Play God, be God (even if only electronically)
Part of the appeal of video games is the visual appeal that splashes across the TV screen. But even addictive images are only half of the equation. The remaining half is the magic given to our eyes when this image comes to life. Player controlled animation is all it takes to escape to a different time and place, a time and place that virtual reality offers you.
As you can imagine, virtual reality is a hypothetical three-dimensional visual world created by a computer. Players can enter and move around this world and interact with objects as if they were inside it.1 Some of the games already on the market give a fairly clear idea of what virtual reality is and can do. Video games like Zelda, Halo or Harry Potter allow players to enter an environment and interact with objects, but they do not allow the player to create an environment and that is what virtual worlds are.
Without an iota of programming experience, anyone can create a virtual world and have fun doing it. All you need is an idea.
To begin with, we recommend that you build a plan that maps your idea of the perfect world, the craziest world, or the strangest world you can imagine. Some virtual world software will give you some sort of blueprint (an “initial” world) that will allow you to make additions and eventually build a world you’ve always dreamed of. A good example of the use of models is found in Maxis’ SimCity or SimTown games. Both games provide pre-designed environments that offer plenty of space and opportunities to mold them into the shape you like.
Of course, you can always start from scratch. The only problem with starting from scratch is that it takes more time and knowledge to add some of the functionality provided by virtual worlds. Either way (from scratch or from a model), most users build a world by adding objects and scenarios and even removing some until the perfect balance is achieved.
A good place to find examples of what you could build in virtual world games is online. Each virtual world program available offers sample environments that players can download and install on their system. Some manufacturers of these games also organize contests and reward winners with free updates. Other good places to find ideas are fiction books: -historic, -fantasy, -futuristic, whatever. Sci-fi movies are also a good resource for ideas.
You just have to understand that virtual games take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was its virtual world. There is no rush and this is a relaxing hobby. Take your time and have fun. Don’t worry about not knowing how to build an object or draw a map; You can learn how to do this kind of thing in due course. Your goal is to create a world of fun and it won’t help you if you’re always getting frustrated.
When ready, you can add characters with their stories, habits, strengths and weaknesses. You can also give them goals or small tasks to do while playing. Giving your characters goals and tasks will help give the game a storyline.
To get started, search for rapid application development (RAD) tools. RAD tools will help you put together a virtual reality game in no time and with little difficulty.