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rogerdv

Writing game plots

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I have written a short article about writing game plots and I would like to hear suggestions/corrections from more experienced people. More than trying to teach other I was trying to organize my ideas and get some feedback about techniques and resources for creating emotion in games. Feel free to criticize whatever you want, here or in the blog.

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Hi, I think your blog would be more readable if you add an extra line between paragraphs and bold the topic item of the paragraph to make it easier for the reader to jump to an topic/item of interest. Without sequentially reading the whole thing.

In your post you wrote about Decision as a source that evokes emotion. There is a strong caveat of this usage, where the decision needs to be detached from the strategic/tactical value of the game. Any decision that affects the game plot too much risks becoming an emotionless tactical switch. It risks asking the player to forgo the emotional meaning, and the story world turns into a chess board. This effect is contagious and could make the player become emotionless about the rest of the content.

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Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Moving to Writing.

Oh, there is a Writing forum? i didnt saw it :(
Thank you Wai, Im not too fond of using innecesary formatting, so I end not using it at all even when it is needed, as you point, I wiil edit it.


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I agree with Wai on the formatting; when you don't indent you must use line breaks.

Other than some grammatical errors - nothing major - the main flaw your article suffers from is a lack of predictable direction. When you start into the first paragraph you're given no sense of how the article will continue, only that it does. Working in a stronger lead-in, similar to an academic essay, would give readers a stronger sense of direction.

Tying into that sense of direction, you might want to take a look at the order of your paragraphs. While it is up to the writer's preference, you may find that things might make a bit more sense if you approach them in a defined sequence. An example would be the paragraph you have on open worlds; it seems to break up the flow from the paragraph on decisions, and the one on action.

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It's funny that you talk of the subject of interest, considering you generate none. Good writing, that does indeed generate interest, comes from a few simple facets:

1. Instead of repeatedly asking questions to the reader, then promptly answering them, find different methods to get their attention. You aren't Billy Mays, and an article about writing game plots doesn't come from In-your-face-we-don't-even-have-time-to-answer-the-freaking-question attitudes.

2. Form and function are the basis of good writing. You used the word "generate" more than 4 times. The English language is convoluted, and so should be the usage of its words. If you used "Generate" in one sentence, try using a different word with the same meaning, like "create". It's like you said, graphics are great for the first few moments, until we become desensitized to their shiny appeal. The same applies to literature.

3. Always leave the audience with a desire to read the next sentence. Short sentences work, but hooks are better. Are you still reading this? Why? It's not that interesting is it? Stop it. You can't. You are a tool. Just kidding. If you want to keep someone from scrolling down your page after the second sentence, make the second sentence exciting.

4. Don't use absolutes if you think it can come back to bite you in the ass later on. Want to maintain credibility? Be vague, and refrain from using an "always" or a "never" unless it absolutely works in your favor.


Using these guidelines to ALL of your writing can usually increase the hype about your game plots too. Variety is the only constant one should consider. Paradox is also fun.

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Specific edits:
"Graphics tend to impress the in the first minutes of play" the what? word missing or something.
"So, if you want that players actually finish your game," So, if you want players to actually finish your game,
mistery -> mystery in all occurrences of the word.
"the player is embarked in a quest to discover something" in -> on
"Hide to the player" to -> from
"Difficult decisions are good, but not to trust the whole emotion building process to them." not to -> don't
"Action (in the sense of fight)" fight -> fighting

But overall I agree with other posters here that the organization is bad. You should take the idea "emotion" and brainstorm more about how it is created in games. What about humor? Love? Fear? Frustration? Triumph? The basic pleasure of getting treasure or getting to make an aesthetic choice?

You should just delete the first paragraph, it doesn't accomplish anything. Instead start with the idea that interest and emotion are what keep players playing until the end. Then either list the types of emotion, or the elements used to generate emotion (such as characters, villains, choices, customizations, etc.)

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