Welcome to the course "Writing a Video Game Story." This tutorial will focus on tips for writing a coherent plot with good dialogue for your game. Your instructor, Dantztron 3030, will focus on several different sorts of stories so that you can apply it to any genre of game, whether it's Zelda, a shooter, or an epic RPG.
I'll teach you how to write a classic and accessible story yet avoid cliches, create conflict without melodrama, write dialogue that is emotive but not over-the-top, and how to make a plot ebb and flow so that it never drags or gets tiresome. Due to the nature of this tutorial being applied to the video game, I will not focus on prosaic style and will instead try to build it around narrative structure and dialogue.
1. Microsoft Office Word 2003 (I prefer it for ease of use and simplicity for basic writing tasks, and I think you will too.)
2. Final Draft 7 (This is industry-standard scriptwriting software for films, though I use it for games too because of the easily readable and organized format, especially for long-winded, dialogue heavy cutscenes. A free trial is available at https://www.finaldraft.com/products/final-draft/download-demo.php)
3. Imagination (Obviously!)
1. This tutorial covers only the English language, so it is recommended that our international users have a relatively high level of English comprehension.
2. Knowledge of basic stylistic devices, such as the metaphor, simile, allegory and symbol.
All sections of this course will be distributed as .doc files, readable with almost every version of Microsoft Office Word. Final Draft documents will be distributed as .fdr files (some of which may be open to modification as part of the class) and .pdf files either for your convenience or for those who do not acquire the program.
Not everyone values the same things in a story: therefore, my tutorial is obviously going to have some slight biases towards particular ways of structuring plot. A writer that genuinely wants to learn and whose preferences are very different from mine will acknowledge these differences, yet use the wisdom I hope to impart for their own storytelling preferences. After all, you don't want to copy me...you want to develop a style all your own!
Also, you may think you have nothing to learn from this tutorial. You do.
No writer, including myself or anyone else, ever stops learning. I suppose I should have added "a mindset for constructive criticism and self-betterment" to the prerequisites list!
Final Draft 7 has a wonderful feature called "CollaboWrite." What this does is allow two people to edit the same document, over the internet, in real time! As your instructor, I am willing to assist you when I am free outside of class in these sessions if you need any help or if you simply want some creative input. Feel free to contact me:
I can also be found in our IRC channel as "Dantz."
So ready your pens or keyboards! We've got a story to tell.
-Jonathan "D3030" Dantzler