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Writing Competition Round 3

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Gamedev Game Writing Competition - Round 3 Welcome to the first running of the Gamedev Game Writing Competition the goal of the competition is to bring the members of the community together to show case and sharpen their writing talents. The focus of the competition is to explore writing as it applies to video games and the associated demands of that medium. The competition is open to everyone and everyone is encouraged to enter and vote on their favorite entries! The contest will be broken down to 5 rounds each with a week to complete entries and followed by a week where readers can vote on their favorite pieces and judging. The winning entry from each round will be used as basis for entries in all future rounds. Rounds Round 1 – Introduction – Winning entry 5 Round 2 – Character Profile – Winning entry 7 Round 3 – Plot Sketch Round 4 – Scene Script Round 5 – Climax and Dénouement Round 3 Theme: The setting for the climax is Anahata the fourth veil. Objective Create a 500 to 3000 word plot sketch for the game described in the previous two rounds. The setting for the games climax will be Anahata the fourth veil. Start Date 12:01am GMT Saturday the 11th of October. End Date 12:01am GMT Saturday the 18th of October. Judging criteria: style - The overall quality of the writing including grammar, punctuation, spelling, and use of language. Creativity – How effectively the subject matter and theme of the round where used as well as the overall creativity and originality of the piece. Applicability - How appropriate the submission is to the game medium and how good a game it would make. Popularity - The pieces rating based on votes from readers. Rules: -Entries must be between 500 and 3000 words. Entries that don’t satisfy this criteria will be disqualified. -Entries must be received before 12:01 am GMT 11th of October, late entries will not be considered. -Entries that do not have the climax at the setting of the Anahata the fourth veil will be disqualified. -There is no limit on the number of entries that a person can enter. -Entries must be entirely original work. -Submission should be sent by private message to TechnoGoth and must not contain any identification of the author to ensure anonymity in the popular vote round. - Lastly and Most importantly have FUN! [Edited by - TechnoGoth on October 11, 2005 6:53:10 AM]

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Doesn't the character description for Anahata explains that the name stands for "the 4th Chakra"?
I assume he means that the climax of the plot is reaching Anahata (the event), for Shai, the character. i.e. getting her wings (if I have read the entry correctly).

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It does mean that, but TechnoGoth is saying it has to be the _setting_ for the climax, which means it has to be a place, whether a physical place or a spiritual place.

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LMAO :-D
Well, if we already start on ambiguous grounds...
this is going to be funny, I think.
(I am so ashamed I am not participating, but I am only starting my school year and I am already swamped in Game Dev assignements :( )

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Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
*blink* Anahata the 4th veil? Huh okay. But do you mean veil, as in a curtain, or do you mean vale, as in a valley?


I meant veil as in curtain. But I'll accept either. I leave the interpretation up to the writer. Hopefully some interesting story lines can be written using that setting for climax.

Quote:

Doesn't the character description for Anahata explains that the name stands for "the 4th Chakra"?
I assume he means that the climax of the plot is reaching Anahata (the event), for Shai, the character. i.e. getting her wings (if I have read the entry correctly).


The character Anahata does not have to have do anything with the story. The only characters you have to inlude are Shai and Airre Running in Flowers. I leave it up to you to decied what the setting is and what it represents. If you need help people can always brain storm some ideas.

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This confused me.

Don't just say "the climax is at Anahata the fourth veil." I have no idea what that means, and neither will new entrants :/

If you said that the climax had to occur at the fourth veil of Anahata, both defined by the writer and not by previous entries, that'd make more sense. Indicate that it's just a arbitrary name and location that's been picked here.

Also, naming it after someone else's entry is confusing too... we're already having enough problems getting people to enter and vote.

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Wow, the third round has started now? Congratulations on whoever wrote the Airre Running-In-Flowers character piece for winning the last round!

I'm a bit unsure on exactly what's required for this round. I think it's meant to be a bit ambigous, but is it okay if I ask a few questions to get a general consensus of what's required?

  • What exactly is a "plot sketch", as compared to a "scene script" and the "climax and denouement"? Is it the same style of writing as a scene script?
  • I take it the word limit is 500 to 3000 words, not 3000 to 5000 words [smile].
  • Does Airre Running-In-Flowers have to be in the plot sketch, as that's not stated in the initial post, but has been implied in previous rounds.
  • Does "Anahata the 4th veil" mean it's roughly based on the elements introduced in the character piece on Anahata, i.e. gaining the chakra that grants you wings (sounds a bit like the Red Bull commercial, doesn't it? [smile])
  • If this scene is the climax, what will the fifth round be about?


I agree with Beige too; this will be very confusing for anyone trying to enter the competition for the first time. Maybe we should post the two relevant entries here? I'd do that myself, but I'm still not sure exactly what's relevant or not.

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Well there seems to be a lot of confusion about this round so I’ll try my best to clear it up. First off the theme for this round is in no way connect to the entry Anahata I know its confusing but I wanted to include some mysticism in the plot and using the chakra seems like good idea and 4th one seem an appropriate for a climax point. The theme in this round refers to the name of a setting it could be a physical location or a metaphysical one that it up to the writer.

For those who don’t know what the fourth chakra is they may find this helpful:

Quote:

From the active, fiery solar plexus, we are thrust into a new and different realm. From the world of the body and manifestation, we break deeper into the softer touch of spirit. From the focus on the self and its desires and actions, we embrace a larger pattern, and dance our tiny part within the web. We transcend our ego, and grow toward something greater, deeper, stronger. As we embrace the

Heavens,we have more than ourselves. We expand. We have reached the central part of the chakra system. It is our core, the inner spirit that unites all the other forces above and below, within and without. Above, we have our abstract spirit, the mental realms, and below we have our "worldly" chakras. The task of chakra four is to integrate and balance the realms of the mind and body. In so doing, it brings a radiant sense of wholeness to the entire organsim and a realization that we are an exquisite combination of both spirit and matter. Within this sense of wholeness lies the seed of inner peace, which takes root and grows firm as this chakra is opened. The symbol for the heart chakra is a circle of 12 lotus petals surrounding two intersecting triangles, forming a six-pointed star. The triangles represent the descent of spirit into the body and the ascent of matter rising to meet spirit. In the heart, the cosmic and the earth energies combine, forming a star that radiates from the center of the chakra. The six points can also be seen as relating to the six other chakras, each represented at this center. The colour for this chakra is green, and its seed sound is Lam.

The heart chakra is the center of love. The love we experience at the level of the heart chakra is distinctly different from the more sexual and passinate love of the second chakra. At the fourth chakra, the love is no longer object dependent. The love we feel is felt toward everything we encounter, because it is felt within as a state of being. At the heart, our love is no longer one of need or desire. Instead, it is one of joyous acceptance of our place among all things, of a deep peace that comes from lack of need, and of a radiating quality that comes from harmony within the self. Love takes the emotional content of the second chakra and balances it with understanding from the seventh. The understanding tempers the desire, and allows us to see beyond our own needs.

The element of this chakra is air, the least dense of our physical elements. Air, as an element, is commonly associated with knowledge, love and things that are light and spirited. Air represents freedom, as inthe birds that fly. Air represents lightness, simplicity and softness. Air also represents breath,the vital energy of life. The Hindus call it prana, the Chinese call it chi, the Japanese call it ki


So after reading that ask yourself what type of setting you can derive from that and what is it significance as the location for the climax could. There are seven chakras in total so by having the climax at a place named after the fourth could imply that that first three must also be passed through before reaching there. Again I encourage you to be as broad with your interpretation as you can.

Some random ideas for settings based on the theme are:
-A gateway that connects heaven and earth
-A chamber in the inner sanctum of the royal palace.
-An internal battleground where Shai confronts her Hate.
-A temple deep within Arbor Grand that maintains the balance of the different environments.
-A hidden valley home to the true followers of Daheen
-A distorted realm that hold the source of all life.

Don’t let the fact that name of the setting and the name of character from round two are the same. The theme merely gives the name of the location for the climax what it is, where it is, and why it is important is entirely up to you.






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Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
Well there seems to be a lot of confusion about this round so I’ll try my best to clear it up. First off the theme for this round is in no way connect to the entry Anahata I know its confusing but I wanted to include some mysticism in the plot and using the chakra seems like good idea and 4th one seem an appropriate for a climax point. The theme in this round refers to the name of a setting it could be a physical location or a metaphysical one that it up to the writer.


So Anahata has something to do with the mythology surrounding chakras? I'm a bit unknowledgable about this whole area, but it sounds very interesting; can you point me towards the source for that quote you provided?

From what you've written, I guess it's okay to completely ignore the Anahata character piece and just write about something similar using the basic mythos behind it, as long as the place is called Anahata. So even something like "Anahata's Burger Bar and Discount Chakras" would be acceptable, although entirely inappropriate to the setting.

By the way, I'm still unclear on what a "plot sketch" is, as compared to part of a script.

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The purpose of this round is to write a plot sketch. A plot sketch is a document that outlines the plot of piece of writing. In this case it should start after the introduction and continue all the way to the end of story and it must contain the character Airre Running in Flowers.

There are a number of different styles for writing a plot sketch the one I use consist of short paragraph where I describe what happens in the various scenes. Don’t go into details about setting, and characters within your plot sketch as those would be described else where. A simple cast list with a sentence or two describing each character at the start of the document is sufficient and another sentence or two describing any important settings when they are introduced. Settings descriptions are placed in brackets and italics for ease of identification in the style I use.

An example of plot sketch for the start of the matrix might look like this:

A woman sits alone in a room talking on a phone about how she has been watching someone when she hears foots step approaching. Outside the building two agents arrive and begin to reprimand the police officer in charge of the situation. Back inside group of police offers storm the room where the woman is sitting and before they can react she kills them with an exhibition of deadly martial arts and super human speed. A high speed chase ensues as the agents purse the woman each demonstrating super human abilities. The woman finally arrives at a phone booth and vanishes just as an agent smashes into the booth with a truck.


You don’t have to be nearly that detailed about each scene for one thing you will soon go over the word limit and secondly it is usually not necessary. Since the purpose of this style of plot sketch is just to give an overview of each scene in the story. The details would all be filled in later.

Another example of scene sketch would be:

Neo is finally taken to see the mysterious Morphous who he has been searching for. There in an abandoned building Morphous offers Neo a choice, take a red pill and follow him or take a blue and go back to is ordinary life. Neo chooses the red one.

This round is about writing a plot sketch so if I asked you to write a plot sketch for the matrix I would expect a document containing scene overviews for the entire film similar to the two sample ones. This is of course only one example of how to write a plot sketch. Sunandshadow as a thread called plotting that might be helpful to people and contains other styles.

If you want to know I how go about writing a plot sketch. What I do is, I start by writing down ideas I have for different scenes. Then I put them in chronological order and start adding new scenes in and around the existing ones. Each time I connect more and more scenes together until I have a completed plot. If I don’t like what I have then I start rework parts adding more details or changing and removing transition scenes. In this way I effectively build up the plot around what I feel are the interesting scenes. They might not even be the most important scenes in the story in fact some could entirely trivial but still ones that I want to include

Hope that helps clear up a few things.

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Thanks for the description; that wasn't what I was initially thinking of, so I'd have gone off on a complete tangent from what was expected.

Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
The purpose of this round is to write a plot sketch. A plot sketch is a document that outlines the plot of piece of writing. In this case it should start after the introduction and continue all the way to the end of story and it must contain the character Airre Running in Flowers.


So the plot sketch would be analogous to a short summary you might include at the beginning of a script to give an overview of the entire story? That seems to make sense. So what is required here is a summary of the entire plot of our barbarian game from beginning to end, with the climactic scene occuring at Anakara of the fourth veil (whatever we decide to make that). That seems tricky, to say the least! We'll also probably need quite a few more charactrs than just Airre Running In Flowers, I'd think.

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Do the entries need to answer all questions listed in the end of R2E7?

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Quote:
Original post by Estok
Do the entries need to answer all questions listed in the end of R2E7?


No, but you should at least introduce some of those questions into the plot. I won't require that they all be introduced and answered.

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Original post by Estok
What are the must-have's from R1E5 and R2E7?


The plot sketch must start immediately after the intro from round 1, and the character as described in the character profile from round two must also be included. You should also introduce at least some if not all the questions at the end of round 2 entry.

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Well I think most people would agree that they would like to have additonal judges judging the entries. And so, I have managed to convince sunandshadow to be a guest judge in this round. That means that both she and I will judging the entries and that the final scores will be an average of the two. So good luck and happy writting.

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Well, I'm getting a bit worried round 3 is nearly over and so far there have been no entries. Do people need more time? Do they have questions or problems? Is the round to difficult? Would they prefer that I wrote about a little page or two on a design for the game and then the writers could focus closer on writing just the plot for the game?

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Well, no entered this round. So that means there are two options.
1)Extend the deadline by another week to see if anyone enters.
2)Cancel round 3 and start round 4.

If we go with the 2nd option then I'll write up a little plot sketch to be used for the remainder of the competition.

One thing I'm curious about is of the people who enter the first two rounds or planned to enter why didn't you enter round 3?

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Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
One thing I'm curious about is of the people who enter the first two rounds or planned to enter why didn't you enter round 3?


For me, there were two reasons why I didn't enter this round:
  • I was too busy; I've only got a couple of hours to spend on my game developing hobby a day, and I'm trying to learn how to draw, learn how to write music, design games, and revise how to program in C++. There's not a lot of time to also learn how to write [grin]
  • This round was too massive in scope. Basically you had to design and plot out an entire game. That takes too much time, especially when I'm trying to design my own game at the same time.


I think the second reason was the kicker. I probably would have made time if I thought it would only have taken an hour to do. But to write an entire plot sketch would take me ages to do properly; coming up with the plot ideas, background research, experimentation with different drafts etc.

There's also the problem that the competition is getting a bit too complex. For this round, you really needed to be paying attention to the winner of round 1 and round 2. And since Airre Running-In-Flowers doesn't really fit in with the theme of the intro of Shai, it makes plotting all that more difficult.

Round 4 is just a scene script, right? I think that could be more accessible to the nature of the competition. Maybe you should simplify it a bit, and provide a short description of the nature of the main characters for this round? I'm not sure if we need the whole plot.

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I only entered round 2 as it was the easiest and quickest, as I don't have much spare time at the moment to do a reasonable job for the other parts of the competition, sorry.

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The theme isn't interesting to me.

If it's all about fun, I'd rather be able to write about my own thing, about something that interests me. I'm neck deep in University, and training everyday, so I don't wanna put forth the time and effort to alter it, and -make- it something interesting, either.

I understand why the choice was made, no need to justify, that's simply why I quit at round 3. I didn't enter round 2, cause I had some kind of website error everytime I tried to visit the site for a week.

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TechnoGoth, if you try to write the plot sketch yourself and move on to round 4, you are probably going to get few to no entries again. I suggest starting the contest over with a fresh story concept round, and then building on the winner of that.

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Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
TechnoGoth, if you try to write the plot sketch yourself and move on to round 4, you are probably going to get few to no entries again. I suggest starting the contest over with a fresh story concept round, and then building on the winner of that.


Thats one possibility but wouldn't the end results be the same? Each round people may find themselves less interested in the competition because of the simple fact they didn't like the winning entry.

One option would be to have a clearly defined concept and over all design in place from the start that everyone has to conform to that.

Do people think we should restart from scratch with a concept round?
Also would people prefer to have the contest focus purely on writing and have the design aspect already in place?

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