44

Excellent writing is one of the primary selling points of some games - but it is by no means necessary. It can even be counterproductive in some situations. There has been research into what aspects of video games players enjoy the most. One model is Quantic Foundry's Gamer Motivation model. Their research indicates that there are six primary aspects of a ...


39

It depends on your genre - in horror games this can be a very good decision If you are going for a darker themed game, and your description suggests that you are doing this, then having multiple bad endings is fine. I've played quite a few horror games that were created with the RPG Maker (I am not affiliated with the company) for example where there are ...


37

I don't find anything wrong with your explanation per se. You have a range of options as how to best present it, and what works depends on your aims: Don't explain it at all: This is a legitimate choice, especially if you're sticking close to the POV of the humans, and they (we) never figure it out. Give it a brief, non technical explanation: ("Great ...


25

You need to think about your protagonists weaknesses – now! If your protagonist is simply above and beyond everything and everybody else it will get really, really boring. Your character needs some form of development, some things to strive for. Dave has to be better in something, and that something is not necessarily bashing monster's heads in. Think ...


22

Stories can make the game very much more immersive. That said, it depends on the game. We don't have to know a back story in order to play Battleship, or fight zombies, or shoot bad guys on one side of a war, really. I don't need a backstory to play Monopoly. But games that take off from fantasy role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons (before any ...


21

Yes If you offer choices to the player, but there is only one that yields positive results, then yes, that is bad design. I do not write video games, but a lot of Table-top RPGs. I always think of success in multiple levels or factors. This allows for the PCs to go "well shucks, we almost got 'im, but at least we [...]" This also increases the threads ...


21

This is actually the classic video game narrative. Consider a game like Super Mario Brothers. There is essentially one good ending --rescuing the princess --and everything else is a bad ending! To make this work, I would suggest you view your game as one long experience that leads ultimately to the good ending. In order to do this, however, you need to ...


15

You have another problem, if you solve that, you solve this. How did we figure out it was quantum computer activity that signaled them? If this is told omnisciently or from the alien POV, you have no problem: Alien #1: "A sustained trans-universe anomaly in sector 37. Quantum computing detected. Exceeding 100 qubits in total." Alien #2: "Verified. ...


15

Down the Rabbit-Hole Suppose we want to convert Alice in Wonderland to an interactive format. Which actors, items, and locations play an important role? What does a map of the world look like? What challenges did the protagonist overcome? Player (Alice) begins the game at the Riverbank. Rabbit enters the scene. Rabbit leaves the area, heading toward the ...


14

Well, this is quite a project you're working on. Regardless of how helpful my answer is to you, I hope all goes well and I hope to see it one day. Now, to my answer. Characters come extremely easy for me, so I rarely have to do much to get a lot out of return. However, here are a few things I do when I get stuck. Start with the base concept You have ...


13

If what people are primarily looking for in X is Y, then you had better make Y excellent. If you don't have great Y, then mediocre Y + a great story isn't going to cut it. But if everyone (including you) has great Y, then ALSO having a great story is what is going to make your work stand out from the pack. It's the attention to the optional details that ...


12

Really long answer, I apologize. Hope it's useful. I thought about learning from novelists. But it seemed that some of the skills, i.e. expressing ideas through writing, won't translate well to expressing ideas through a game. I thought about learning from screenplay writers. It seems fairly relevant to storywriting for games. No, no, wrong ...


12

It's actually a Good Idea, especially in games This kind of structure (one good ending, many bad endings) is very common in the genre of visual novels. These kinds of games are essentially choose your own adventure stories, sometimes including interactive gameplay elements, that often include many ways for your point of view character to fail or die before ...


12

Let Dave save Bob's life. Bob is strong against super evil but he is just a guy. He lacks Dave;s experience, and inner strength. He also is not as strong at solving mundane problems. Have human enemies, followers of the super evil. Let those be a problem for Bob who's magic does nothing on them. Then let Dave step in with his sword skills and save the day. ...


12

Creating a branch is the easy part To create a branch, as you read the book take note of every choice the character makes. Map those out - what that choice leads to, what does that in turn lead to, and so on. Then, consider what could happen if the character chose instead to do something else instead. What happens then? Some of those alternative choices ...


11

Use a wiki Many people are using a wiki when they are creating their worlds, as can be seen by this answer to the question What software is available for keeping and organising notes about your world? on WorldBuilding.SE. The biggest one is MediaWiki (the power behind Wikipedia). MediaWiki can be private, and it's not too hard. See this tutorial for ...


11

Videogame, in a fantasy world that isn't our world. Why not make people blue, red, green? Who says their biology and skin colours have to conform to earth's? In fact, then you'd have a number of "races" (whatever "race" means), but you wouldn't be in any way tied to earth's stereotypes. You definitely don't want to make all people pale-skinned. You do that, ...


10

Premature Ends are Necessary Let’s say, conservatively, all your choices have only two options and no more. Suppose every path through the game lets you make ten choices, and every possible branch you can take is unique. You would need to write 2,047 unique branches and 1,024 unique endings. If each screen has about as many words on it as the pages in ...


10

Here are a few simple solutions which spring to mind: 1) Have Bob's powers develop over the course of the game This is a very common mechanic in RPGs as it allows the player to learn a few features at a time, and offers rewards for hitting milestones in the game. You already mention Bob earning experience points, so your game does not seem too different to ...


10

Wiki and Flash are all well and good, but here's an answer for lazy people, like me. I use OneNote. It's already on your Windows, and it requires 0 level of tech-savvy. I am a Wikipedia editor, so it's not like that's beyond my technical skills, but when I come to planning my story, I want to do just that - plan my story. No overhead. OneNote gives me just ...


10

I think you may need to start with the universe and then find characters to fill the niches it provides. Characters and their styles are going to be shaped by their worlds; you want a number of different worlds (and possibly different species?) so to understand the characters that come from those worlds you need to first know about the worlds themselves. For ...


10

There are plenty of genres that exist solely for a particular purpose or to deliver a type of scene. Pornography (no comment). Slasher (mostly films, all about gory ends to stupid or unfortunate people). Romance (two people get together, often against all odds. Characterization matters in this genre, but not plot). Action (fight! fight! fight!) Some ...


9

TL;DR Anything from Microsoft Paint, to general FlowChart designing programs will work (you should probably start with a flowchart regardless, but that's just me). Everything else in this answer is commentary, with emphasis on how I did it in Flash. Welcome to the world of plotting. Things here are a little different than what you might be accustomed. ...


9

As somebody that likes to play role playing games, I love it when the game gives me the option to read up on the lore. Some games do this very well, like the books you can read in the Elder Scrolls games. They're completely optional, so anybody that wants to read them can, but anyone that just wants to play the game can also do that. In case of a sci-fi ...


9

Very short and incredibly rough estimate: 10.000 words are around 1 hour play time. After some research I've found that the answer is... even more difficult than I had first imagined... First of all some statistics that I have found about the visual novel Fate/Stay Night, one of the longest visual novels and one of the more widely known ones in the ...


8

The greatest human fear is the fear of the unknown. What's more scary? A gremlin chasing people in the streets, or a moan that's heard every summer in the depths of a basement? Exploit this. I recommend you to read House of Leaves. There are no monsters, there's no blood, yet it's one of the scariest novels I've ever read. It's the story about a house ...


8

You are writing a script (screenplay) for a visual display; I'd follow (roughly) the format of a script. For this particular question, you are looking for "Personal Direction" (of an actor) and the standard would be to specify what you want in parentheses after the name, before the speech. Although you might like a more concise format than the standard ...


8

Do it for the sake of storytelling If you're asking yourself "should I bother", then you're not thinking of it as a passion project, like an artist would, but you're thinking of it as a way to make a quick buck, like a CEO would. It's not a bad thing, fine art seldom pays the bills, while cookie-cutter media is quite profitable. Just look at how many ...


8

Think of it as a braided river rather than a branching tree Imagine a braided river channel. You can put a rubber duck in at a single point and follow its progress down the river. It has many different possible paths, but it is not locked into a unique path by one early decision. Reliably at many points those paths converge. As it approaches its destination ...


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