How do you write game stories?

stramin

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I always loved stories, I like complex and unexpected stories, and I like writing them, so I have been writing stories since I was a child, making notes, comics or simply storing them in my mind.

For me, Story is the most important in a RPG, and is what I try harder in my projects, Unfortunately, I'm bad for other important things, like making action or love scenes or making characters feelings.

What's your approach when writing a story for your game? Do you just wing it or plan out as much as you possibly can?
I plan out as much as I can, I don't like games with plain or hackneyed stories, I am tired of sad towns in war against an evil king, that need to be saved for the chosen Harold.

Try making plot twist, make the player be surprised by something that was not expected, is the villain myself from the future? was my father the cause of this war? the flower was all this time in my own garden? make their head explode!

Oh, I think the environment is important too, if you can make the story inside an interesting world is a really cool plus, is the people a second version of the dead humanity who was infected by aliens? do we live inside a giant bubble as an experiment build by scientists? is this world ruled by hidden vampires trying to make us stronger and happy because that make us more delicious?

What do you start with, making up characters or do you come up with the story first?
I think both work, but personally I write the story first.

Additionally, I think is easier create characters for a story than create a story for characters, because you will make more realistic characters, you already know how they live, how is the world their live, what is their job, so you create every character for his/her role knowing they grew up in this environment, otherwise, create a story for already made characters means you have to force the world to match this character, making a less consistent relation between the character and his/her environment.

When it comes to characters, do you write your characters while having a specific appearance and gender in mind or is the look of the character secondary?
The characters are secondary for me, many times I has been in the scenario I had to decide the gender of a character, actually I have around 6 characters in my game without defined gender yet.

Do you follow a certain structure when writing? 3 act structure for example.
I didn't know about the 3 act structure, but I think it could not work for a RPG, players usually look for action when they start a game, they could get bored if you begin with a long character and world introduction, I think is better to start with the second act, and show the characters and world slowly on the whole game, I think is interesting when you never finish to know a character, it is funny when you realize at the end of the game, the shy healer girl is a psycho, or when you put the bad ass hero in a hard situation and he shows that sometimes he may need help.

Is there anything specific you need to keep in mind when writing for a specific genre?
I don't know, maybe you should be careful with the public for some specific genres, it's people looking for something specific, if you don't give them that elemental thing they could hate your game because you make them waste their time xD

you know, a person looking for a romantic title doesn't want to find the couple get eaten by zombies.

Do you put game mechanics first or do you finish writing your story first and then come up with game mechanics such as puzzles, chasing, RPG elements, etc.
I finish writing the story first.

If your primarily care about mechanics, maybe you are not making a RPG...

Making minigames can be done anytime, should not be your priority.

Do you write your story while working on your game with RPG Maker or do you copy paste the finished script later on?
I would like to say I wrote the whole story and then begun to copy paste it as it is... but NO, Many pages of the original script where changed when I faced the RPG Maker limits, the lack or resources or simply because I found a better storyline.

So, my answer is "both", I think there is nothing bad if you edit the story while working, but try having at least a basic story before you start the game.

Sorry for writing so much, and my bad english XD
 
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Pixel_Maiden

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I mostly "go with the flow" though such attempts do make better intro/beginning sequences, later on you get filled with confusions because you don't have a grand scheme and that's where i get stuck.

For good writing though, i reccomend reading Shakespeare's works, and i refer to both him and Oscar Wilde for comedy. Haruhi Suzumiya's novels are also pretty good if you wanna learn how to write — they're used as reference material in Japanese arts university.
 

LisaW

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Aaaah, I didn't expect so many answers!

Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to tell me how they write stories. :kaoluv: It's really interesting to see so many different opinions. Every approach is valid and the insight really helps me in finding my writing style.

Hopefully I'll get around to answering some posts more in depth soon. I usually browse on my phone and quoting is super tedious. Sorry in advance if I don't answer everyone individually. (My free time is super limited right now *sigh* and didn't expect so many posts...):kaoeh:
 

CleanWater

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I just let it flow. After you start, it's easier to go on.

The main challenge is to find your starter point.

Some tips I usually follow may help.

1) Who's the protagonist?
2) Where he/she lives?
3) What's their goal?
4) What's the event that changed his/her life and put them into the road?
5) What's expected to find there? The end?

For Fantasya Final Definitiva (a game I did in RM2k3, never localized it to English though).

1) Who's the protagonist?
R: Samuka, a former SAMURAI who became a beggar.

2) Where he/she lives?
R: He lived in Kaganumato's archipelago capital, but had lost his rank and was expelled from it.

3) What's their goal?
R: Find any pub to drink until he forgets his misery.

4) What's the event that changed his/her life and put them into the road?
R: He lost everything he valued most in life.

5) What's expected to find there? The end?
R: He doesn't know. He just wants to wander around drinking everywhere.
 

Arctica

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Seems like once I have the setting(where the story will take place), I will have the entire plot already figured out.
 

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