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Mabs Kiss's avatar

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I know the plot and everything but how do you write one ? It's supposed to be different from a show/play script, right ?
Lea Fealith's avatar

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It's going to depend on the format of the game you're using. If the game is linear the script might look similar to a show or play before you modify it into a program. If it branches out you're going to need to organize it differently.

I'm not sure how most people do it, but I would suspect that you'd need to produce an initial script and then integrate it into the code at a later stage of development.
Mabs Kiss
I know the plot and everything but how do you write one ? It's supposed to be different from a show/play script, right ?


What type of game is it?
Fighting games usually are quick and short.
While Rpg's could have hours of dialogue.
Mabs Kiss's avatar

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Mabs Kiss
I know the plot and everything but how do you write one ? It's supposed to be different from a show/play script, right ?


What type of game is it?
Fighting games usually are quick and short.
While Rpg's could have hours of dialogue.


A Rpg ( Think Skryrim type of game )
Well, a lot of that really depends on how much interactivity you're planning on including. Final Fantasy 13's script, for instance, would be formatted very differently from that of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords. In the former, every single scene will be identical for every single player. In the latter, scenes can turn out wildly different depending on what kind of role someone is playing, and the designer needs to take into account that the player might not have learned certain information, or that a certain character might actually be dead.

Other than that, I don't really think they're all that different from other scripts. Though you'd probably be spending a bit more time describing how the player can interact with the environment, and you'd also have to elaborate on how certain events are supposed to be triggered.
Maltese_Falcon91
Well, a lot of that really depends on how much interactivity you're planning on including. Final Fantasy 13's script, for instance, would be formatted very differently from that of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords. In the former, every single scene will be identical for every single player. In the latter, scenes can turn out wildly different depending on what kind of role someone is playing, and the designer needs to take into account that the player might not have learned certain information, or that a certain character might actually be dead.

Other than that, I don't really think they're all that different from other scripts. Though you'd probably be spending a bit more time describing how the player can interact with the environment, and you'd also have to elaborate on how certain events are supposed to be triggered.


Lots and lots of diagrams. I would not aim for a Mass Effect or whatnot as my first attempt at this. I'd go for something more straight forward, which Skyrim really is. Despite the open world, the stories progress fairly on straight lines. It's just you don't have to follow that line. You can veer off into other stories and all.

Skyrim I'd script each story, each quest line, and go from there. You'd have to bring in the game designers and all in. It'd be a group project as not everything you think should happen can happen based off what the team can pull off.
Sir Icehawk
Lots and lots of diagrams. I would not aim for a Mass Effect or whatnot as my first attempt at this. I'd go for something more straight forward, which Skyrim really is. Despite the open world, the stories progress fairly on straight lines. It's just you don't have to follow that line. You can veer off into other stories and all.

Hmm, okay I know this is really nitpicking a bit, but Mass Effect's script shouldn't be too complex. Yes, your character can say different things, but it's not really a dialogue tree in the sense in the sense that 99.9% of the situations are all really linear and have no real consequences, or some sort of consequence which is more or less completely cosmetic. All you would really need to do is script everything once, then go in and make options for you to be slightly more rude, or a small branch where you can investigate things.

If anything, Skyrim would probably be the harder thing to write, because it being an open world means things aren't necessarily going to happen in the order you think they would. Individual quest-lines could be stored in separate word processing files, but if a certain NPC is involved in more than one quest, then things could get confusing. If, say a character named Khorer Bloodbath initiates a quest where you have to go somewhere and murder someone, only to have him double cross you at the last moment, then you will also have to remember to go back and add in a conditional branch to the dialogue in the quest where Guiladan the Fop wants you to steal Khorer's magic tea kettle.

Bethesda sort of got around that by just making most of the NPCs exclusive to their respective quest lines, but you just can't always do that, especially when it comes to the civil war, and getting quests from the Jarls. It also kind of means that each character gets less overall development if their role in the story begins and ends at "get this random thing for me," but I guess in a gigantic world like that, you just can't flesh out everyone.

Mabs Kiss
A Rpg ( Think Skryrim type of game )


Well, if you're trying to make a Western RPG, the first thing you need to do when you're writing dialogue for an important NPC is have some sort of system that checks how they greet you. For instance, if you've never met Guiladan the Fop, he would need to say something along the lines of:

"Woo unto me, Khorer's tea is far superior to mine. If only, if only I had his magic tea kettle."

Then if the player accepted his offer, he would need to say something along the lines of:

"How fareth thee, friend? Have you obtained that tea kettle for me yet?"

And you'd also probably need to check if the player has initially refused to work with him, and then whether or not the quest is finished. Or if you wanted to make things more complex, and give the player more options, you'd also need to check if the player ransomed the tea kettle back to Khorer, and write appropriate dialogue for that, and pretty much any other instance where he would need to greet you separately.
Maltese_Falcon91
(Snipped to save space)


Of course, you're right. Don't ask me what I was thinking.

Well, I guess I was thinking in terms of story before I got lost in my own tangent. Mass Effect told a superior story, imo. Same with (and in ways better) Dragon Age: Origins. It's more linear, but there was a lot more characterization. Skyrim had a good cast, but I think people like Michael Hogan got terrible directions in the recordings for quite a bit of their lines. Bioware nailed it in DAO and the ME trilogy. I never really cared for anyone in Oblivion or Skyrim. The fact that Sean Bean died, again, didn't exactly help. xD

That's where I think I was going, but no clue why I said don't aim for a Mass Effect... No reason not to. Hell, I'd prefer to play a game with plenty of characterization over one with a bunch of different random people asking me to solve their random problems.

Now, I want to go play DAO. "We now have a dog, and Alistair is still the dumbest one in the party." Morrigan rocks. What did we get from Skyrim? An arrow to the knee...
marshmallowcreampie's avatar

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It would depend on the type of game, really.
Sianserais's avatar

Blessed Lunatic

As for dialogue, unless it's aimed at young kids, go for realism. Please. I can't even tell you how sick I am of game dialogue that makes it sound as though the characters are half brain-dead and the writer thinks the players are too.
(I'm a gamer, but I'm not the one playing most of these - I just get forced to listen to them.)

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