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The definitive guide to game writing inspiration

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#41 stimarco   Members   -  Reputation: 1071

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 12:40 PM

Quote:
Original post by paul8585
Don't like Dickens characters? I guess you can lead a man to knowledge, but you can't make him think.

Above is a joke in good spirit, exercise is close, but exercises prepare for, this is a way to do.

I read on another post you were looking for a writer, you, who does not like Dickens characters, in charge of writers, say it aint so.


To be fair, classic literature can be unrewarding if not read in context. I was going to put in a one-line teaser for my book-in-progress, but that would be unfair, so...

I was lucky enough to be born and raised in London and the nearby county of Kent, so I'm well aware of the historical contexts behind Dickens' writing. (Incidentally, Dickens primarily wrote serials for magazines that were only later collected in novel format. He would actually modify future chapters according to the reception of his earlier instalments; interactivity in his favoured medium was not yet dead!)

Shakespeare is another example of context making a huge difference to understanding his works.

Shakespeare's writing can be bloody hard to follow at times because he wrote at a time when the very language itself was in flux. Worst of all, however, is the way teachers tend to approach him as a playwright first and foremost, assuming that plays were performed under a proscenium arch. This does Shakespeare a massive disservice: he was an *actor* before he became a writer, and he was acting for much of his life. If you haven't seen the Globe Theatre, a replica of Shakespeare's most famous theatre, it's incredibly difficult to see just how interactive the acting process was at the time. There was no curtain. No proscenium arch. Few sets. It was surprisingly close to improvisation. Some copies of Shakespeare's plays mistakenly included dialogue that was clearly ad-libbed between actors and the audience.

We see linearity in Story today as axiomatic, but this was not the case until very recently. Oral storytellers frequently adapted their stories to their audiences. Harpists (in pre-invasion Ireland) taught through song and story, spreading news and gossip across the land -- the original gossip columnists! Even early theatre was closer to pantomime in its level of audience participation than to today's formal staged plays. Shakespeare would probably be stunned to see just how much reverence we put in his words. Heaven forfend that someone changeth a single jot or tittle of his plays!

It was not until printing presses, radio and finally movies and TV that an author's written word became entombed in amber forever by modern media. The computer has merely restored the interactivity our ancestors already enjoyed, but with the potential to take it so much further.

*

If Sunandshadow doesn't like Dickens or Shakespeare, this is no reason to insult her writing abilities. One does not need to have read widely in the fiction genres in order to be able to write well enough to make a living at it. Fiction is about the *people*, not just the words on the page. You can pick up characterisation and plotting pointers from TV, film and radio, not just books.




Sean Timarco Baggaley (Est. 1971.)Warning: May contain bollocks.

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#42 paul8585   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 01:21 PM

Dickens wrote in periodical format because he married a newspapermans daughter, good for the family busines, periodicals. He was as well a man of the stage, quite, and as for yourself being English, sounds like a personal problem, get specific, what exactly is this context you speak of, in this context.
Shadow did nothing to warrant my wrath, and no malice was directed twords her, I was joking, but you, well, English humor, sometimes flounders in translation, and when I insult someone, they know it, that is whole point.

Sorry shadow if you feel, felt, slighted, challenge of convictions leads to truth, I know, I know nothing, except what I think I know. If I engage you, I respect you, even in disagreement, and I can be, ha, can be, I am a smart ass.

#43 stimarco   Members   -  Reputation: 1071

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 01:32 PM

Quote:
Original post by paul8585
Dickens wrote in periodical format because he married a newspapermans daughter, good for the family busines, periodicals. He was as well a man of the stage, quite, and as for yourself being English, sounds like a personal problem, get specific, what exactly is this context you speask of, in this, context.
Shadow did nothing to warrant my wrath, and no malice was directed twords her, I was joking, but you, well, English humor, sometimes flounders in translation, and when I insult someone, they know it, that is whole point.


Two countries separated by an upper middle class* language.

--
Sean Timarco Baggaley
Warning: May contain bollocks


* (The language married into some money recently. The ungrateful little strumpet is currently looking for a new home in either Hertford, Hereford or Hampshire.)

#44 paul8585   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 01:37 PM

Seriously, what exactly do you mean, by context, in this context?

#45 paul8585   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 02:24 PM

Stimarco or "Artful dodger"?




Classic Dickens charac... aww, what's the point.

See joke, laugh joke, good joke, down joke, down!

#46 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4918

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 02:28 PM

Thank you Stimarco, for the defense and clarification that I am a woman. :) I do actually like Shakespeare's comedies and sonnets. I never really had a problem with the archaic language, although like Chaucer, it certainly gets funnier when someone explains the figures of speech and cultural context.

Paul, to further clarify, I happen to have a BA in English, and I have for various classes been required to read 6 different works by Dickens. I had one English professor who was practically in love with the man. :D But I just never really connected with Dickens' characters or the moral mindset of his stories, which start out in a gritty/grungy way but somehow the characters are immune to life's gray areas and end up not having changed in any realistic way in reaction to their experiences. I like fairytales, and I like the gritty social examination of something like Lord of the Flies, but Dickens is like Lord of the Flies does Mother Goose, which is quite jarring to me.


*Where Hurricanes Hardly Hever Happen? ;)

#47 paul8585   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 03:53 PM

Maybe your professor was, ah, maybe correct. I have papers as well shadow, and they for the most part would do just as well layed out on the floor as on a wall behind glass.
Maybe you could explain the whole context thing stimarco is talkin' bout'?

You do realize we are discussing a writer who is by many experts to be maybe the best, the best, as well as someone who's work has moved me personally, on a deep level, his skill and craftsmanship has gotten me. So when anyone discusses a top of there field type artist, you have to say more than, you don't like it? What specifically? Be specific, what is this context? Why does one writer dislike another writer, a true champion in the field, a cornerstone, to dismiss his lifes work as utterly without any method or merit. There has to be something to his process worthy of a second look, even if you don't see it the first few times around, and certainly if so many claim it is there, don't say it is not without getting very specific, maybe the best, the best, he is I tells' ya'!
I should have known you were a girl, unicorn icon and all sorry bout that'.


I am just digging deeper hunh?

#48 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4918

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 06:21 PM

Context meaning cultural context - for a book written in a time or place other than one's one, one must understand the time or place to be able to appreciate the book in the way the audiences of that time and place appreciated it, which is presumably how the author intended it to be appreciated.

But seriously, this is beginning to be annoying. Don't you recognize the importance of personal taste? Even if the majority of people in the world were to agree that one book was the best book ever written, I am still allowed to dislike it if it doesn't appeal to my personal taste. Yo can't say my professor was right - in matters of taste there is no 'correct' opinion. It's just a fact that Dickens doesn't strike my fancy, and I already explained why. I did not at all say that it was "utterly without method or merit", just that it doesn't work for me personally. There isn't any deeper to dig, so accept it and move on. I'm certain there are also examples of thing I, or other members of this boars, think are examples of champions and cornerstones of the field of writing that aren't your cup of tea. Unless possibly you don't have any taste of your own and just like whatever others say is great?

#49 paul8585   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 07:01 PM

You should not be moderator status, you have no idea what you are talking about, seriously, and any debate becomes a challenge and is confronted with non sensical jargon, a matter of taste? I have been talking about mechanics, not taste. The mechanics of character devlopment, and one method, used by a master, you get way off subject then divert it to a taste issue. When ever a person has bitten of more than they can chew, they always try, as you are, to reduce it to some kind of taste debate, which this is not.

Only a fool would disregard a masters approach to craft, in any medium, as if your taste is beyond a masters, just a very foolish position in general.
News flash the rules of writing, mainly the ones that apply to games comes from Aristotle, but I am sure his writings "CONTEXT" displeases your refined palate, and well it is so old as well, why it's ancient, oh dear!
It is people like you online who make it immpossible for others who can contribute something to do so, you make the experience a childish wasteful enterprise beyond actual constructive debate.
A matter of taste, just your opinion, there are two side to every coin, etc... are phrases used by persons worldwide when they have no clue what the hell they are talking about, and want out of the conversation, and always deliver said phrases in a last word context, see Ma', used context in a sentence, should I define it for you as well, as you and your english muffin seem to have no idea what context is, or means.

[Edited by - paul8585 on August 28, 2008 1:01:22 AM]

#50 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4918

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 07:53 PM

Honestly, I don't know what you are thinking. I said, "I never liked Dickens' characters." Meaning, they do not appeal to my taste. So I've been talking about taste the whole time, and because you mistakenly thought otherwise, now you're going to say I shouldn't be a moderator? I don't imagine you've even read any of my writing on literary theory, even though my own essay on the very subject of character creation is linked to in the first post of this thread? Earlier in the same series of essays is one where I talk about Aristotle's Poetics. But then, from your first post addressing me you haven't done me the courtesy of assuming that I might be a fairly intelligent and experienced writer who has already spent years reading books on literary theory, writing, and trying to help others come to a better understanding of fiction and improve their own writing.

Let me ask you one question: Why are you at this forum? If you are here to experience interesting new perspectives and discuss literary theory topics while being a polite 'citizen' of the forum and respecting others' right to hold opinions different from your own, that's awesome. If that is the case we will probably be friends once this current misunderstanding is straightened out. But of you are here to pose and lecture and argue your opinion to the exclusion of everyone else's, we get people like that occasionally, that isn't welcome here and if they don't leave on their own one mod or another will warn them, progressing to a temp ban if they continue being aggressive; in particular there is a site-wide policy against personal insults and flaming, which any mod can enforce. That's not a threat, it's something every new poster needs to know, especially if they want to participate in constructive debate without the conversation degenerating into argument and then flaming.

At any rate - either look at my stuff and come to an informed opinion, or calmly and courteously restate whatever question of theory you actually wanted this conversation to be about, or let the conversation end, since the one thing I agree with you about it that it had gone off on a useless tangent.

#51 paul8585   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 08:21 PM

I am talking mechanics, method, the physical application to achieve a goal, this case writing. I avoid three things in discussion, politics, religion, and personal opinion. I have seen your webpage, and have rendered an opinion, my own personal taste.
Stay civil, take me to task, but we both know you won't, I did not say can't, I said won't, if you had your way I personally feel I would be removed simply for not bowing at the altar you have created here for yourself.

Avoid direct questions, silence disention, see a pattern here?

"Why are you afraid of me Dr Zeaus"?



#52 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4918

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 09:34 PM

Given that I just invited you to take a second attempt at posing a direct question, I hardly think it's fair to accuse me of avoiding them. You write "mechanics, method, the physical application to achieve a goal, this case writing". That's not a question, which makes it a bit difficult to answer it. Are you asking something like, "What is the best method for producing a good piece of fiction, or specifically of creating characters?"

You also say that in discussion you think it is important to avoid personal opinion. I confess I am totally confused by that. I myself would say, "It is my personal opinion that personal opinion is an essential element in all art." So that's totally apples and oranges. I would also say that the only basis for talking about what technique for creating fiction is effective is first coming up with a definition of what constitutes great fiction, and by contrast what constitutes crappy fiction. And that's a totally personal opinion. On top of that writing is a pretty fuzzy art, it would be quite difficult to objectively test whether any particular writing technique really worked. Not something you can really apply the scientific method to, or do more than the vaguest statistical study on. So, I don't understand how it would be possible to talk about writing technique without involving personal opinion.

Seen my webpage and rendered an opinion? Which webpage would that be exactly, and where is your opinion? I was talking about this page in particular, which I see does not have a comment by you on it.

Altar? That I just have to laugh at. There are a few people, maybe 5 lol, who are fans of my writing, but none of them hang out in this forum. I occasionally write up an essay about some aspect of writing and post it here. I once led a workshop series but got an overwhelming lack of response when I tried to assign homework. I try to make myself available as a mentor, but I write a different genre (primarily romance, with some sf worldbuilding and a bit of comedy) than most of the people who post here (I see a lot of noir, various flavors of punk, some high fantasy, and some action). I believe that if I am not a fan of a genre I can't usefully crit a piece in that genre. So really, I don't do that much around here besides providing some opinions and theories about the elements of fiction and the writing process for other people to chew on. It would be silly to expect anything remotely resembling worship; rather, it's common that people don't understand or don't agree with my opinions, although I am pleased when I get enough positive responses that it seems worth continuing my efforts.

#53 paul8585   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 08:47 AM

As I said "more than you can chew", don't kick the cat after reading this, and no crying. You know so little, you have no idea how much there is to know, and how much you don't, and that is fine, but when you direct others to follow you in your ignorant bliss, intimidating, posturing, demanding they drink your homemade koolaid, I will speak up. There must be a few people who come to this forum in hopes that they might get a few tips, a few pointers to head them in the right direction on their path to become better story tellers, and it is for them that I engage you, remember no crying.

You stated "I can't stand Joseph Campbell", "a transscendentalist/spiritualist of some sort", "he writes blindly enamoured of ancient ritual and noble savagery".

I read this by you on the second page of this thread, and it really got under my skin, and of all places here on a game developement site, and even after reading this I remained civil, and interjected some humor to keep it lite, I realize now I should have lopped your arrogant head clean off right then and there, but will do so post haste, got a basket ready there sweetheart?

This entire industry would not be here if it were not for ILM, and the decades of hard groundbreaking work that the computer animators, and programmers there put in, and one man spearheaded that endevour with his own wealth, and creative vision, George Lucas, he made all this happen, for all of us, and he has all our respect, he certainly has mine.

If not for Joseph Campbell, there would be no "Star Wars", no wealth, no power, with which Lucas directed like a laser beam into this very medium that this entire site is dedicated to. You shadow have no idea what Campbell's writing is even about, and the role it played in Lucas's story telling developement. The entire premise of his work is not "transcendentalism", his work is dedicated to finding primary human stories told across all of the worlds cultures, and boiling those down to elemental themes we all share. Lucas took Campbells coming of age central theme, and wrote "Star Wars" based upon his theories, Campbells work is the foundation for "Star Wars", well actaully a mash-up between Kurosowa's film "Hidden Fortress", and Campbells writings, his theories are "Star Wars". For you to crap on him, on this site, is disgusting on so many levels, his work is directly responsible for gaming as we know it.
No Campbell, no "Star Wars", no "Star Wars" no ILM, no ILM, well you get it, and you asked for it. To dismiss a pillar of this entire industry with "not my own personal taste", is ignorance of the most dangerous sort.
Campbell's work is about human stories, and story telling, not "noble savagery", you obviously by your definition of his work are utterly clueless as to what his work actually is, his work is about primary universal themes compiled from all of the worlds cultures and their stories, and this is not a personal taste issue.
You know so little, you are talking non-sense, you are casually dismissing the very people who built this medium, I am surprised you have not been checked before this. If you ever have a sit down to sell a story, start off with your views on Campbell, please, because I am sure they will agree with your personal opinion over Lucas's, who is computer animation, and you are?

#54 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4918

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Posted 28 August 2008 - 09:44 AM

[rolleyes] Seems like you are the one who is crying, you just can't stand to see anyone disagree with one of your idols. I suppose it makes sense that you would see a forum as an altar to its moderator since you seem to have some sort of authority worship complex going on, and anger against me because you think I am unworthy to be such a deity, and mere mortals aren't entitled to have their own opinions.

I also find it hilarious that you are doing what you have just accused me of, avoiding a direct question and changing the subject. I have no problem talking about Joseph Campbell - although he is unquestionably a transcendentalist and that anti-scientific flavor to his work ruins much of it in my personal opinion, he is undeniably an important figure in the field of myth study and is on my list of recommended reading that I give to anyone who asks where they should start studying myth. I'm much more of a fan of Levi-Strauss, but because unlike you I don't idolize my heroes, I have enough perspective to accept that because he is a structuralist and difficult to read there are going to be people who don't connect with him just like I don't connect with Levi-Strauss (or Dickens, or Star Wars - I was always a Trekkie myself).

But, it seems you don't actually want to talk about Campbell, Dickens, or any other 'great person' in your pantheon, like a calm and objective adult. You also seem to be unable to refrain from threats and insults, which are not acceptable from any poster to any other. Since you've demonstrated you aren't capable of being a civil and constructive member of this community I have no qualms about banning you.

#55 Dragonsdale   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:46 AM

Quote:
Original post by frankskye
Are there really programmers out there who are looking for story/character/worlds to build their programs around(or vice versa)?

I have the opposite problem. I constantly have themes, stories, music, movies, characters, magic, sci-fi, etc., all running around in my head. If there are folks looking for ideas, send them my way. I would love to build a portfolio of concepts that have been actually used in games.


I have the exact same thing :D
Constantly building worlds and universes and flesheing out characters in my mind.
crazy idea: would you ever want to exchange/compare ideas?

#56 AIbot   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:03 PM

nice post dude I love it whenever I try to find out my inspiration I say like : okay here we go the soldiers will be like this hmmm and they will look like (pass like 10 seconds...) and then I do like a loop and rethink that again at the end I end up with an empty sketchbook xD this guide is cool ty

#57 Paul Hansen   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:57 PM

Hello everyone, I'm on the oppisite side of the fence. I'm a over active writter at heart and I'm looking at finishing a full storyline, plot, characters, sub-plots and characters for a game. My passion is the writting and what my fellow college and I are looking at doing is finishing and ploishing our idea in story form. Then approach a established game designer, but I was wondering about the type of format and layout we should be putting the story in. There are tons of things in a game like a crazy squid and we want to polish this idea up to look professional. And which companies can be approached? Any direction would be highly appreciated.

If anyone is looking for story idea's I would be honored to help.


Thank you for your time
Paul Hansen

#58 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4918

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:19 PM

Hello everyone, I'm on the oppisite side of the fence. I'm a over active writter at heart and I'm looking at finishing a full storyline, plot, characters, sub-plots and characters for a game. My passion is the writting and what my fellow college and I are looking at doing is finishing and ploishing our idea in story form. Then approach a established game designer, but I was wondering about the type of format and layout we should be putting the story in. There are tons of things in a game like a crazy squid and we want to polish this idea up to look professional. And which companies can be approached? Any direction would be highly appreciated.

If anyone is looking for story ideas I would be honored to help.


Thank you for your time
Paul Hansen


More linear game scripts commonly use a format similar to a movie screenplay or comic/graphic novel script. For a highly interactive story, in which case you might want a flow chart and want to label each piece of dialogue with an alphanumeric code. Though I'm not sure this has anything to do with the topic of this thread.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


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. I also love pet-breeding games.


#59 Paul Hansen   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:08 AM

Thanks for the feed back and yes this is my topic, I have dwelled into comic book layout and i love flow charts. My biggest hurdle has been getting whats in my head on paper and having it make sense. Though i am getting better, but this whole thing fasinates me. We are looking at the game being linear, over all.
I'm new hear and all so here comes a funny question, what's PM and how do i do this? Is it addictive? There's no breeding animals or romance but the night is still young.

Again thanks,
Paul H

#60 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4918

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:40 AM

Thanks for the feed back and yes this is my topic, I have dwelled into comic book layout and i love flow charts. My biggest hurdle has been getting whats in my head on paper and having it make sense. Though i am getting better, but this whole thing fasinates me. We are looking at the game being linear, over all.
I'm new hear and all so here comes a funny question, what's PM and how do i do this? Is it addictive? There's no breeding animals or romance but the night is still young.

Again thanks,
Paul H

I said the topic of this thread, which, if you will look at the title, is The Definitive Guide to Game Writing Inspiration. Writing scripts is certainly a valid topic for this forum, but the rule of thumb is, "If there isn't a current thread (meaning the last post wasn't more than a month ago) about a topic you want to discuss, then make a new thread for your topic." Just for future reference - you're not in trouble or anything. A PM is a private message, some other forums call it a note; it's a forum's internal email system. If you hover the mouse pointer over someone's name you will see an option Send Message, that's how you send a PM. You will see at the top of the screen if anyone has sent you any messages, indicated by a number on the envelope icon.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


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. I also love pet-breeding games.






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