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Writing for an existing game?

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I really want to get into Half-Life 2 modding, but I just can't get any good storyline ideas. I want it to take place in the HL2 universe and I want the main character to be Gordon Freeman. My question is, how do I write a storyline for a mod of an existing game without interfering with the current official storyline? I know I can use time warps and things to explain the sudden change in plot, but that has been done too many times. Are there an good story-telling methods for this type of thing?

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Original post by darkcypher543
My question is, how do I write a storyline for a mod of an existing game without interfering with the current official storyline?

I know I can use time warps and things to explain the sudden change in plot, but that has been done too many times. Are there an good story-telling methods for this type of thing?

Couple approaches you could take. For one, the official storyline of HL2 only goes so far, ending at some event. So ask yourself: What happens after that? Even though your futuristic telling of Gordon Freeman may someday be overwritten by an extension to the official story (which is very probable, considering HL2's popularity), your version would still be true to the current storyline.

Similarly, you can go into the past. Is there something about Gordon Freeman's upbringing that hasn't been shown? Was there some event in his past that was hinted at in the games that was never fully explained? There are also many events that could have taken place in Gordon's life that couldn't be added to the official storyline, due to their irrelevance to the current arc and simply due to the content factor--the developers can only put so much into the game. Here, you are looking at how Gordon Freeman became the man he is today, and your story can help to depict one of his many facets. Think of these as side quests.

Another take on past life exploration is looking specifically at someone Gordon has met and expanding on how that person affected Gordon's life. A girlfriend, an old physics buddy, maybe both? Oooo, hot physics girlfriend. I like the sound of that. :D I've never played any of the Half-Life games, though, so maybe that's already been done. If so, I'll have to check into that....

And, as you've mentioned, there is the time warp approach which tells an alternate version of some event. Maybe someone who Gordon saves in HL2 dies instead in your substituted telling, and somehow that guy/gal was uber-important. Or perhaps some disastrous event that Gordon originally managed to avert goes haywire in your own story. Though some of these approaches may be overdone, they can still lead to very valuable insights into your writing style and capabilities. The important thing here is that you're writing about something that you like. Who cares if it diverges from the original storyline, really? Have fun with it.

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