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Mark dreamer of worlds

The lengt of a story.

5 posts in this topic

Hello all.
At the moment I am writing my first story for my very first game.
Only thing is, I have no idea how many page's i should write. At the moment I am still on 9, there are many more to come.
But should i put a limit on it?
Because there is incredibly much going on in my head for my story and it all follows up like it should. I only fear that if I keep writing it in that order
My story gets to long.
Is there any recommendation of how many page's I should write, or should I just keep going and let the story decide when it is enough?


greetings

Mark from belgium.
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There is no one ideal story length - it all depends on game (both type and scope), on how detailed your writing actually is and how it will be presented in game (how much backstory, how much told, how much played through).

Also - do you plan to actually build the game around your story? Do you have a team for that?
In any case you should take a break and try to analyze, how much technical (both programming and art) work implementing your story already implies. Is it realistic to do with your resources.

But of course if you enjoy writing you can still continue, even if it is too much for single game. You can always extract one smaller story-arc for your first game.
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A page is a different size in different printed and computer formats. There are prose formats vs. script formats, single-spaced vs. double spaced, not to mention font sizes. How many words for an average page? And as Lauris says, target length would depend on the type and scope of game. The most massive RPG ever would have a script roughly the size of that for a movie, 120 script pages or less, or in prose it would be equivalent to a novella, perhaps 40,000 words. Most games have much less story. The wordiest platformer has less than 30 script pages or 10k words, which would be equivalent to a short story; an average platformer probably has less than half that.
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To bring an example - Mass Effect 3 had roughly 40'000 lines of recorded dialog. But, keep in mind, that a lot (if not most) of this dialog would remain unspoken in a single campaign because the different story arc possibilities.
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Personally I think the question should be less "how long" than "how much will a player see in one playthrough" and "how much of it is interactive". Remember that you're making a game, not writing a screenplay. Also remember that gameplay is frequently repetitive, so the game is likely to be longer than your story. Conversely, for a branching story the player may only see a small portion of your story. Try to picture in your head which bits of it are playable and how long it would take to play through it. Then ask yourself how long you want a playthrough of the game to be.
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Well, the thing is. I am planning that the whole gameplay is the story. The player himself is witness of everything the story is about. I'm not planning to use any cutscenes.
The whole story is interactive, yes. But not in the way of mass effect. Think more in the way of the penumbra series/ (if any of you are familiar with them.)
At the moment I am working on my own for creating the art, programming. I got quit some knowledge in UDK as in Unity3D, so I am planning to create it in eater one of those.
Thanks for all your reply's, it really helped setting my mark on how to go further with my writing.


greetings.
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