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TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhallForum IssuesArchived subforums (read only)CreativeWritingHow do you write down a game story?
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Yannic
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« on: December 09, 2016, 04:42:07 PM »

Hey there,

Looking around the writing forum I see lots of interesting discussions on various writing topics, from naming characters to building worlds. But one thing I've been unable to find, and it's something I've wondered for quite some time now:

How do you write down a game story?

I know the format for books. I know the format for screenplays. I have no idea what the format for games is.

Should I just write it like a book, with different missions being different chapters? How then do you incorporate gameplay? What happens when you need dialogue that only triggers when certain events happen? How do you write about the history of your world?

I'd love to hear your guys thoughts on this, it seems like an interesting discussion to have.
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JWK5
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2016, 08:12:16 AM »

If it is for other people to see (as in, you are the writer and other people handle the game design, graphics, etc.) then write it out in a manner that you think is easiest for others to understand. Sometimes an established method like a screenplay format (etc.) will work just fine but if you've got some flexibility to work with and a good connection with your other teammates you can work with other methods (for example, storyboards or comic pages if you've got some drawing ability). The most important aspect is not how you go about it, but whether or not your team can actually decipher it and put your story to use properly.

On the other hand, if it is just for you to see (as in you are making a game on your own) just write it out in a manner that suits you personally. Even if later down the line you want to share the story bits with others so they can see how you operate it would be a lot more interesting to see the methods that you are actually comfortable with and that demonstrate how you express yourself.

Either way, no matter who the intended target is make sure you're using a method they can understand.
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2016, 04:34:11 AM »

I took some free courses at Coursera:

https://www.coursera.org/learn/game-character-design
https://www.coursera.org/learn/video-game-world
https://www.coursera.org/learn/video-game-story

They were really helpful. And writing a good story motivates you to keep working on a game too. But i must admit it's hard to outline a story sometimes and not fall into a cliche of consumed books/movies/games.

All in all:

Outline

Intro
Buildup
Resolution

Add a few plot twists and interesting dialogues and you're good to go. Make sure it's from your heart and make yourself comfy with the characters and the story, don't think "oh, will they like this".
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Jordgubben
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2017, 06:36:42 AM »

Sorry for bumping this old thread, but this topic really interest me.  Beg

As long as a subsection of narrative is linear (a chapter, a scene, a single line of dialogue) then traditional mediums (a word document or what not) should do fine.

For interactive sections I can only think of two ways:
Twine and index cards connected by string.

@Yannic: How did you actually end up solving this problem?
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DyingSilence
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2017, 03:04:25 PM »

I usually write down only the most important aspects of the story, and the rest remains fluid in my head. That's not what i reccomend.

If you have a really branchy story to manage, try Twine. This isn't the tool's purpose at all, but it's handling of branching is excellent, it's easy, free to use, and you can show the flow of the story to somebody right away whenever you want.
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tropical8878
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2017, 05:33:41 PM »

I try to make the npc's in my game world tell its history and lore. That and books and such.
Like, if there is a place around a town or village, and it has history, (a famous hero is from there,
ancient civilization ruins, etc), then I let the towns folk around there tell the player about it.
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