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shay.yizhak
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« on: December 05, 2014, 07:22:59 AM »

Hi guys!

I'm usually a good enough of a writer, but when writing for games, I have to write in English, which is not my first language, so it turns out harder than expected.

At the moment we're working on a game which have 7 characters, each with his own back-story, which will be revealed to the player in 16 parts. Each part giving a bit more information about the character. Those parts are supposed to be short texts, read by the character himself. I'd appreciate it if you guys can have a look at the first part for the first character's story line, and give your comments / ideas / questions about it.

Just some background before you start reading: the game is a dark fantasy game, with very dark atmosphere. The character we're talking about here is a big burly warrior (almost like a barbarian).

Dirt. I always loved dirt.

Not the way you're thinking about.

I love its purity. Its innocence. Dirt never hurt anyone. Dirt can be trusted.

Dirt sticks to your hands after a long day of working in the sun. Every time. Giving a warm, fun feeling to your hands. And yet -
with just a bit of water - it washes off.

Dirt can be trusted.

Dirt in not human...

I miss my old life. I miss being a farmer. Sometimes I wake up late at night, cold and sweaty, and my hand itches. It itches to
hold a plough once again. Just once more. When that happens, I have to clench my fist, usually over my ax's handle. The ax is
so cold, it removes all though of dirt from my mind. The ax doesn't like dirt. Dirt hurts the ax. The ax only wants one thing: the ax
wants blood.

I usually wake up when that happens, shake the dreams away. There's job to be done, and I left that old life behind me. I used to
be a farmer, but no more. Even if my body hasn't accepted it yet - it's a fact.

I wake up, but I don't touch the ax anymore. The ax is the last thing I pick up before I start my day. Once I pick up that ax -
there's only one thing to do - I need to fulfill its demands.

And the ax only wants one thing.



Thanks a lot!
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Rarykos
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2014, 04:12:28 AM »

Hi guys!

I'm usually a good enough of a writer, but when writing for games, I have to write in English, which is not my first language, so it turns out harder than expected.

At the moment we're working on a game which have 7 characters, each with his own back-story, which will be revealed to the player in 16 parts. Each part giving a bit more information about the character. Those parts are supposed to be short texts, read by the character himself. I'd appreciate it if you guys can have a look at the first part for the first character's story line, and give your comments / ideas / questions about it.

Just some background before you start reading: the game is a dark fantasy game, with very dark atmosphere. The character we're talking about here is a big burly warrior (almost like a barbarian).

Dirt. I always loved dirt.

Not the way you're thinking about.

I love its purity. Its innocence. Dirt never hurt anyone. Dirt can be trusted.

Dirt sticks to your hands after a long day of working in the sun. Every time. Giving a warm, fun feeling to your hands. And yet -
with just a bit of water - it washes off.

Dirt can be trusted.

Dirt in not human...

I miss my old life. I miss being a farmer. Sometimes I wake up late at night, cold and sweaty, and my hand itches. It itches to
hold a plough once again. Just once more. When that happens, I have to clench my fist, usually over my ax's handle. The ax is
so cold, it removes all though of dirt from my mind. The ax doesn't like dirt. Dirt hurts the ax. The ax only wants one thing: the ax
wants blood.

I usually wake up when that happens, shake the dreams away. There's job to be done, and I left that old life behind me. I used to
be a farmer, but no more. Even if my body hasn't accepted it yet - it's a fact.

I wake up, but I don't touch the ax anymore. The ax is the last thing I pick up before I start my day. Once I pick up that ax -
there's only one thing to do - I need to fulfill its demands.

And the ax only wants one thing.



Thanks a lot!
Honestly, it was quite interesting!
For your writing troubles I recommend lemmasoft forums
The first half was fun to read, then there's a tone shift and suddenly someone else writes the second half with a lot of fluff, unlike the first half. But "a warm ,fun feeling" surprised me, cut the fun and the first half is done!
There are some misspellings but I guess you noticed them.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2014, 05:16:41 AM »

yeah i'd avoid the long paragraphs in the second half, try to break it up into shorter paragraphs if possible. in games, long paragraphs are generally disliked by players, who just click the skip button if they see one.

i'm not saying to have a short story, you can have a very long story broken up into small chunks, it's just that you *do* need to break it up into those chunks; what's acceptable paragraph length in a novel or a forum post doesn't often work in a game

a good way to think of it is think of a jrpg 'text box'. you can basically fit inside there something about the size of a tweet on twitter. try to break up longer bits of writing into 'tweets'. using twitter is actually pretty good practice in cutting down unnecessary stuff



ff7 has a very long story, but it doesn't use long paragraphs, it breaks it up into small bits, as in the above image
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Jordgubben
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2015, 03:16:06 AM »

What type of game is this? And how are you planning to tell every characters story? As a big up front dump or as small snippets on top of game play (Bastion, Thomas was Alone)?
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Tim White
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2015, 04:22:53 AM »

Hi Shay. I like the back story you've produced here - it has a poignant reflective quality, nice textual details, strong personifications, and a poetic use of refrain. Well done.

I've done a quick editing pass to try and tighten things up some more - I think most of the issues come from English not being your native language, though may I say that your English is very good (much better than my French!).

My edits are prefixed by my initials 'TW:' and in brackets I've offered comments for the edits.

Hope this is useful.

Tim
--

Dirt. I always loved dirt.

Not the way you're thinking about.

TW: Not in the way you might think...
(Is this what was meant instead? I'm assuming that the implication here is that the reader may have thought he liked getting himself dirty and muddy because he's a barbarian. But of course that is not why he likes dirt.)

I love its purity. Its innocence. Dirt never hurt anyone. Dirt can be trusted.

TW: (This is a nice personification of dirt as friendly, earthly, pure.)

Dirt sticks to your hands after a long day of working in the sun. Every time. Giving a warm, fun feeling to your hands. And yet - with just a bit of water - it washes off.

TW: Dirt sticks to your hands after a long day working in the sun. It's warm and comforting, as if the earth is holding your hands. And yet, with just a splash of water, it is gone.
(Removed the 'of' as not needed; removed 'Every time' as it is stating what is already known; edited 'warm, fun feeling' to be more in keeping with the tone, and to clarify the imagery - after all, how can hands have a 'fun feeling' - too abstract; replaced the dashes with commas so the water splash is not as subordinate - the image is important; changed 'bit' to 'splash' to evoke the senses.)

Dirt can be trusted.

TW: (Nice refrain.)

Dirt in not human...

TW: Dirt is not human...
(Typo)

I miss my old life. I miss being a farmer. Sometimes I wake up late at night, cold and sweaty, and my hand itches. It itches to hold a plough once again. Just once more. When that happens, I have to clench my fist, usually over my ax's handle. The ax is so cold, it removes all though of dirt from my mind. The ax doesn't like dirt. Dirt hurts the ax. The ax only wants one thing: the ax wants blood.

TW: (As the others said this could be broken up to maintain the pacing. Perhaps something like:)

TW: I miss my old life. I miss being a farmer. Sometimes I wake up late at night, cold and sweaty, and my hands itch terribly.
(Made 'hand' plural and added the adverb for effect)

TW: They itch to hold the plough once again. Just once more. When that happens I clench my fist and reach for my ax.
(Cascading effects of making 'hand' plural; 'a plough' became 'the plough' to be more specific; 'I clench my fist' is more direct; reaching for his ax seems more dramatic than hovering over its handle; also nice symmetry between the plough and ax - both wooden objects he has held)

TW: The haft is always cold - it removes all thoughts of warm dirt from my mind. The ax doesn't like dirt. Dirt disgusts the ax. The ax only wants one thing... Blood.
(Used 'haft' instead of 'ax' as an additional detail, and as an archaic-sounding word I think it works well here; replaced 'so' with 'always' as a stronger intensifier; replaced comma with dash for a longer pause; 'though' typo; added 'warm dirt' to emphasize the contrast with the cold ax; the image of dirt 'hurting' the ax could be stronger, as it makes the ax appear weak - replaced with 'disgusts', which gives a nice alliteration too; removed the second 'the ax wants' from before 'blood', as there seemed to be too many repetitions of 'ax'; used ellipsis instead of colon before 'blood' to make more dramatic)

I usually wake up when that happens, shake the dreams away. There's job to be done, and I left that old life behind me. I used to be a farmer, but no more. Even if my body hasn't accepted it yet - it's a fact.

TW: That's when I get out of bed. After all, there's work to do. I used to be a farmer, but no more. Even if my body hasn't accepted it yet...
(I thought he was awake already by this point? So I've changed it to him getting out of bed instead; tidied up the 'job to be done' section and made it more wearisome to suit his mood: 'After all...'; removed the part about leaving his old life behind him, as the next sentence tells us this; replaced 'it's a fact' with ellipsis, as is already known that it's a fact, so don't want to overstate - less is more here.)

I wake up, but I don't touch the ax anymore. The ax is the last thing I pick up before I start my day. Once I pick up that ax - there's only one thing to do - I need to fulfill its demands.

TW: I busy about my home, not even looking at the ax. But eventually I must collect it. Eventually I must fulfill its demands.
(Removed references to waking up again, and rather than directly saying he doesn't touch the ax, I thought it more effective to show him avoiding it, putting off picking it up; removed 'only one thing to do' to make shorter and punchier, and added 'eventually' repetition to emphasize his avoidance; changed 'need to' to 'must' as more direct and powerful)

And the ax only wants one thing.

TW: And the ax wants only one thing.
(Subtle word order swap - 'wants' and 'only' - more direct and powerful this way; nice refrain again.)
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