You can find languages everywhere. Some, like the hieroglyphics of Egypt and Latin, are no longer used as a spoken language. But we do still study them because they are a part of our human culture. Along with the languages of humans comes mythology, art, stories, leaders, haters, and the list goes on.
Basically, language is important. It is how you are able to communicate with another human. So, when creating games that are part of another universe or world, it would make sense that the other universe or world would have a language, right?
You are correct, my friend.
Creating a New Language is Important for Your Game
Language is important for your game, for the same reasons it is important for humanity. Language shows that another culture or set of beings have become as evolved, or more evolved than us. And in your game’s universe, we have come across these beings.
Having the language for your new beings helps the player to feel like he or she is a part of the game, rather than just playing it. The player will go through all of the language barriers, possibly trying to draw pictures to ask for toast or find a bathroom.
A language will also help to show the player what type of culture he or she is encountering. For instance, if you were in a rain forest jungle type place, you expect something similar to what the Mayans used for their language. Or, if you were in a more political, city type place, you might expect something similar to the Roman, English, or European languages.
How Do You Make a Language?
That is an excellent question and I will show you some fun ways to make a language! First, you will need to focus on what type of culture you will be creating your alphabet for.
Is your culture focused on arts and grace or order, strength, and law? Is your culture aggressive or passive? What kind of feeling should your player get when he or she interacts with your culture?
A good example of some cultures with order, strength, and the law would be Roman, English, many parts of Europe, Canada, and America. Some cultures that have grace and arts would be Indian, Chinese, and Japanese. Some cultures that are more aggressive would be the Mayans and Egyptians.
Now, all of these cultures have many characteristics of the other cultures. Like the Egyptians, while aggressive and dominating, also had beautiful works of art, celebrating their gods and demigods. And, the Romans went through stages of a more barbaric nature in the beginning, to sophistication with diplomacy towards the end, along with a few changes in religion.
As you can see, cultures are very complex. So, you will need to decide on characteristics that make up your new culture.
Next is Your Alphabet
What kind of community do your game characters have? Do they still use stones and sticks, or is the civilization advanced?
These questions will help you to discover what your alphabet symbols will look like. Cave people used pictures with no structure for phrases or sentences, just pictures of what they saw. Egyptians and Mayans used images as symbols to tell a story and keep records. And as civilizations became more advanced, symbols became structured to be a language used throughout an entire country, unifying a community of people.
However you decide to make your custom alphabet, remember to allow it to make sense to the game, and the characters in the game.
Tell Us About Your Alphabet
Tell me, what are some of your favorite cultures and characteristics? Eimear Studios would love to hear from you in the comments below!