[Writing] How long did you take to write your whole script?

Pervert_Tentacle

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I think it's fair to say that writing a script for a game takes time. I mean, I don't want to hype too much, but I've got a summary so to speak but I want to write every dialogue, every action, the events that happen... and that's only the main story, not counting the secondary missions.

It's better to have everything organized, I think.

I mean, how much time did you take to write your whole script, if you have?
 

Dororo

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I'll probably make a game out of an unreleased novel.
That novel required for me 8 months for the first draft, counting brainstorm sessions - I'm not a strict planner.
Anyway, in the game there will be no prose so probably starting with a game script alone should last half that time, I suppose. And such time will be layered on top of other tasks, like mapping and eventing.
 

rue669

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Took me about 6 months to write the script.

But it took about a year to plan everything!
 

Mythmaker19

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I really take my time writing. It's taken me about two years of sporadic work to write out the first act. I think it might be better to break the acts into separate games though so I don't get discouraged with how long everything takes.
 

SigmaSuccour

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For the project I'm currently working on: It took me around 1.5 to 2 months. To write the whole main story, from start to finish, with all the dialogues.

Twenty_thousand_words_for_False_Server_SigmaSuccour.png
(This is excluding the side, skippable dialogue. That I usually write while making the game.)


False_Server_Full_Outline_Mindmap_SigmaSuccour.jpg
(Image of the outline for the story.)

And I wrote the last 8000 words, in the final 5 days.
at 12000 words, I was so stressed having taken that long to finish the script. That I went on a full dopamine detox, (stopped watching anime, or playing videogames since then) so I could finish the script within the next 25 days. (I ended up finishing it 5 days later.) And what I ended up writing, is the most engaging part of the whole story.
Were_finished.png
(Some excerpts)
Nobody_signing_out.png
 
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Cythera

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Hmm, I don't really write full scripts for my projects, honestly. I've been writing for, oh gosh, 10 years now? It's always been a big hobby of mine, and it's what made me popular in school :3
But really, I don't make full scripts, and the big reason for that is characters. You can have the best story to ever exist, but if your characters are unrelatable, very few people will ever care about the story. You can have the most generic story ever, but if you have relatable, unique characters with motives that elicit feelings from readers, that generic story is suddenly brilliant!
In my personal opinion, it's better to have a guideline story - you know the start, you know some of the events in the middle, and you know the ending you want. The rest of the story, the transitions, the events, the plan to get from A to B, the internal conflict, all of that is what your characters should write. It's all well and good to say 'then the party does this to get from point A to point B!' But what if doing that requires the characters to act completely out of, well, character? That breaks a story, ruins immersion, and can turn readers/players/movie goers off very quickly.
Your characters are going to change as the plot progresses...keeping to a rigid plot may not work with the character development. You'll need to adapt the script, and that may result in tossing hours of writing out the window, or trying to shoehorn in a scene that doesn't fit.

...Okay, this was supposed to be a quick reply; I apologize. This is just a topic I'm super passionate about! I could go on for longer about this subject, but don't want to come off as too pretentious :3 Of course, there are a lot of factors to consider, and writing a novel is NOT the same as writing a game (oof, did I learn this the hard way when I first started working on games!) But! I still firmly believe characters are FAR more important than the plot. Know the basics of the plot, some of the big events, and how it should end. Let your characters do the rest :) If they're well-fleshed out and realistic, they'll write your plot on their own.

Oh yes, and ultimately, to answer your question, I personally spent...2 weeks on my game's plot? If that?
 
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Less than a month for the game I've completed, and about three weeks for the one I'm working on now, but those are both very short games and not really RPGs

There's another much bigger game that's actually an RPG that I've been trying to collab with other people on, including having one of them write the script. It's taken about five months so far and we're not even a quarter of the way through, which is way longer than I would have liked but that's on me for leaving it up to someone else completely aha

That being said, in the two projects I've worked on so far, I've always ended up changing stuff once I've actually started building the game; cutting parts that feel unneeded, changing certain scenes (even the ending), adding in new dialogues and stuff, etc, so it's hard to put a concrete number on how long the writing process takes
 

Tai_MT

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I'm one of those very strange writers you sometimes hear about. I didn't even know I was that kind of writer until an author had articulated the words. I didn't have words for what I am and what I do.

I classify it as "organic writing", but... it's closer to "a spiritual experience", I suppose?

I don't write my story. My story writes itself. The characters tell me who they are and how things will play out. I have very little input beyond "translating" what I see in my head to a medium. It feels more like peering into another world and pulling pieces of it out to show to others rather than coming up with my own thoughts and ideas and trying to put those to paper.

With that explanation out of the way:

Yeah, I'm not done writing my script. 5 years in the making and I have no script. Not beyond general arcs. Not beyond the general "10 plot points" you create whenever you make a story.

The experience of writing like this is sort of interesting from a technical standpoint.

The view I have of the world and its events is like reading a History Book. You get the gist of the events, the overall outcomes, the major players involved, and the state of world affairs at the time.

Then, the characters involved talk to me. They personalize all that stuff by just being who they are.

I don't even know how the stories I write end... until they end. The same is true of video game writing. How do my games end? I don't know, they haven't ended yet. I know what the final obstacle is, but what happens when it's overcome? It's never as simple as "they win".

Anyway, I write "Quests" a lot differently. Quests tend to be planned out pretty heavily with a lot of detail I create. But, I tend to have "sparse" amounts of Quests because they really only come from places of myself. I write them from my own creativity instead of peeking in on other worlds. I've got like... 5 or 6 spreadsheets with just the initial set of Quests I've come up with and all the player variation on those quests (what happens depending on what the player does).

After I create the Quests in my head, it's often just a matter of talking to the characters and saying, "if this happened, what would you do?" and then they tell me. So, I add their dialogue to the proceedings in near real-time as I design it. I may "rewrite" it after a while as part of the "translation" process (namely, cutting it down, changing words around, maybe adding a little bit of flare to the gist of what they're saying) just to make it flow a lot better, but it's still all the characters.

Yes, I realize how nutballs that sounds. I realize how strange and silly and off-the-wall it reads.

But, that's sort of how it feels.

Are these actual people in other worlds? Am I actually peeking in on other worlds? Or, does my mind create all this stuff in such a way that I don't know I'm doing it?

But, hey, that's how it works for me. I create the "10 plot points", meet the characters involved in that plot, and then they tell me how things happened. I write it. Or put it into game format. That's why I say it feels like a spiritual experience. I love writing because of that feeling. I don't know if what flows through me is real. I only know it's the clearest images I ever have in my mind and I never want them to go away.

Or, you know, short answer: "I have no idea what I'm doing, I fly by the seat of my pants, and just write as I go".
 

Ninjakillzu

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I don't ever write scripts. Everything just comes as I type. I only just recently started a plot outline too! I do sometimes plan sidequests or plot points out in advance, but it's mostly just nebulous thoughts and feelings that I will adapt when the time comes. Much like @Tai_MT I don't know how my game will end.
 

Milennin

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I don't write a script. I come up with a vague outline of story events I want there to happen, and then write the rest on the spot, as I go.
 

akoniti

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In my experience thusfar, having a clear vision of the main idea bright in my mind is the main requirement. A single page outline covering the broad strokes of the storyline is a useful supplement.

While developing the functional framework for the story progression, I begin rolling in the dialog and other supporting text. Over time, I playtest then expand on and finetune the script and events many times, incrementally adding depth and meaning. Game development seems to really lend itself to this approach.

So, I can definitely identify with others above who take hold of an idea then shoot from the hip and let the script unfold over time.

I've always loved how David Lynch looks at creativity, here he uses the analogy of fish to describe grabbing ideas form the aether and expanding on them to create a script and film:

 

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For the game I finished? Most of summer 2011. Though that was draft I dunno what, I had done drafts of my game every summer since like 1999 or so until then, and sometimes 2 drafts.
 

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