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How Do You Finish Designing A Story For Your Video Games?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by LinkxPeach, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. LinkxPeach

    LinkxPeach Member

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    I’m used to write a story on paper and come up with unused characters and short stories without learning how to write a story first before actually writing a story for my video games.
    Now, I just write a story on paper and usually when I write some pages on paper and try to erase some writing mistakes on paper. It ruined the story writing on paper because of dirty erasing marks and visible erasure letters on paper. Sometimes, I’d get holes and wrinkles while writing a story on paper. This makes me wants to ball up some pages of story written on paper and start all over again.
    I’m using the computer now for writing a story for my game now. But, there’s programs like Microsoft Word that costs a lot of money per month/year whatever just to create documents on Microsoft Word and any other Microsoft programs. So, I’ve to used LibreOffice Word instead because it’s free.
    Also, I’m still at the beginning of writing a story for my game with a few characters. It just that when I create new areas in the game like towns/cities and routes. I have trouble creating a region/world map while developing a story for my game, creating more different types of characters, placing treasures on any areas as part of the region/world map, organizing the Low-level to High-level monsters/enemies from the Low-level areas to the high-level areas till the end of the game, and creating NPCs in towns/cities, routes, etc. Plus, the reason why I stopped developing a story on a document on the computer is because I don’t have my own computer in my bedroom. I have to used the computer in the computer room to develop a story on document. What should I do? How do I continued developing a story for my game on a document? How do I finish developing a story on document?
     
  2. pixeltroid

    pixeltroid Member

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    I just make up a story as I go along. IMO the story exists just to give a context to a game.

    Most of the time "story" sequences in indie games are just the a way for the developer to express his/her creativity. It can be fun to use the game to tell a story that you came up with. But it has to be done very well or not at all. Usually the stories I come across are either convoluted or very difficult to follow or hard to care about. So I always skip the cutscenes and dialogues.

    IMO, you shouldn't start with a story and then build your game around it as it would be difficult to implement everything you wrote about (unless you're great at coding and art). So it's much safer to make a game and see what you come up with and then develop a story around it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  3. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

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    Make your game, characters, and etc details that it uses, AND then create a story based on what you have. Story writing is a major hurdle for game developers who are not proficient in commanding the English language in their expressed ideas. I am assuming that the language being used is English, but in any language, you have that problem in expressing ideas in the form of a fictional story. Its easier said than done.
     
  4. curato

    curato Member

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    most standard RPG's have the same plot the protagonist is good there is some evil that must be stopped but first we must collect all the sparkly hoozits. each hooozit will have a short story which must be gone through for each one. Many times the characters don't overlap that much from place to place. The details vary but most RPG's follow that basic structure. Otherwise, most games the story is a basic trapping that doesn't have much to do with actually playing the game. If you were doing a visual novel type game I would probably make a flow chart of the story so I could map out actions to different events and then fill in dialog to go with those events etc.
     
    pixeltroid likes this.
  5. pixeltroid

    pixeltroid Member

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    lol. True.

    Another popular game "story" template involves a protagonist who has no idea where he is and how he got there. And then he spends the rest of the game trying to figure out what's going on.
     
  6. LinkxPeach

    LinkxPeach Member

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    Yeah, but I don’t have any experience, skills, and training when it comes to coding and art. I also don’t even have any programs I can used to learn coding, create animations, and graphics for creating art in game design.
     
  7. LinkxPeach

    LinkxPeach Member

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    What do you mean by ‘commanding the English language in their expressed ideas’?
     
  8. RefresherTowel

    RefresherTowel Member

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    I think they're saying that often when people don't have a good grasp of english (maybe not a native english speaker, maybe they just aren't good at expressing themselves through the written word) stories end up sounding bad. If you want to write an engrossing story, you really need to have the tools of language at your beck and call, otherwise it's too easy to fall into cliches or just stilted, awkward sounding expositions, or worse yet, grammatically bad and weird sounding language (which is very distracting to people who are reading the story/dialogue).
     
  9. curato

    curato Member

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    what do you mean? All your base are belong to us is a classic!
     
  10. MilesThatch

    MilesThatch Member

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    Script writing is the same regardless if it's a movie or a game. The only thing that changes is the medium. If you study screen-play (mythology, philosophy, history) then you will write good stories. Decades ago, Aristotle had analyzed hundreds of theater plays and weeded out about two dozen themes a story can be about by observing the audience during the plays. There's a book on it, but I forget what the name is. I'll let you know once I root around to find it. That's it, about two dozen or so themes. Everything else is a derivative of those.

    Also as an informational bulletin, we're working on an online tool for creating, polishing and finalizing stories. it's a set if several that allow you to approach the subject of script writing in a multitude of strategies. One of them asks you the sort of questions that force you to think in the right direction. It makes you stop concentrating on the surface, which is where a great many writers get without realizing it, and makes you dive into the analysis of what the real subject of your tale is. Once you do that, you realize that the question of "how to finish the script" was never even a valid question. If you want to keep updated on this tool you can follow my profile.
     
  11. Khao

    Khao Member

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    Making a game with a team of 4 people right now. It helps a lot just to talk to others. I'm making a... kind of a "sports" game (the one on my signature) and we want to have some lore behind each character to define their in-game personality better. To create a character, we first come up with their in-game gameplay abilities, just... forget about logics, what would be kind of fun to play?

    Once we have something set in stone and we start thinking about a theme. What do these abilities feel like? What kind of character would actually use these abilities? What goes through their mind when they do this? Do these abilities function in an unusual manner? Why?

    Different abilities can sometimes give a "hint" at what personality a certain character could have. If they move quickly around the stage with hard-to-excecute imputs, the character might be a talented show-off. If they're slow and precise and their dominant strategy is to stick in one place, they might be a calm, confident character with a lot of patience. If their abilities are easy to excecute, but really difficult to understand, the character is gonna be a super intelligent strategist. Gameplay can totally define character here.

    Of course, though, this is more of a way to define a character than to define a story, but the same type of logic can be extended to a full game and its lore. Just think about what your gameplay feels like. What story could justify it? Remember that the story should be there to enhance your gameplay (sometimes the other way around, depending on the type of game you're making!). If there's any kind of contradiction, the whole thing falls apart. If there's a story element that doesn't exist in gameplay it might just feel like a missed opportunity. If there's a gameplay mechanic that's completely detached from the story it might feel tacked on. The way gameplay interacts with your story is the most important thing to make sure your story is satisfying.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  12. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

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    Some people are proficient in Math ( I used to be this way until I got to Calculus which had too many formulas to remember ) and some people are proficient in English ( In my case the shoes switched from math to English, when I became better at writing expository essays, research papers, and etc. ). You end up finding that people who go to college, fall into one of two different types majors, the sciences OR something that is classed as art ( Business Marketing, Music Theory, Journalism, etc. ), nothing too heavy handed in math. Now I still try to relearn the math I forget, because programming and math go together like bread and butter. I know some algebra, some pre-calculus ( it was once called trigonometry ), and some fragments from statistics when I took those classes. Now writing stories uses English ( again we're assuming the English language ) which uses a different kind of thinking. If a person is not able to, or not used to taking a train of thought from their mind and describe it words for you and me to understand, it becomes a chore for them to write because they're not used to that thinking challenge. This is what I call the ability to command the English language because your mind commands the English language ( before you speak it out loud or write it ) in thought. What turned my English writing around from being terrible, is practice. That's how it works for everyone in this learning process. It takes practice with ( metaphorically speaking ) falling down on your face and getting up again. You make mistakes that you learn from all the time that you don't see, when you find them, as you do the editing. This includes writing stories for games. There is another problem which is NOT about spelling or grammar errors. I am talking about - does what your saying make sense to the person who is going to read it as the story follows on, in this case the player of your game. You don't want your story in a later chapter to contradict what you stated or demonstrated in a previous chapter.

    Brainstorming is the most important and time consuming involved processes that many people do before they write something, and return to when they fail because they have a writers block. Why do they have writers block? Its because they didn't think about the part they were going to come to in their brainstorming when they were planning out the story. Most of the time, when people write a story, the tend to develop one part of the story more than other parts of the story, that their mind was engrossed in. To continue, after brainstorming, you then create a outline that models where your story is going to go from the beginning of one chapter to the end of that chapter, and how it connects to the next chapter. Then you do the same thing for all the other chapters. Your outline does not look like your story, its a list of sequenced events and goals that your main character will follow through and accomplish to the end of a chapter. The same thing goes for all the other characters that are involved with your main character or are part of the story. The ability to compose fictional writing goes hand in hand with advanced forms game development where you need a solid story background which continues on as you progress in the game. Therefore, in the big picture of your game, the quality of your story and what it talks about also determines the quality of your game. That's what everyone is going to see or experience, when they play your game.

    You can have a game with great graphics, sounds, music, and GUI interface that is impressive, but if the intended story which the player depends on for that game is terrible, then the whole game is terrible no matter what. It all equates to no story, to no playable game, in this context. Whats the point of playing a game like that? Something like this problem would be caught by a beta-tester in the first place, if the original programmer or whoever designed it, let it slip past them ( due to inexperience probably ).
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  13. LinkxPeach

    LinkxPeach Member

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    What do you mean by ‘tools of language’? You mean English?
     
  14. LinkxPeach

    LinkxPeach Member

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    What do you mean by base?
     
  15. curato

    curato Member

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  16. LinkxPeach

    LinkxPeach Member

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    Okay, ty.
     
  17. LinkxPeach

    LinkxPeach Member

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  18. Niels

    Niels Member

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    That totally depends on the type of game you are making...
     
  19. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    There's a whole bunch of games that use gameplay mechanics as ways to either further or outright tell the story... Undertale gradually making the antagonist have beef with you the player rather than the character you're controlling, Hellblade: Setsuna's Sacrifice eventually making you realize you need to accept your fate and die, SuperHOT having you navigate an 80s computer system to further your immersion... and even more games that uses gameplay mechanics changes to express story themes in a way, like famous GM game Hotline Miami or Metal Gear Solid V. Writing the story in a separate document might help organizing it, but as long as it can stay as a separate document with no functional changes, you're doing it wrong.
     
  20. pixeltroid

    pixeltroid Member

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    true. but what I said earlier was addressed to OP, who says his coding and art skills are very limited. So its better that he focuses on making a short game that works. That's more fruitful than writing an epic story but being unable to implement it as a game.

    I understand that the story writing part is the most fun and exciting, as its done onlywith the imagination. One can do storywriting "work" lying on the couch. Unfortunately, an imagination alone wont make a game.
     
    Niels likes this.
  21. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    Good point. To quote Winnie The Pooh, "sometimes an idea that seems really idea-ish in your head doesn't seem like a good idea at all when it comes out"... even if you write a really good story, it's not gonna do you any good if you can't tell it in an interesting and engaging way. And in games, there's also a slew of issues with the interactive aspect... balance, pacing, guiding the player to where they're supposed to go next, make sure they pay attention to story details instead of skipping them, making sure there's no bugs...
     

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