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David Wagnon

Dialog Writer in Need of Some Feedback

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Hi there!

     My name is David, and I've been writing stories for several years now. I'd like some feedback on two public samples I recently wrote. Yet enough with the introductions, let's get to the meat of it:

Sample One, Mass Effect: Andromeda Alternate Prologue.

     For this project I changed around the main characters and setting. The player now controls Alec aboard the Nexus. This made more sense to me, as the Nexus-being the first ship in Andromeda-should've had a Pathfinder with it. Moreover, the drama of the Nexus riots seems to establish much of the intra-factional conflict. Act 1 is what I have so far, and it's already half a book long. When it comes to game dialog, I try to give weight to every choice the player makes (hence the length of the document).

     Choice is always a major factor in any Mass Effect game (yes, even 3), and I tried to emulate that here. The first choice the player makes is whether to delay some enemy reinforcements or shoot them out into space. This choice affects the dialog between Alec and SAM; and, in future Acts, it would help determine SAM's independent actions. The player's second choice concerns how to deal with the Nexus riot leaders. The player is given three options, two of which have their own sub-options. These choices can remove future bosses, as well as add to Alec's combat party.

     Like with any project this size, I don't expect people to read all of it; yet, I would certainly welcome some feedback.

          Also, Here's the Decision Tree for Act 1. In case you want to preview/track the choices I gave the player. Andromeda Act 1 Decision Tree.pdf

Note: I posted the Andromeda rewrite on the appropriate Reddit, but I only got a couple of responses.

Sample Two, End of the Imperial Line

     This is an original project (i.e. I didn't use a pre-existing IP). The End of the Imperial Line takes place around 1890's London. An assassination plot against the Queen serves as the catalyst for the story. Episode 1 begins when three cops storm a train to find the would-be assassin. Players control Johnny Badger, a normal street cop. Johnny must interview the 9 passengers and use their testimonies/evidence to identify the assassin.

     Episode 1 is kept short and contained. That said, it is ironically about as long as the previous mentioned project. Surprisingly, having 9 passengers answer the same 3-4 questions can add up to quite a bit. Especially when you try to make each one stand out.

     Feedback is very welcome on this project. However, please don't bludgeon me too much about the accents (or lack thereof). I was trying to get this one done in time for a job application.

Where to Read Them,

These projects can be found at:


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Hm...The first thing I see here is a formatting issues. Most game studios these days use screenwriting software like Final Draft and want to know that their writers can use the software and know the format. It's just a bit different from what you have here. I am attaching a screenshot to show what the format should look like. Note that it's a rough draft of a Supernatural spec script, and may have a few typos, but it's a good example of the formatting. If you need a bit of help, I'm always willing to help!!

Supernatural spec screenshot.jpg

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Thanks for the feedback, Gambit. I've already started looking into the software. I'll see which price option/release fits my needs best, as well as maybe shop around for alternatives. That said, does it damage my examples to submit them as PDF's; or, would using a program like Final Draft simply make it more appealing (to a studio I mean)?

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Final Draft, and most other screenwriting software converts to PDF anyway. So it's best to send PDF files. If you would like to use something that's free, I am using Trelby right now, and it's actually quite good. They're pretty much all the same. They just don't have all the extra bells and whistles on the free versions. If you want to check it out, here's a link. It'd fairly easy to use. http://www.trelby.org/

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It looked like it was good. Remember, it is good to have fiction samples as well. It depends on what kind of role you want to play. Whether you are writing dialog for the game or adding to the IP through books and that sort of thing. Some have their writers do that.

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Understood, I have some fiction samples already in my Public Portfolio. Or do you mean an original concept script? Because that's what End of the Imperial Line is meant to cover. I put did the Andromeda script and Imperial one to show that I can work with both an original and existing IP.

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No. As writing samples, don't present anything original to them right away. Unless f course it's copyrighted or registered with the Writers Guild of America. Unless of course you don't really mind. Mostly they want to know if you can write in an existing IP universe. So what you have is good.

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Thanks, and yeah I never put up anything that I don't mind losing. That's why my portfolio is as small as it is, I've mostly worked on projects with small groups, meaning that's work I can't share until the product's finished. You seem to know a fair bit about this; so, aside from getting into a program like Trelby or Final Draft, what else might improve my employment chances/portfolio?

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