IBM developerWorks: Using SDL, Part 3: Graphic design

Sam Lantinga and Lauren MacDonell are now developing the
story and graphic design of “Pirates Ho!” — a swashbuckling,
role-playing game for Linux that they are creating from scratch. In
this installment of their diary, the authors describe the story
development process and their sources of inspiration.
also explain in detail how they design the images used in the

“The programming technology posed one technical issue. We can’t
set up scenarios for our players that our game engine won’t
support. For example, we can’t write large-scale sea battles
directly into the game because the tactical combat system we’re
developing can only handle realistic and detailed combat between a
few ships at a time. It would therefore not be advisable to develop
plotlines involving large-scale political conflicts and other
global events. Fortunately, focusing on individual character
interaction and small-scale combat still leaves more than enough
material for a great story.”

“The development of our story was also a technical process in
the sense that we systematically and deliberately chose the
elements we used. Instead of just including any old thing that
struck us as interesting or funny, we tried to create the right mix
of elements to encourage character development and interaction, to
keep the pace of the game moving, and to keep players interested in
what’s going to happen next. We tried to create story lines that
allow players ample opportunity to interact with the game
environment and that make it easy for them to develop and improve
their characters.”


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