Writing a script for a video game
There are two components to writing a script for a video game.There is a Flowchart that lays out the decision making of the game and shows the various logical paths the user can take and there is the prose script that describes what happens.
Let me show you a small example of each. I have written the script for a video game called "The Book of the Dead"..
Writing the Flowchart
Here is an example of the flowchart that lays out the decision making for part of the first chapter:
Let's take a closer look at the flowchart:
The flowchart helps the designer understand what happens in the game and what decisions need to be made. See the box in the upper left? "Click on Books Nadia carries"
A Message is displayed "Uncatalogued Books"
The next action available is "Click on Card Catalogue" From here several more options are available.
There is a standard for making flow charts complete with rules for decision making and different kinds of boxes for the different kinds of information. You can just make up your own flow chart. But if you want to learn more there are some great books on the subject of flowcharting.
Writing the script
The script for a video game is very similar to that of a movie. You describe the scenes, plan the dialogue, describe the mood and set the background music. Here is an example of the script from the video game "The Book of the Dead.".Go to sample page for script
There are three main points to the written script.
1. Describe the environment; what does everything look like -and what does it feel like?
"Opening Scene: Aerial long shot,
2. What is the accompanying material? Is there music? Sound effects?
"Soft background music starts at the moment we see Nadia. ("Chopin's Piano Concerto #2")"
"Writers note: We will refer
to Chopin's Piano Concerto #2 as Nadia's theme."
3. What are the things that are going to happen? What decisions will be made? What rooms or areas are the decisions tied to?
"This chapter allows the player to get familiar with the library and how the game operates.Goal to completing Chapter: Shelf the uncatalogued books in the Tower Room
are five important rooms in this chapter:
Important Items in this chapter:
Video Game Writing Resources
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Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing This book by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Game Writing Special Interest Group focuses on various aspects of working as a professional game writer, including how to break in to game writing, writing manuals, narrative design, writing in a team, working as a freelancer, working with new intellectual property, and more. It includes exercises and writing samples; additional writing samples are available from the book's website.
Writing for Video Games - Video games are a lucrative market for scriptwriters, but writing for video games is complex and very different from traditional media such as television or film. This practical guide shows how you can adapt your writing skills to this exciting medium. Written by an award-winning games writer, the book provides a realistic picture of how companies work, how the writer fits into the development process, and the skills required: storytelling; developing interactive narrative, characters, and viewpoints; dialogue comedy; and professional practice.
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There are other books about creating video games out there. Sure, they cover the basics. But The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design goes way beyond the basics. The authors, top game designers, focus on creating games that are an involving, emotional experience for the gamer. Topics include integrating story into the game, writing the game script, putting together the game bible, creating the design document, and working on original intellectual property versus working with licenses. Finally, there's complete information on how to present a visionary new idea to developers and publishers. Got game? Get The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design.
Writing for Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG This book delivers practical advice from seasoned veterans on the special challenges of writing for first-person shooter games (FPS), role-playing games (RPG), and everything in between, including massively multiplayer online games, real-time strategy games, sports games, horror games, serious games, casual games, handheld games, and more.
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