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Need a story?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by EmeraldEagle, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. EmeraldEagle

    EmeraldEagle

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    Sooo, I love to write stories, but in order to do it professionally, I'm gonna need some XP. I had an idea, not sure if it'll work, but I think its worth a try. I'll write some stories for free or cheep (like a couple bucks) for people that need a story and can't pay a pro, and I'll get a little of that precious experience in the processes.

    Now I know that saying "I'm good at writing stories!" doesn't really mean much, so got a story I am really proud of to share. https://www.storywars.net/stories/69811#showInvites (I also got a Word doc)
     

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  2. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I think the quality of that writing is good, but it doesn't tell me much about whether you can write in combination with game mechanics. Can you write branching game dialogue without extraneous information? Can you write a description of a location in a way that ties into the larger story without having to upload the entire game lore into the window first? In a game you will likely not get room to write half the stuff that goes into a normal story, it's more about how well packaged a very small piece of writing is on its own.

    If I were you I would demo something built into the mechanics of a game prototype.
     
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  3. EmeraldEagle

    EmeraldEagle

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    Could you please explain that last part to me? I don't quite get it, and how would I get experience doing the things you mentioned?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  4. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    Basically what @Billy4184 says, you need some prototype game, to which you can fit a story, as showcase demo.
     
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  5. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

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    You might be better off joining forums and groups centered around writing itself, rather than here. Writing for games is very different than just writing a story. Alternatively ,you could take some online courses about writing for games, then try writing a game design + story to go with it and come back with that. People will be more likely to take you on that way.

    A story is not seperate from the design of the game, the two entertwine. Good games have mechanics that are grounded in the story and vice versa. You cant really just make a story for a game and then people will make a game to fit that, and we are all game developers here so making games is what we want.

    So yeah learn a bit about writing for games and then start doing it and post examples here, youll get interest pretty quickly :)
     
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  6. EmeraldEagle

    EmeraldEagle

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    Hmmm... so I need a demo game that I can show my game writing skills with... I'm gonna have to wait then. I don't have a computer that I can use Unity on, and I don't know anyone trying to make a game that I can write for.
     
  7. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Use Twine. It's much more lightweight than Unity. You can run it on anything. And it's easy to learn. It's like a choose-your-own-adventure writing system. Potential hirers are generally happy to play through Twine games to evaluate your skill in writing interactive fiction.
     
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  8. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Seconding Twine. A few hires I've recommended have had portfolios that were predominantly Twine games. It's free, super easy to pick up, and it doesn't take too much to learn some of the more advanced tricks that can help show off versatility as a writer in game spaces.
     
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  9. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Good story, this would work well in a point and click game (which are my favs or a text based game.)
     
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  10. EmeraldEagle

    EmeraldEagle

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    Thank you guys, I appreciate y'all advice. I am going to do some research and learn what I can, and then I'll come back.
     
  11. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Thats perfect. I was going to link your Away Mission concept from Feedback Friday actually :D
     
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  12. EmeraldEagle

    EmeraldEagle

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    I went to see what you were talking about, and that game demo was awesome.
     
  13. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Thanks! That actually turned into Questgiver. Neither is a good example of branching narrative, though. It was more of an experiment in random/procedural scenarios.

    For some Twine game inspiration, check itch.io's Top games made with Twine.
     
  14. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    That prototype is still roughly a good vehicle for game writing (minimal mechanics and maximum storytelling), minus the procedural elements and with a few tweaks.
     
  15. Teila

    Teila

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    There are some great books on writing for games which in some way is closer to screenwriting than narrative stories. I also write stories, but learning how to write them for games was challenging. I suggest looking at some of these books.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011AQDSKQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009P3KHK6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I have written a lot of lore for worldbuilding which is a lot different than creating a narrative that works in a video game. I found it a challenge but also really rewarding. Much of the challenge comes from the fact that you must allow the player some freedom within the story you are trying to tell and as a writer, YOU want to tell the story rather than allow them a place within the experience.

    My biggest challenge game when I did not want the bad guy to die in the final stages of the story but I realized that without the possibility, the player was basically frozen in my story...rather than experiencing his own.

    Hope some of this helps you but a lot of it will come from practice. I am very much still a newb at writing for video games. :)
     
  16. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    I've linked this before, but it deserves another link:

    David Kuelz's Narrative Design Tips I Wish I'd Known. It's a primer on the differences between interactive writing and traditional static writing. The bullet points are:
    • Story starts with gameplay
    • The story isn't the words
    • Writing is a form of feedback
    • Focus on environments, not sequences
     
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  17. Teila

    Teila

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    Ooo, missed that one. Thanks Tony!

    I never thought about the connection with interactive writing, which is something I love to do, or did since I no longer have much time for it.
     
  18. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Always happy to share that link. It's a good article. Since this thread is on a game engine forum, I assume it's about writing for games, which usually means interactive writing. But even if the stories are non-interactive they typically need to support the pillars that Kuelz writes about in that article.
     
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  19. Teila

    Teila

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    The story of building a game? LOL Not sure how that fits in but okay.
     
  20. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    I think they're just spamming the video. The only other post they have is linking it too.
     
  21. EmeraldEagle

    EmeraldEagle

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    Your talking about the story I wrote?

    Thanks for the links TonyLi and Goatkaycom