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Going to post your story? Read this first

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#1 boolean   Members   -  Reputation: 1686

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 01:46 AM

One of the biggest parts of writing a game is the story itself. It’s what captures the players interest and keeps them playing until the shocking finale. Its also one of the few parts of game design that requires no programming or technical knowledge, meaning anyone with a pen can come up with a good game story. And here in lies the problem: Everyone has a game story that they think will be the next big thing. Because this is usually one of the first steps people take when creating a game, they soon want feedback from people like those on Gamedev. But before you post your story, there are certain guidelines that you should be aware of if you want to get a sufficient amount of feedback. This is because the Game writing forum is flooded with half made stories that will never be turned into a game, and you want to make sure that your post is not one of those. Following the guidelines below will help you with this. If you don’t want to read the entire post, just read the parts in bold

++Stage 1. Before you post++

1. Be aware of the difference between game design and game writing when making your post. A lot of the posts that are made in the game writing forum are actually about game design rather than story writing. Make sure this doesn’t happen! Consider about the post you are going to write, and think if the word ‘gameplay’ come up at any point. If it does, you are going off topic. 2. Think about one section of your story you are wanting feedback on in particular, and just focus on that part for now. Many people will post huge 50 page posts that no one will have time to read. Don’t just copy and paste your entire ‘My_Story.doc’ file. You will get a much better response if you trim down your story to include only the integral parts needed for that question. Think of it this way, if it wasn’t your post, would you read through the entire thing? 3. Remember: This forum is flooded with people who will never complete their story or game project. If members suspect you are one of these people, they will probably not spend time giving you feedback. 4. Dont be afraid to search for similar story lines in past posts. You may be surprised to see that a few other people have had a similar idea to yours, so don’t be afraid to search. This is especially true if your setting or characters a semi-generic (ie. Dragons, wizard etc).

++Stage 2: The post itself++

1. Take your time to write a good post. No one will take you seriously if you post if it consist of ‘OMG! I AM SO l33T! My idea is awesome and perfect and you will all play it!!!!1. Try to act as mature as possible, and spend a good amount of time writing it. After you have written it, reread it, and then reread it again. Don’t rush, it shows through your writing, and just makes you look unprofessional. 2. Be careful what the title of your post is. I know you are trying to attract as many people to read your post as possible, but calling it ‘WHOAH! BEST STORY EVER! READ ME MORON!!’ will give people the wrong mindset about you (ie. A 12yr old immature kid). Just say something simple like ‘Supernatural Characters: Feedback appreciated’. 3. If also possible, include any experience you have had, and links to past stories or games you may of written. This will bolster people belief that their help isn’t going to go to waste, and they will be more inclined to give you more feedback. 5. Use formatting to make large posts easy to read. Nothing is more of a turnoff when reading large posts than one huge paragraph with no breaks or formatting. Get used to splitting your post into paragraphs, use the Bold or Header tags to make things easier to read. Most members are already pressed for time as it is, and you don’t want them to go to your post only to click the back button right after simply because it so hard to read.

++Stage 3: After you post++

1. If people don’t respond favourably to your idea, for heavens sake, don’t flame them for not liking it. Stay as mature as possible, and if they say ‘Bah, supernaturual characters suck big time’, simply say ‘what part about supernatural characters don’t you like?’ Remember, if you seriously want feedback, you’ll do everything possible to keep your post on track, and wont take anything personally. If someone really is being an ass, the mods will do something about it; that’s what they are there for. 2. If your post fails to get replies, don’t post a slightly amended version 2 days later. This applies to all of Gamedev really, but if you’ve changed the name of one character, don’t post the entire thing again. Tricking people into reading the same post over and over again isn’t going to make you or your post popular.

++Other general tips++

1. Never post the same post in more that one forum 2. Don’t post in the first hour you join up with Gamedev. Read some posts from SunandShadow, TechnoGoth, or other respected members and take note how they write. 3. Don’t use l33t speak. Ever. 4. If your story is a fan-fiction idea, you will probably get little to zero feedback. There are more than enough Dragonball-Z plots floating around as it is. 4. The following is a perfect example of good post writing. Granted it isn’t about a story directly, but it still highlights all of the points above: Technogoth: Questionable subject matter (that’s the name of the post, not what I think of it [grin] Here is another example the ideal post: SunandShadow: a story is when somebody wants something and... I am looking for feedback to help make this a better guide, so if you have suggestions on what to change, please let me know. Note: You may notice that this is in some ways similar to the post ‘Going to post your game idea? Read this first’ in the game design forum. This is because many of the points that were put across in that guide are applicable here. Its not because im lazy. No, really! [Edited by - boolean on October 10, 2004 5:16:46 PM]

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#2 Gametaku   Members   -  Reputation: 158

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 06:13 AM

Quote:

2. Think about one section of your story you are wanting feedback on in particular, and just focus on that part for now.
Many people will post huge 50 page posts that no one will have time to read. Don’t just copy and paste your entire ‘My_Story.doc’ file. You will get a much better response if you space it out over a few posts which are a few days apart. Also, try to make sure that you are being specific on what section of the game you want advice on, and you will be much better off. For example, if you had an idea for an amazing RPG story, put the characters in one post, then the setting in another (a few days later), then the start of story in another. Think of it this way, if it wasn’t your post, would you read through the entire thing?


Spliting a story apeart might be a horrible idea in some cases as the information needed in order to respond to what the topic would be spread out. For example the player might have to obtain a specific weapon to defeat their foe. They are also the only one that can use this weapon. The question the orginal poster might be asking is for what reason should the player be the only one to be able to use the weapon. The information needed to respond to that question might include

Setting -gives limits on what is possible. An advanced civilizatoin might not have magic, and having a charater having a specific gene would make no sence in Medevil Europe.

The Character itself- Does the character have a third arm, or other unusality. What was his past like.

The story- How did they aquire the weapon, do they need anything else to use the weapon.

In other words what I'm saying is the poster needs to give all the information nessecery, but without giving extra information ot being to detailed. Brief summeries can give a good enough idea to be able to respond to something, and if asked they can always explain further.

#3 Chokki   Members   -  Reputation: 610

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 08:29 AM

Thanks, Boolean!

I'd also like to highlight a couple other rules of thumb before posting...

MMORPG?
As far as I can tell from reading about online game projects, and from seeing actual online games, I feel that story is kept to a minimal. Not to blast anyone that is coming out with a BMMORPGSTWCTW Breakthrough Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game Story That Will Change The World ™ but I've never seen it done. As far as that genre goes, I don't even think it needs to be done.

Dragons and Dwarves
If you are posting a game scenario that could generally be described as a sterotypical RPG i.e. medieval europe with dragons and magic and swords, bear in mind that you probably won't receive the most quality of feedback. If it's something that's been done before, it would be common courtesy to let us know ahead of time.

On the other hand beware trying to break from the stereotype by just adding some sort of gimmick. For example, robot dragons and bazookas might separate your RPG from the average run of the mill ones, but comes off so shoddy that it sacrifices anything your game would have had as far as story anyways.

Dragon Ball Z and Mickey Mouse
Bear in mind that if your story surrounds characters, settings, or stories from pre-made universes (from say final fantasy or dbz) you willingly suffer the wrath from anyone that doesn't like those tv shows or games. Your idea will be most respected when it is clearly your idea and yours alone.

Well, that said, I hope you will all benefit from reading this. best of luck and happy programming,
~Chokki

#4 Bulldogracing   Members   -  Reputation: 120

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 09:35 PM

Thank you for the tips of writing posts. Case in mind lol I havent +written any due to this problem. I have sort of helped a few people here in the forum. If not then thats cool to.

Also since I have created new projects etc etc etc wada wada wada I will wait for the right moment on how to word my post and keep reading from other people's post and learn more then just throwing out another ridiculous post and get flamed from it.

Patience is all I need to start getting a team going until Ihave read all of my answers on the forum first and then start writing a new post or reply or what have ya.

Thanks once again for the tips.

#5 boolean   Members   -  Reputation: 1686

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 02:41 AM

Quote:
Original post by gamegod3001

Spliting a story apart might be a horrible idea in some cases as the information needed in order to respond to what the topic would be spread out... (snip)


mmm, you do have a point. I have reworded the guide a bit. Let me know if you think its better or worse.



Quote:
Original post by Chokki
...Ideas for guide....


Thanks Chokki. They are some good points. Ive updated the guide with pointers which touch on what you said, but I have made sure that it dosnt interfere with your post, so you still get credit for your ideas.

Cheers.

#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4143

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 03:27 PM

A lot of good advice here so far! ^_^ Titles that actually communicate what your post is about, formatting of long posts, research into past threads, and checking your idea for originality are all things that make me personally much more likely to respond to your post.

I'll add some of my own observations -
Posters are more likely to respond to 'survey', 'what's your favorite?', and 'how would you do it?' types of posts, especially if they are gramatically correct and relatively short. You will get a lot better responses to two short posts than one long post. (My roommate teases me that I must hold the record for the longest post on gamedev. ;) )

It's a good idea to explain any technical terms you are using because the population of this forum is very mixed, some posters are still in high school while others are post university and a few have even been published.

Don't just post a story - explain to us why you wrote that particular story, what you want it to accomplish, what specific aspects of it you want help with, and what type of feedback would help you.

#7 Chokki   Members   -  Reputation: 610

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 04:29 PM

yay, thanks to the mod that made this sticky.

[Edited by - Chokki on October 7, 2004 8:29:30 PM]

#8 Furbinator   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 09:40 AM

Thanks, and if you're looking for the story to go somewhere and you're looking for help, allways use good gramma not any of this 7O74LY l33t omg wtf shit. And that's another thing, don't swear at people.

#9 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 09:48 AM

Even the bold was too much to read.

#10 Oluseyi   Staff Emeritus   -  Reputation: 1670

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 11:47 AM

Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Posters are more likely to respond to 'survey', 'what's your favorite?', and 'how would you do it?' types of posts, especially if they are gramatically correct and relatively short.

Be aware, though, that the feedback might not actually be valuable, or may you a better writer/improve your story. The problem with the survey mentality is that it suggests a lack of focus on your part - a lack of a definite story objective and passion for your created world. It's like the team that asks "What is your favorite game genre?" in order to decide what it will make - that game is virtually guaranteed to be a disaster.

In short, narrow the focus of your survey. Give the respondents options within a limited range such that the feedback is meaningful and enhances your objective of writing a quality story.


/me returns to lurking.

#11 Cattrain   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 04:33 PM

Also, if you want to be taken seriousley then do post as "Anonymous Poster". It makes you look like you have something to hide.

#12 Ghost X01   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:15 PM

I think these are all great points. But in the end whatever works best for you go with it! Not to sound like a jerk, these are great guidelines for structured writing but if something else works for you, then do it that way. There is never a right or wrong way to do something. I just thought I should give some other point of views. Good Luck with future writing everyone!
~Ghost X01

#13 ATLASValnor   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 06:57 AM

I have to say something, I can't believe that someone could say that MMORPG's don't need to be redone. When I feel they truely do. I'm a design and writer, I can say that I may have to best concept,design, story that has been thought up. I know that people won't believe me when I say that, I'm not trying to be cocky but I'm really confident in this game (And it will be completed) My team is small but we have alot of passion for this game and I know if most people were aware of our creation, they would be on board. They game is complete in the sense of story and design. We went as far as designing the controls both keyboard and controller. If you would like check it out reply to me and set everyone up. Reply even if you just want to prove me wrong, i want to hear what everyone has to say.

#14 Glass2099   Members   -  Reputation: 157

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:51 PM

What can I do to improve this thread and post (http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=535363)? Comments on my game idea would be appreciated without pier! Thanks!

#15 Drew_Benton   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1712

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:41 PM

Quote:
Original post by Glass2099
What can I do to improve this thread and post (http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=535363)? Comments on my game idea would be appreciated without pier! Thanks!


Using more paragraphs would certainly help. I'm on a large monitor and it looks like a wall of text to me so I can't imagine how intimated others on smaller resolutions might look. For a post that long, the first reaction for most people is going to be 'yawn, another thread of plain text'. You can take some time to add in some colors, fonts, better separation, maybe some graphics, don't overdo it but it's hard for anyone to simply read thread after thread of text with no visual stimulus.

The next suggestion I would have for you is to have your sales pitch paragraph at the top where someone can read it, get the gist of your entire idea, and decide if they really want to read it all or not. Readers who are faced with the option of read the entire thread or not might likely go with the latter as the threads are a dime a dozen around here.

Furthermore, you need to be more specific about what you are really after. Your thread title suggests people to reply to what type of game you would like to make, but the thread contents are about your ideas. The two ideas are quite a bit disjoint and you need to rename your thread to be more relevant to focusing on your ideas. I don't think you bothered to write all that simply to post your ideas and not get feedback on it.

So let me say that again, what you write in your post does not seem in line with your intentions, there is too much going on and you need to focus on one or the other. I read all that and my first reaction is "Ok, and?" since there is no cohesive direction your post takes.

That's just my take on the post, good luck with your ideas! [smile]

#16 HarmanBOSS   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:34 AM

İ want to send my scenario about car games. İ want to send some of developers in this site. İ wondering his/her ideas about my scenario. İs this possible?

#17 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4143

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:43 PM

İ want to send my scenario about car games. İ want to send some of developers in this site. İ wondering his/her ideas about my scenario. İs this possible?

The Game Design forum is the right place to post a design for a game. This Writing forum is for game stories. You are welcome to post your scenario in the Game Design Forum if you want suggestions on the design, or here in the Writing forum if you want suggestions on the story. But don't try to email or PM your idea to individual forum members unless they say it is ok.
I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.





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