I am originally a game programmer, but i need to write story and dialogs for my next project. I am currently using Evernote/Google Drive to collaborate and share scenes, dialogs, character profiles with my team members. However i don't think i am following an useful format and things get hard to follow.
Can you guys recommend any format/templates/tools for game story writing?
I'm going to jump in and just say, there isn't one. It depends entirely one what your game design and what your project is. You need to establish good practice between your team members so that you're not all doing different things, but it really comes down to just doing what you think works.
Online collaboration is always a difficult thing to try and arrange the first time with a team. If something isn't working in the way you're doing it currently, then you need to identify why it isn't working. Do you have any more specifics about the way you're doing it now?
A good way to organise things for storywriting I have found for larger projects is to create a wiki for myself. This allows me to reference everything, to everything. Characters to story, story to setting, plot to setting, etc. If you can host this online for all team members to reference, and ensure that you're all working from the same documents then that could work. It depends on if you have the capacity to host this, and the will to create it and keep it updated as it does create a bit of work.
Agreed that there isn’t one. Templates and guides exist for game-design documents because the format of them can be similar across many projects, teams, and companies while still containing unique content. But a story is the content, and should be uniquely different from any other story every written that there will rarely be enough common ground to justify templates etc.
That being said, we used Excel for the short story for Barnyard Blast: Swine of the Night. Dialogs for us were broken into 1 or 2 lines accompanied by a scene on the top screen with 1 or 2 characters talking. For the purpose of translations, notes about references were included in a few columns to the right. For example, the first 5 columns would be English, Spanish, Italian, French, and German, and the next column would contain dialog “actions” (X slides in from the left, X changes to frame #5, etc.), and finally the next column would be a note about the text itself, such as, “A reference to Castlevania’s ‘What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets,’” so that translators could translate those references into something appropriate for their countries. Also, I believe I forgot to mention the first column was actually the name of the speaker, followed by each language.
This worked well for our short story and the way our game was set up, but would need extending or modifying to be suitable for an RPG or other type of game with a heavy story.
Just think about the format of your story-telling and what kind of information you want to include with each line of text and make your own format that works.