 2. It would have started with a long intro explaining the history of the town and why it is haunted. Then it would have thrown you into a tutorial so you can learn the difference between the gun and the shotgun.

Here is the key difference: Silence Hill entices you to explore the story and the game mechanics while Infinity Project 2 shoves it all down your throat.

So what have we learned?

1 Ė That I talk too much.
2 Ė Show donít tell. Donít tell me the story, invite me to discover it.

So In short (too late, I know) put a comic intro, but only with what the player needs to know to start playing. Donít shove the backstory there, donít explain the minutia of the charactersí histories there. Just show the player where he stands, and then set him free.