How to write a story plot for a game

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How to write a story plot for a game

Some days we get our hands dirty with realities of the business. No one likes writing plot summaries. On top of that, a plot summary needs to be engaging to read, be clear and thorough enough not to logically fall apart on examination so no handwaving how protagonists get from Point A to Point Band—for most plot summaries in the video game world—contain enough meat to allow artists, cinematic designers, level designers, and so forth to intelligently respond with their own concerns and plans.

How to Write a Synopsis of Your Novel

Despite the difficulties, putting a summary together is a task most game writers will need to take on at some point, so you might as well do the job properly. What is a Plot Summary, and Who is it For? It is not a technical document; while it may or may not break down the story into clear gameplay elements, suggest asset requirements, and so forth, its emphasis is on telling a story.

Who is it for? Rather, our focus today is on a plot summary intended for development team members in multiple disciplines design, art, engineering, audio, etc. Ideally, such a summary should be written very early in development; in reality, it may come relatively late in non-story-focused games.

how to write a story plot for a game

For team members without a direct stake in the particulars of the narrative e. For team members with a strong direct stake in the narrative particulars, however, a summary doc is even more important. It serves as the first line of defense against unexpected problems and misunderstandings.

It allows for pure story critique from all parties as well, making sure that all background information is conveyed, that all logic is sound, etc. Such a summary may also be aimed at a writing team, conveying the overall events of a story that multiple writers end up detailing.

A plot summary must be engaging. It must be readable. It does mean treat it as seriously as you would anything produced for the public, even though your audience is strictly in-house. Player-focused, Player Point of View Write the body your plot summary from the point of view of the Player though not necessarily the Player Character, since their viewpoints may differ.

The Player confronts the warlord and, either diplomatically or through threats and blackmail, learns the location of the downed helicopter and the UN medical supplies. Why handle the plot summary this way? Writing the summary from a Player point of view also helps reveal potentially weak areas where the Player is denied agency, where the Player Character becomes passive, and so on.

Even if you include such supplementals, make sure the most necessary elements are repeated somewhere in the main synopsis. Make it Work on its Own Terms Consider your plot summary a minimal acceptable framework for the story to function. You may leave out certain nuances and complexities and setups and twists that you intend for the vastly more detailed final script or even for a more detailed version of the plot summarybut your plot summary must work as a story in its own right.

If you vanish, someone else should be able to step in and write the story described by your plot summary without wrestling with basic issues of setup and logic. Are you writing for an open world game? Does the design require that the Player return to an NPC mission-giver or home base after every quest?

Does your design not allow cutscenes in the middle of missions? Then make sure anything cinematic happens at the start or the end. Every game has its constraints.

Some of them will fundamentally dictate the manner of story you tell, while others will be irritants and speed bumps. A first-person shooter requires a vastly different story than a point-and-click adventure game. Ideally, a plot summary should imply the style of gameplay and reveal an ultimate goal without depending on any exact methods.

And make sure you are at least implying a style of gameplay—I need to know if that walk up the mountain is meant to be a brief, serene bit of downtime, a showcase for puzzles, or a combat-heavy murder spree. In many cases, a plot summary may be written around predetermined, highly specific game mechanics.

Hew to plans and good intentions, but be prepared for things to change. Ideally, most of the narrative will have plenty of flexibility.

A crowd of onlookers waits for the Player at the top of the mountain. Large or unusual levels, original art assets, unique game mechanics, and so forth tend to be big ones—see Learning to Budget at a Glance for more.

Reshape the narrative to help make a better game. Then put the plot summary aside and start writing the real deal.Feb 15,  · How to Plot a Story In this Article: Article Summary Planning Your Story Crafting Your Story Arc Preparing a Plot Outline Sample Brainstorms Sample Excerpts Community Q&A You might have a great idea for a story, but plotting it out can still be difficult%(7).

The Verb Recognize a verb when you see one. Verbs are a necessary component of all have two important functions: Some verbs put stalled subjects into motion while other verbs help to clarify the subjects in meaningful ways.

Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing Pages That Go Nowhere) 1st Edition.

Story Arts | Storytelling Activities & Lesson Ideas

In essence, he tells you how to make a board game out of your video game plot. He describes both the “ how ” and the “ why ” behind the exercise in this 30 minute video.

The “ how ” focuses on how to take your ideas for a video game plot and actually build a board game out of it. A plot summary (or a synopsis, or a narrative outline–call it what you will) is a prose recounting of a game’s story, narrating the major events and character beats.

It is not a technical document; while it may (or may not) break down the story into clear gameplay elements, suggest asset requirements, and so forth, its emphasis is on. Tips: Writing and implementing a game plot.

By: Lunarea. Sitting down and coming up with a really great story sounds simple in theory. After all, it really just takes some imagination and writing experience.

3 Great Story Writing Tips For Novice Game Designers