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Please help me fix this script

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Hi Everyone, This is the intro to an indie game my group has made. The only problem is I''ve been told that the writing is bad. Really bad. So if you can make any suggestions for improving it, I''d really appreciate it. The demo can be downloaded here so you can see the context or you can just read below: PAGE 1: You are in your office filling out reports, when the phone on your desk starts ringing. You pick it up and hear the voice of your superior Mr Hawkins. Mr Hawkins: "Power?" Agent Power: "Sir?" Mr Hawkins: "I want you to go to a town called Idyll on the coast of Maine. We have a man called Higgins there. He will give you your orders when you arrive." Agent Power: "What''s this all about Sir?" Mr Hawkins: "I can''t tell you anything else Power. Information on this mission will be given on a need to know basis." Then the phone makes a clicking sound as Mr Hawkins hangs up. "This sounds interesting." you think as you listen to the dial tone. PAGE 2: Your plane arrives at the airport just south of Idyll. When you enter the baggage lounge, you are met by a soldier in full battle dress. The soldier tells you that Agent Higgins is waiting for you. Then he takes you to his car and starts driving it towards Idyll. PAGE 3: Soon after your car enters the forest on the outskirts of Idyll, you see a large helicopter blocking the road in front of you. When your driver sees the helicopter, he stops the car and tells you to get out. MEETING WITH AGENT HIGGINS: We don''t have much time, so listen carefully. MJ-12 has an alien technology research facility called Omega Labs, hidden in the forest on the north side of Idyll. Several months ago, all communications were cut off with Omega Labs. We sent a team of Blue Berets to investigate, but they were eliminated. To make matters worse, the people in Idyll became 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. Unfortunately 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 their 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 town and mop up any remaining threats. We will not let this situation get out of hand. We will nuke the town. End conversation. PAGE 4: Both you and the Blue Berets clamber into the helicopter and strap yourselves in. ''Hang on!'' shouts the pilot. Then the helicopter''s engines roar and moments later it is off the road and flying towards Omega Labs. PAGE 5: Several minutes later, you are startled by a series of bright flashes outside your window and then you hear a loud bang. ''We''ve been hit!!!'' screams the pilot. The helicopter is upside down now and all you can see through your window are trees rushing towards you... PAGE 6: When you open your eyes, you realise you are hanging upside down by your feet, from a very tall tree. ''You must have been thrown free during the crash.'' you think. So you decide to climb down from the tree and start looking for survivors. After several minutes of searching, you find nothing but chunks of meat and burning wreckage. PAGE 7: You are the only one who survived the crash and you will have to try and destroy Omega Labs on your own. Perhaps you will find the *weapons* and *explosives* you need in the town? You are quite vulnerable now. You could defeat a single enemy on your own, but not a group. Until you are better equipped, your best option is to run from enemies in groups. In combat look for the flee option in the top left corner of the encounter screen. The town of Idyll is north of here.

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We i think the script is good....but i think the whole concept for the game is a little....well...strange.
How could the guy carry the C4 and Weapons all by himself?.
Does the guy Have training to deal with this Situation?.
does he know that there is Weapons and C4 in town?
How big is the Town?
How far is it to Omega labs from the town?
I think this need a little bit of work if it wants to be a good story.
But dont give up man!....i have trouble writing but RuneLancer and TechnoGoth always come by to help me out...just like im doing now!.
Keep Writing!

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Original post by CHASIS-BLADE
But dont give up man!....i have trouble writing but RuneLancer and TechnoGoth always come by to help me out...just like im doing now!.
Keep Writing!

veterans don''t appreciate groupies, yo.

that said...

i see some interesting elements here. i can see your style, and you don''t need much help there.

as far as the story, i don''t see a whole overview of the plot. scripts are great, but thats not how these things are made. you will find yourself running into dead ends very quickly.

start with a summary of what will happen. include major events and the like. after you have that, it will be easier for us to offer you help.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Not too bad. Since you asked for help specifically with the writing here, I''ll make a few comments.

First, it''s written in 2nd ("You" person. While this can work, it''s usually pretty difficult. The problem is that players, or readers, don''t generally like to be told how they feel or what they think. It typically works better in 3rd ("He/She" person, and the reader/player can sort of insert themselves into the role easier, or 1st ("I" person, and have the guy in the game narrate. It''s much more acceptable for a narrator to say, "I felt as though..." or "I thought that..." As a player/reader, we can still put ourselves into those shoes and experience the situation, but saying "You felt as though..." tends to be off-putting.

Second, the writing is too passive. "The helicopter is upside down now and all you can see through your window are trees rushing towards you..." This almost makes it sound boring. "The helicopter is upside down now" just doesn''t carry any action, any emotion. It''s making a statement of fact. If you want this text to be more riveting, make it carry some action... "With a gut-sinking lurch, the helicopter fell forwards, turning in the air until it was upside down and crashing through the branches of the forest trees..." or something...

This is kind of high level stuff that will affect all of your writing, and might be something to keep in mind.

To be more nit-picky:

"''You must have been thrown free during the crash.'' you think."

Just a typo, I''m sure, but noticable, nonetheless. Most people don''t think of themselves in the third person. I don''t accidentally lock myself out of the car, and then say, "Darn! You locked the keys in there!"

If you''re telling me what I''m thinking, what I''m thinking would be "*I* must have been thrown free..."

"After several minutes of searching, you find nothing but chunks of meat and burning wreckage."

Chunks of meat...Like beef? Or corpses? Don''t be afraid to offer some detail here because without it, it just seems cartoony. I''m not finding "chunks of meat" but "severed limbs and charred flesh" if you catch my drift.

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Here you go.
After you make these modifications I suggest you get a computerized voice to dictate it for full effect.

Page 1:
When the telephone of your desk starts sounding, it is in your office which is full from the report.
It chooses that, hears the Hawkins voice of your excellent person.

Hawkins: " POWER? "
Agency power: " Sir? "

Hawkins: " We want going to the town which is called coastal Idyll of main depending upon I. There is a person who in us is called Higgins there. As for him your order time arrive. "
It gives;

Agency power: " What' S this entirely approximately Sir? "

Hawkins: " I can' Something t informs other thing power. As for information of this delegation basis. "

It is given in the necessity which is known,; Then as for the telephone the person catches with simultaneously Hawkins or the dust the sound which sounds makes.
" As for This interesting. " You sound; When dialing tone is heard, you think simultaneously.

Page 2:
Your airplane arrives with the airport fair south of Idyll. When entering into the lounge of the baggage, it meets by the soldier of the complete troop clothes. The soldier says as agency Higgins waits. And he keeps accompanying in that car, Idyll driving that starts.

-- All your script are belong to us
- Jacob

[edited by - Kevlar-X on May 21, 2004 4:13:56 AM]

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[Get rid of narrative. Replace with game or FMV.]

“Agent Powers. On the coast of Maine, there’s a small town known as ‘Idyll’. Your contact is an Agent Higgins. He will provide you with your mission briefing. Good luck.”

PAGE 2: [Replace narrative with game or FMV.]

[Soldier shouldn’t be in full battle dress. He should be in civilian clothing.]

“Agent Powers. Agent Higgins is awaiting your arrival. Please come with me.”

PAGE 3: [Replace narrative with game or FMV.]

“Get out.”

“We are pressed for time. Listen carefully.

MJ-12 [What is it? You need to introduce MJ-12 much earlier.] possesses an alien technology research facility named ‘Omega Labs’. It’s camouflaged by the forest north of Idyll. Several hours ago, communications with Omega Labs were made impossible. We sent a team to investigate but we lost contact with them too.

Further complicating the issue, the denizens of Idyll began to behave strangely—they became extremely aggressive. We quarantined the town and reinforced containment with military.

We sent another team to probe the area; however, they encountered hostiles and were forced to fall back after suffering major casualties.

We believe the strange behaviors observed and the hostiles are linked to Omega Labs. Your orders are to accompany another unit to investigate Omega Labs and destroy the complex if necessary.

If Omega Labs is destroyed, forces will enter the area to eliminate remaining threats.”

“What if we fail?”

“Failure is not an option.”

“I understand.”

“Are you ready?”

[edited by - Onikan on May 21, 2004 6:21:32 PM]

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Most of your script''s problems rest with using narrative instead of game animation or FMV''s. Your narratives are in second-person while the dialog uses first- or third-person.

You can''t say, "You do this and that." You can''t order the player around. You have to give the player choices.

I changed "Power" to "Powers" because it flows better.


Scene 1 should begin with a player-controlled Max Powers reading a report on MJ-12. After reading the report, the phone on his desk will ring, and the player will have to move to the phone and answer it. Then the OFFICE PHONE dialog will appear. By the way, the dialog screen takes up the entire screen. It shouldn''t do that. Use dialog "boxes" instead.

Max also shouldn''t ask, "What''s this all about, Sir?" That just makes him look weak, and like all good agents, they know information is always provided on a need-to-know basis. That''s irrelevant to state.

Scene 2 should show Max Powers aboard a private plane (not a jetliner) arriving at a barren clearing. No airport. When Max Powers steps out of the plane, a soldier in civilian clothing will appear and walk towards Powers. The dialog for that scene will show.

Scene 3 shoud show what it does when the actual game starts in the demo. Dialog will be shown. The player will exit the vehicle and head north. (I couldn''t figure out how to get the screen to change until I used the map to select an area where I could click to choose a destination.)

I didn''t rewrite everything you provided because the rest was basically narrative that should be replaced with animated game sequences or FMV''s anyway.

Remember that a game is not a novel.

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The only problem with FMV is it costs tens of thousands of dollars to make.

I'm making an Indie game with no budget (except for my sweat ) so the text is replacing the FMV. You don't have to blindly follow the big companies and publishers on everything. You can make fun games if you use your imagination. How many AAA games have you played that have had the best graphics but are dead boring?

Chess and cards are very simple games and they are hugely popular.

[edited by - Davaris on May 23, 2004 5:05:55 PM]

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I don't know who told you FMV's cost "tens of thousands of dollars to make", but that is simply incorrect.

FMV's are usually your typical videos in AVI format.

You can record an event to AVI in-game to create an animation, or you can use 3D development software.

PLEASE read all that I posted. Right now, your game reads like a book. Players have eyes and they don't need to be told that someone picked up a phone. NEVER PUT NARRATIVE DIALOGUE INTO A GAME. That's just bad.

FMV's are easy to create and can be used to great effect. They're just like non-player-controlled animations. I don't understand why you're so resistant to the idea of making your game better... oh well... I tried. If you don't want advice, don't ask for it.

[edited by - Onikan on May 23, 2004 6:50:22 PM]

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