Take my game from the table top to the screen
January 27, 2010 10:00 AM   Subscribe

I'm designing my own tabletop role playing game. How difficult would it be to turn this into a video game?

The system I came up for the tabletop RPG that I'm building can best be described as somewhere between White Wolf games and Fallout. I feel it would translate fairly well into a turn based tactical RPG video game. Like a Final Fantasy Tactics or a Fire Emblem type set up.

How hard would it be to learn to make a rudimentary video game? I'm not talking anything pretty or complicated at first, just a proof of concept game where you can move your guys around on a grid and upgrade their stats.

What would be the best thing to make this in? I'm a web developer so I know a little flash, but nothing too relevant. Would flash be a good choice, or is it going out of style? Are there game design frame works out there that are any good?

I recognize that learning the required skills for this will be a huge challenge, but you guys tell me if it is something surmountable in my limited free time or if I should stick to the table top.
posted by cirrostratus to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
If you're familiar with Flash, you might look into Unity.
posted by pazazygeek at 10:29 AM on January 27, 2010

It really depends on how dedicated you are. If you've already figured out the basic game mechanics it sounds like you're serious about it. If you have the stats and math hammered down, you're a good portion of the way toward turning it into software. And you already know some Flash? You might not have so far to travel.

I don't think you're going to have much success making it an MMO but you might be able to build local multiplayer without huge headaches. Single-player is probably your easiest option of all, though coding decent AI won't be a walk in the park. Especially if your game allows for a broad range of tactics and strategies.

Your other challenges will include artwork and sound design if you want anything marketable. And you're going to spend hours just studying how to get around simple programming obstacles if you're not up to speed on the nuances of serious Flash development. I don't know what you mean by "limited free time," exactly. It will be hard. But not insurmountable if you're truly committed.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:30 AM on January 27, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, I do have all the character stats and probabilties figured out as well as a pretty elaborate character advancement system. So the game exists, programming it is the challenge.

I'm thinking either single player or, if coding ai is too hard then just hot seat multiplayer at first.

I've got some chops at art, so I'm not too worried about that aspect, but that is a down the road consideration.

If you have any interest in seeing what I've got for the game's rules hit upkrisbrown.netii.net/crisis/
posted by cirrostratus at 11:54 AM on January 27, 2010

If you're comfortable working with C#, you might have a look at this role playing game starter kit. There is a little bit of additional information about it in this blog post.
posted by trunk muffins at 12:51 PM on January 27, 2010

I can't give you any links, but definitely remember seeing software that allows you to setup different table top games with built in multiplayer, etc.. That would reduce a ton of headaches and be relatively easy.

Hopefully someone on here knows what I'm talking about. If not I will try and dig it up.
posted by meta87 at 2:21 PM on January 27, 2010

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