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I know this may not be the best place to ask this, since it's for a game, but the game is very story driven, so I thought it would be reasonable to ask this on the writers stack exchange.

The story is far from complete - I don't usually write stories for my games, so I'm unsure of how to start. I already have TONS of notes... for the plot, scenes, characters, setting, dialog snippets, all sorts of things, but I'm having trouble bringing it all together to plan for the game it was made for.

How should I structure the story? Would it make sense to write it out like a book, so everybody on the team knows exactly what the story is about? Or should it be more concise and to the point? What would help best when we start working on the actual game?

About the game itself: It's an RPG Maker type of video game inspired by games from the Corpse Party series, which also first started from an RPG Maker game. It even has a similair setup, with a group of people trapped in a haunted place, but with a twist on how time works in that haunted place, leading to interesting situations.

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    Is this a video game or a board game? Is it for the game as a whole or is it for one session of playing the game? From your description, I thought of a sort of RPG game, where the Master creates a story for the players to follow (the story allowing for several outcomes). – Sara Costa Jan 19 '17 at 10:15
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    See reddit.com/r/GameWritingLab/comments/2b6k6h/… (especially under "Game writing samples") and stormthecastle.com/video-game-design/… – user5645 Jan 19 '17 at 12:45
  • @SaraCosta Added some details about the kind of game I'm making (it's a video game). – noClue Jan 20 '17 at 7:54
  • @what That's... that's amazing! Such an extensive list of possible tools and methods... honestly, this could pretty much be the answer right there. Many thanks! – noClue Jan 20 '17 at 8:02
  • @noClue Along with some comments on the writing process, that was my answer. Unfortunately it got deleted by Standback, so those links are all that's left. Sorry. Hope you can find something there. – user5645 Jan 20 '17 at 8:06
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Since it is for a video game, you should have a story. In fact, I'd finish the story completely, if for no other reason than for your peace of mind. That is, so you know inherently exactly what's going on. That doesn't mean the story as a whole would get published, but only parts you need to. It would mean, however, you and the team know exactly what you want everything to be. You'll all be lock step in the process with a lot less guessing.

You'd want to have the story complete before you start working on making the game, that way you'll know what elements you'll need to work on and for what. Once the story is written, it'll help everyone on the team understand the direction and flow of the game itself. Once the story is done and everyone has a good understanding of it, they'll have a better feel for the imagery of the game and how it should look.

As for where to start ... the best place to start is at the beginning. If you have the storyline worked out, it has to have a place to start already. I'd also assume you already understand the how it's going to end. Put your notes in chronological order of the story, then see what develops. If your notes are as complete as you believe they are, I'd bet once you get them in order, the story itself will flow fairly easily ... it'll be done before you know it. It may, as they say, even write itself.

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The structure and complexity depends how intense and deep you want the story to be. However, when planning you must know the following thing:

  • The ending.

For when you start work, the key to working effectively in a game design team and getting to a solid end is knowing what the ending is. You need to know where the story is going and how it is going to end to ensure that you all do not disagree on things halfway through and everything goes smoothly.


You mentioned that you were having trouble bringing all these ideas together. I'd like to share a method which works for me.

You said you had lots of random dialogue snippets, etc. You need to get out a huge sheet of paper, and write those all down onto it in a mind-map. Then, you can have all those muddled ideas out of your head and in one place.

With all the ideas on the paper, it's much easier to organise them. You should firstly eliminate bad ideas and keep the good ones, eventually drawing them together and making a story out of them. Categorise them and try and mold one idea into another. Trust me, it works!

Or, you might have an epiphany. I had an epiphany halfway through writing down my ideas, and then I had my entire story sorted. I just had to write it down before I forgtot the slew of ideas.


I hope this helped.

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