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Hey Everyone, I''ve put this dialogue on my site as a selling point for my game. Unfortunately its quite bland. Can you tell me how I can improve it? Thanks Agent Higgins: We don''t have much time, so listen carefully. The Majestic Group has an A.T.R.F. (Alien Technology Research Facility) called Omega Labs, hidden in the forest on the north side of Idyll. Several months ago, something happened at Omega Labs and all communications were cut off. We sent a team of Blue Berets to investigate, but they were eliminated. To make matters worse, the people of Idyll have become extremely aggressive and we had to surround the town to contain the situation. Several weeks ago we sent a company of soldiers to probe the area, but they were ambushed by an unidentifed group of hostiles and had to fall back. We have reason to believe these hostiles are directing their operations from Omega Labs. So we are sending another unit of Blue Berets to destroy the Omega Labs complex. You will be going with the Blue Berets as mission consultant. You should also know there is a demolitions expert on your team with more than enough C4 to destroy Omega Labs. When the Blue Berets have destroyed Omega Labs, we will send our forces into the area and mop up any remaining threats. Agent Power: What will you do if we fail? Agent Higgins: We will not let this situation get out of hand. We will nuke the site. Agent Higgins: The helicopter is waiting. Are you ready to go? Agent Power: Yes. No.

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First of all, no, I'm not replying because of the Omega Labs deal (points to alias above)

On to my actual opinion. You said that the first group of berret units was wiped out when they were sent in, so why is there any reason to believe that a second group of berrets will do any better? You could probably cover this up by saying that there is a massive group going this second time around, but you (the player) are a part of the first group which will lead the way into the depths of the labs. Or you could switch it to say something along the lines of this:

"This mission is going to call for a large amount of stealth on your part. We want you (and possibly one other person) to sneak in as quickly as possible and identify the threat. We want to keep the group as small as possible in order to improve the chances of success for this covert operation. All you have to do is tell us what's inside, then we're pulling you out. Soon as you're clear, we'll handle the rest. And if we don't hear back from you, those labs are toast (implying upon the missile strike)."

Then, once the player gets in, they get to a point where they see one of the beasts going about eating someone or something, and just as the player is going to report it back, the group is attacked and the player is the only member of the small team that escapes from that encounter alive. Also to his misfortune, his communication device has either been destroyed or blocked somehow, and he now has to find a communication center within the labs so he can send a signal to alert the many waiting forces to not strike the labs with missiles and whatnot. Obviously, this would kill him (that or the strange beasts will), so if he's not quick, he dies. The story can then go on from there...

Hope that helps.

[edited by - omega147 on February 22, 2004 12:48:06 AM]

[edited by - omega147 on February 22, 2004 12:49:43 AM]

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To give a different take: it's dull because it's written as dialogue, but would come across much stronger as a trailer script/movie.

First a question: are these agents military/special forces or secret agent/James Bond style? It makes a big difference in picturing the scene. Is this a happening in-field or back at base/HQ? Is it a one-on-one commander to agent pre-op debriefing, or is it a group of agents/soldiers sitting at a briefing with the commanding officer standing up front at a display board? Is it a covert agent receiving a digital transmission with his mission specs?

It lacks a visual; there's no scenery. I can't listen to the dialogue because I can't "see" it, so it comes across as boring and wordy.

Ex:
SCENE

{Agent Powers is kneeling in the woods, surrounded by thick trees. The only light comes from the moonlight streaking through the tree canopy above. The occasional night owl/insect can be heard. CUT TO Agent Power's face; he looks around carefully, his eyes darting back and forth with caution. ZOOM BACK as Agent Powers removes an electronic device and activates it. The small digital screen flickers on. Agent Higgins' face appears on the screen.}

AGENT HIGGINS
"Agent Powers, your target is the Alien Technology Research Facility hidden deep in these woods. Several months ago, something happened and all communications were cut off. We sent in a team to investigate, but we haven't heard from them since."

{The screen flashes images of the Omega Labs/Majestic Group logo, photographs of the lab facility taken from different angles, and a map of the lab's layout.}

AGENT HIGGINS
"Reports from the local police show an aggravated level of aggression from the populace. The National Guard has been dispatched to contain the situation and keep the peace. Unfortunately, we believe the locals have gone hostile; several of our forces have been ambushed and been forced to pull back from the town itself."

{The screen shows video footage of riots in the town, people throwing bottles and chasing down military soldiers with bats and rifles, soldiers behind barricades and wearing riot gear. A banner, town and flapping in the wind, reads "Welcome to Idyll!"}

AGENT HIGGINS
"We have reason to believe these hostiles are originating from the lab. We're sending in a unit of Blue Berets to investigate and, if necessary, eliminate the threat. You will be accompanying them as mission consultant. You should also know there is a demolitions expert on your team with more than enough C4 to destroy the lab and any surrounding threats.

{The screen flashes a slideshow of military files, personal dossiers on the special ops team, ending with the demolition expert. Agent Higgins' face appears back on the screen.}

AGENT HIGGINS
"When the hostiles have been eliminated we will send in local troops to mop up the area and sweep for stragglers. Any questions?"

AGENT POWERS
"Just one. What happens if we fail?"

AGENT HIGGINS
{Silent pause.} "Then we send in the jets, and the nukes. {Zoom in close to Agent Higgin's face}. "Failure is not an option."

Then you can add links to info on Idyll, the Omega Lab/Majestic Group, and maybe a dossier on Agent Powers. Don't try to throw everything in, it's a teaser - not detailed info. You want to draw them in to read further (and go deeper into your website), not give them all you have at once.


[edited by - EricTrickster on February 23, 2004 3:43:26 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Davaris
A.T.R.F. (Alien Technology Research Facility)



Don't use acronyms, especially this one. Pet peeve.

[Edit: Changed my sentence a bit.]

[edited by - orionx103 on February 26, 2004 9:47:10 AM]

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quote:
Original post by orionx103
quote:
Original post by Davaris
A.T.R.F. (Alien Technology Research Facility)



Don''t use acronyms, especially this one. Pet peeve.

[Edit: Changed my sentence a bit.]

[edited by - orionx103 on February 26, 2004 9:47:10 AM]


I agree. Although, the only thing worse than an acronym, is an acronym made to spelt a word (The Belgium Anarchy Dragoons, or....B.A.D!!!....geez I hate that)



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Purist

Technically you can call them all acronyms, but linguists prefer to make the distinction that an acronym is an abbreviation pronounceable as a word ("M.A.D.D.") Anything else is an initialism, or simply an abbreviation.

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my 5 cents:

watch old war movies. As corny as it sounds, listening to Banter between officers and other battlefield personnel can give you a sense of what sounds appropriate and what sounds corny.

Try watching some good war movies like "Saving private ryan" or a good vietnam movie like "Apocalypse Now". Maybe even "Dr. Strangelove"..while the genre are drastically different from what you are trying to accomplish, it puts you in a certain mental mindset.

For example, sometimes Ill think about the way the characters in a game like starcraft talk about about an impending battle, then listen to one of the soldiers or officers from a good movie say something...Often times I look at the video game Im making the comparison to and I think "damn! that is laaaame."

As far as a concrete example of how this can improve your writing consider shying away from more of the emotional type speech and go for more of an "operational conversation" . In real life if a soldier starts acting all bad ass and talking about..accepting the risks involved...His superiors are likely to deliver him a bitch slap! ...they should be talking about the facts...wheres the LZ? (landing zone) Whats the weapons allotment for the mission? Night time or daytime mission insertion? Adding these details gives the scene depth and detracts from conversation plagued with cliche ("Im the hero...I know the risks goin in...etc etc...")


Granted a lot of this stems from my bias torwards emphasis on good writing over good action. But I think taking a look at some cinematic war related movie masterpieces will help you get into the right mindset to write and edit these mini scripts and scenarios.

hope this helps!


Neko

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