• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
jsj795

Organizing for non-linear storyline

9 posts in this topic

I've been trying to write a non-linear storyline with multiple paths, and each path giving different stories and endings. And upon doing so, organizing each "events" became hectic. (I've been trying to write on MS Word)

One way I thought of using is Powerpoint, with clicking hyperlinked action leads to a slide with its event, etc. But before I do so, is there any other free programs that may help with this?

Thank you in advance :)
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're only doing a few levels of interactivity you could just use multiple levels of headings in your document and generate a TOC, it would be structured and linked like a little tree. You can use hyperlinks in most/all Office products, but sometimes it's a little buggy. Otherwise, not sure! Good luck!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='jefferytitan' timestamp='1335942405' post='4936682']
If you're only doing a few levels of interactivity you could just use multiple levels of headings in your document and generate a TOC, it would be structured and linked like a little tree. You can use hyperlinks in most/all Office products, but sometimes it's a little buggy. Otherwise, not sure! Good luck!
[/quote]

What I plan to do is some sort of interwining storyline, where if you choose to do X quest, you might not be able to do Y quest, but it doesn't stop from you achieving Z ending because endings are made from various combinations of paths you took so there's more than 1 way of achieving the same ending (I'm thinking of making 4 endings total).

So it's like similar to skyrim's sandbox quest type, except the storyline will flow more dependently on each other.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='DadeLeviathan' timestamp='1336282855' post='4937717']
Lastly, have you ever written a storyline for a game start to finish? If not, start with a linear storyline and familiarize yourself with writing interactive fiction. THEN move on to the confusing, obnoxiously complex behemoth that is branching storylines and non-linear narrative.
[/quote]
Yes I have, although it was pretty simple without much background story :/ Just the usual you're the hero and you have to go kill the enemy who took your loved one stuff. But I did write bunch of small stories (not for games tho) which helped me develop what I have so far. Plus, it helps that this game with non-linear story is pretty short in terms of length because of memory restraint I have (specifically, I'm developing this RPG for TI-83+ calculator which only has so much memory that if I developed a long storyline it would not fit in the calculator)

[quote name='DadeLeviathan' timestamp='1336282855' post='4937717']
Now onto writing the story itself. Start with an outline. Starting by writing the story itself is the equivalent of trying to build a house without any architectural designs. The outline at first should incorporate only the MAJOR branching story trees. Include NO side quests or anything of the sort. Stay broad and high concept. once that is done, rewrite it. Then rewrite it again. Finally when that outline is GREAT, add in additional branching storylines, quests, etc, working your way down and repeating the process. What I mean is first you write major secondary quests into the outline, rewrite, and then make sure that is all working well. Then you add tertiary quests, etc, etc, etc, etc.
[/quote]
That is also what I'm doing. I've wrote a document that shows my overall outline and the description of the world that the character lives in, the history, etc, and wrote the overarching major storyline. I haven't touched on the details yet, which I plan to do now.

[quote name='DadeLeviathan' timestamp='1336282855' post='4937717']
Both when outlining and writing the rough edition of your story, I recommend using a flow chart or a mind map. If you go the mind map route (my preferred method for outlining non-linear narratives), Freemind is a great open-source program for creating mind maps. You can find it here: http://freemind.sour...x.php/Main_Page
[/quote]
Wow this is amazing!! thank you so much for it :D this is exactly what I was looking for! This does seem 100 times better than what I was trying to do with powerpoint.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi all,

There's a design tool tailored for interactive stories, it's called [b]articy:draft[/b]. A free trial version is available, if you want to check it out.

Here's a video (other vids are linked there):
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2NQJtkLnsw&list=PLCF24BFEEF6B55503&index=1&feature=plpp_video[/media]
And this is the website: [url="http://www.articydraft.com"]http://www.articydraft.com[/url]

Enjoy experimenting with it!


[i]PS: Why am I getting a negative reputation for posting something that's 100% relevant for the topic?[/i] [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/unsure.png[/img] Edited by KaiRosenkranz
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wow seems like a really nice product! Will try the 30 day version, although the price does seem pretty high for me, since I won't be making any money off of the game I'm developing x.x But I'll definitely consider this if I go full time developing games :)
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My own experience in fiction writing (which is nothing to be in awe of) has taught me that the best way to write is to first write the most important/your favorite scenes. You'll find ways to weave them together. This is much easier than starting at the beginning, even of an outline, and slogging your way through.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@jsj: You'll need to come up with a speech naming system, kind of like how a computer program uses routine and subroutine names. When character A says tavern010, character T3 says tavern011. After character T3 says tavern011, there might be a number of subsequent lines spoken, depending on context or on player choice.

Naming the speeches and specifying the interactive path will help you follow what you've written.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another way to sharpen your nonlinear narrative writing skills, is to play a Freeform Play By Email RPG, with no rules, and all the participants concentrate very hard on trying to make good writing. The random tussle of all the different directions that other people will take you, and trying to keep the results interesting, will help you a lot. Having to read and respond to others also forces the writing to get done... at least until people get off-track or lazy. Still that's part of the learning curve. What's more likely to keep people on track, and what's more likely to derail the game?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0