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boolean

The definitive guide to game writing inspiration

60 posts in this topic

What about character inspiration? Please start a thread about character inspiration. I can't think of any plot when I don't have characters.
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I had a site up called the Dictionary of Inspiration. It wasn't so much meant to inspire everyone else. It was mostly for me. It had a large list of characters, items, and weapons that gave me ideas for other characters, items, and weapons. I wouldn't mind putting it up somewhere if you want me to, but it would take a while.
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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
What about character inspiration? Please start a thread about character inspiration. I can't think of any plot when I don't have characters.


This guide can be used for character insperation aswell. Basically, this guide should be used for plots, settings, characters...basiaclly game writing. One I (hopefully) get enough links added, I will re-format the guide and split it into sections (Settings > Sci Fi, Characters > Fanstasy etc).

Ive changed the name of the topic a bit to reflect this. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

@Orion; If you have time, that link sounds pretty good.
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I'd suggest something different...

Settings > Scifi > Characters
Settings > Scifi > Items
Settings > Scifi > Plots
Settings > Fantasy > Characters
Settings > Fantasy > Items
Settings > Fantasy > Plots

I'm gonna start working on a bare-bones version of the DoI now. ^_^

[Edited by - orionx103 on August 17, 2004 10:19:59 PM]
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So if people want to look at fantasy characters, they can look at fantasy characters. If they want to look at scifi characters, they can look at scifi characters. Then, you can have a third where they can look at one in a combined list.
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Original post by orionx103
So if people want to look at fantasy characters, they can look at fantasy characters. If they want to look at scifi characters, they can look at scifi characters. Then, you can have a third where they can look at one in a combined list.


You missed my point. My point was, there isn't any such thing as a scifi character or a fantasy character. I mean look at Data from Star Trek TNG. He's an android, definitely a sci-fi character right? But he's based on the idea of pinnochio, a fantasy character. The only difference is that one works by 'magic' andone by 'technology'. And I'm sure you've encountered thequote, "Any suffciently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."? So even an android, science fiction incarnate, would be right at home in a fantasy novel with one tiny change. Or look at klingons - really what's the difference between a klingon and an orc? There is no difference. There is no such thing as a fantasy character or a science fiction character, genre only effects worldbuilding, not character or character dynamic.
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I'll start with the standard disclaimer that I'm not dismissing the concept, but I will offer a disparaging view of the viability of this.

For writers or potential writers looking for help I do think these are great resources, but how useful would it be for the programmer who comes in with the phrase “Im a coder, not a writer. Please help me write a story”?

Would a person with no skill at writing be able to use these resources to create a world, characters and a backstory?

Purely hypothetical question, I'm playing devil's advocate. I can see very easily the programmer looking at these books and saying "okay, that was vaguely interesting - now what do I do?" while scratching his head in frustration.

I just thought of an example: drawing. There are many books available with the title "How to Draw [choose any noun]". If I were a programmer who decided I needed to draw some concept art, but I have no artistic ability, I may indeed go out and buy one or several of these books. I'll sit and diligently read, I'll follow what they've done, copy their examples and compare.

Then I'll sit down and try to come up with my own designs, and discover all I'm really doing is modeling the examples in the books and adding the occasional flair or change the angle here or there to give it a different look. I'm not really creating anything from scratch, I'm not realizing what's in my head - because it would take far too long to teach myself to draw the vehicles I envision.

Thoughts?

[Edited by - EricTrickster on August 18, 2004 5:47:45 PM]
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Original post by EricTrickster
For writers or potential writers looking for help I do think these are great resources, but how useful would it be for the programmer who comes in with the phrase “Im a coder, not a writer. Please help me write a story”?


Yeah that was what I thought when I first read the original post. The list is still a good idea, but the intended audience should be writers. Non-writers really have no business writing stories, with or without help, they should just team up with one or two of the many writers in this forum who don't currently have a game they're working on.
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Site name: Dictionary of Inspiration
Site Address: orionx103.virtue.nu
Description: A dictionary of stuff that inspired me.
Best way to use: Base your own characters or items off those presented here.

Very bare. I only have a list of items up. I did all that last night, and I was drained by that time, so I'm doing the characters later.

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Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Quote:
Original post by EricTrickster
For writers or potential writers looking for help I do think these are great resources, but how useful would it be for the programmer who comes in with the phrase “Im a coder, not a writer. Please help me write a story”?


Yeah that was what I thought when I first read the original post. The list is still a good idea, but the intended audience should be writers. Non-writers really have no business writing stories, with or without help, they should just team up with one or two of the many writers in this forum who don't currently have a game they're working on.


The way I intended the list is to give people a starting point when writing a story. Most of the people I have noticed that ask for help with storys havnt said 'I have no abilty in writing at all, please write me a story and post it here', rather they ask people for a story that they can continue working on (like the posts here and
  • hehe. The "non-writers really have no business writing stories" is a great elitest attitude, especially when you take it out of context.

    There are people out there who really don't know how to write, and it should be punishable by law for some of them to pick up a pen; however, many of them manage it anyway. At least we can help them along the way.
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    Site name: FanFiction.net
    Site Address: www.fanfiction.net
    Description: A collection of fan-submitted fanfics.
    Best way to use: Shows you how characters can be taken in directions you might not've thought about.

    Just a thought: Maybe this should be stickied like the similar one about space?
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    Quote:
    Original post by DesignerGuy
    hehe. The "non-writers really have no business writing stories" is a great elitest attitude, especially when you take it out of context.

    There are people out there who really don't know how to write, and it should be punishable by law for some of them to pick up a pen; however, many of them manage it anyway. At least we can help them along the way.


    Lol, I was thinking it was tautological. If they do manage to write, well, they must be writers, musn't they? ;)
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    I'll second fanfic.net , I've learned a hell of a lot from reading thestories posted there. It's especially valuable in that it often has multiple examples of the same 'challenge' as executed by different writers, as well as examples of how different writers handle the same character.

    Another great game is the card game "Once Upon a Time". (Ahw mentioned that it's also available in French as "Il etait une fois".) This game gives one or more players a selection of typical fairytale tropes, archetypes, and endings, and the player(s) have to assemble these into a coherent story. I played this with my sister and brother and we all laughed our heads off. :)

    Here's Vladimir Propp's "Elements of the Folktale"

    Perhaps you've heard of Chris Crawford's Erazmatron? Here is his library of articles about mimetics, the structure and function of fiction, and the designof the Erazmatron and some games made for it.


    Boolean, if your bored, I know for a fact that there are lots of links and recommendations to great writing resources throughout the forum archives, we just require someone patient and motivated to sort through and collect them up... ;)
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    Quote:
    Original post by sunandshadow
    Boolean, if your bored, I know for a fact that there are lots of links and recommendations to great writing resources throughout the forum archives, we just require someone patient and motivated to sort through and collect them up... ;)


    I went back through some of the posts, and dug up some good topics. The odd thing is I couldnt find many with links to sites and books. Maybe im not looking hard enough [smile]

    Because the list was starting to get quite long, ive re-formatted it into 3 sections: Websites, Books, and Forum links. Hopefully this makes it a lot easier to read. A big thankyou to everyone who has contributed so far

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    guys, these links are great, and will provide you with a lot of info. but if you want to make a good game story like Halo, this is what you need to do:

    what do you like, what are your intrests? if you like space and sci-fi, start making a game off of that.

    it wont come to you overnight, you wont be able to sit down one time and do a little typing and bam you have a story, no it takes years of daydreams, adding little bits and pieces to the base.

    just think of a basic idea and add to it, if you see an alien you like, think of a feature you like on it and try to incorporate that into your character.

    making a story is simple if you just put your mind to it. just think of the basic idea, and imagine yourself as the main character. what would be cool, what would be logical, what would you do if you were a space cowboy with a plasma shotgun. and things will follow.

    if you just read sci-fi and watch movies, your gonna get an idea, and then find out how similar it is to the fiction you have been reading/watching. and you will be very dissappointed to have to abandon your story over the fact that its already been done.

    but it takes more time and skill to write a story than most people think. ive been working on mine for 8 years, and now its been refined to be even deeper than Halo.
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    So that everyone knows, just because this post has been up for a while now doesn’t mean you cant submit your suggestions to be added to the list. I check this post every couple of days to see if there is anything to add, so it does still get updated.
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    Way to go, boolean! It's great to see some great additions to this forum! If only I could still rate you higher...

    I've got a couple of sites buried in my old IE log, I'll see if I can find them (and if they're still up, for that matter).
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    Welcome back to GDnet Avatar God!

    Thanks for the feedback. And if you can find those sites, I will add them to the list post-haste.

    Cheers!
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    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.
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