Video games have come a long way since the days of simple shapes on the computer screen. Nowadays, video games are made up of complex stories with intricate characters, scenarios, graphics, and more. At first, game developers created video games as simple actions, but now, through the complex stories that underlie the video game, the player is made to dive into a fantastic world and connect with the characters he controls. Video games have been elevated to the rank of art, and due to such complex scenarios, some experts say they can surpass conventional avenues such as literature or films. Unsurprisingly, the way the game script is written and gets brought to life ultimately factors into whether the video game will be a success.
The plot of a video game: elements and characteristics
Video game scripts have the important role of immersing players into the game. The game’s story and dialogue should be designed by the scriptwriter starting at the pre-production stage. Of course, the creation of the characters and the development of the narrative are done in conjunction with the games developers. To produce a top-quality game, they must understand the vibration of the game and translate the scriptwriter’s narrative into the images of the game. However, it is pivotal that the script is engaging and not too long, as it may bore players who are eager to return to the action.
Element 1: Player-character dynamic type
When people play a video game, they want to immerse themselves into the game and ultimately become part of it. Player-character dynamic is one of the main reasons a video game script captivates the audience’s attention. The more alive the characters become through graphics, behaviour, and assets; the more likely players are willing to engage with the game.
Empathy is a characteristic that should not be forgotten as it applies to all video games, regardless of the genre. Characters are vital as they allow players to see and experience an entirely new world and storyline through their eyes, making character development an extremely important aspect within a video games storyline.
The player-character dynamic is detrimental in today’s video games. The reason people play video games is because they want to become one with the characters and have control over the game while getting involved in the story. To be successful in the market, a game must achieve the balance needed to give players the feeling of control.
Element 2: Type of interactive space for the player to explore
The writer must take into consideration the interactivity of the space within the game when first creating the script. The player’s exploration of the game’s environment can take many different forms or pathways throughout. For example, it could involve touching and lifting objects in the game, walking in any direction on the map, or simple actions such as watering flowers, feeding animals, etc. The ultimate goal of the game should be to easily immerse the player into the fictional universe. This means that the interactive space within the game is a crucial step that the writer must consider alongside the player-character dynamic.
What must a video game script have to be good?
There is no secret formula for writing a perfect video game script, but it could become attractive to the audience if it meets certain conditions. For example, a video game can have many levels that last over 50 hours, give the player a lot of choices to make, or take a maximum of 30 minutes for the player to follow the path of the game without being able to make too many choices. In addition, some players want to complete missions and fight with characters, while others are attracted to all story games, and it is a pleasure for them to explore the environment.
1. The main story must be well defined
To ensure your game has a top-quality script, the first step in the five-step process should be to highlight the general concept and sketch of the main story. In this step the scriptwriter must outline and highlight the significant events, character decisions, plot twists, and alternate endings that will take place in the fictional universe. Although some may see this step as unnecessary, it is highly recommended in order to keep the writer on track and to save valuable time down the road.
2. You must define very well what type of video game it will be
Now that the general concept is out of the way, you must understand exactly what type of game the script is being written for. No writer can go on writing a story without pinpointing the genre that the story needs to consume. Some of the genres your game could be part of are:
- First Person Shooter
- Real-Time Strategy
- Role-Playing Games
- Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games
- Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
- Sports Games
3. The world of the video game and its characters must be well defined, explained, and detailed
Many writers may be tempted to create the character in the first phase of the process, which is not wrong. However, the video game world is just as important as the characters themselves since players must first be consumed into the gaming world. Throughout the game, the player will play a crucial role in the character’s development so the writer must first create the surrounding world. This entails outlining the tradition of the world in play, the perspective of the character within the game, and the connection made with the other characters.
Once the game’s world has been designed, it is now time to outline the characters. The writer must keep in mind that the interactions between the player and the main character will be in the first person, which may impose a challenge for new writers. This step will determine the personality of the characters and the behaviour they may exude in the face of certain events.
4. The main story should be written with a flowchart
By using a flowchart to map out the main story, scriptwriters will be able to highlight irregularities within the game’s script or pinpoint any necessary changes. Flowcharts are especially useful when looking for areas where secondary missions may be introduced, however this would generally be considered for the more complex video games. This step is useful for scriptwriters as it makes the process easier to complete, and much more manageable to introduce any wanted plot twists. A flowchart is so helpful that it is used successfully even in writing novels and books.
5. Define the details and narrative complements of the video game
Once the writer has established all the essential details, they can now put them together and add the narrative complements to the video game. In step five the writer will plan how the players can reach the various endings of the story. First and foremost, the writer must have a basic version of the story completed. This will then allow the writer to add multiple secondary versions of the story, including new missions and non-playable characters (NPC). When it comes to NPC’s, their role is to interact with the player, reveal information about the world, and give details to the player on how to complete missions. The details given by NPC’s may also include items that can play a part of the details in the story. These are not just armor and weapons but can be various objects that the player can use to achieve his mission (jewelry, letters, abandoned houses, etc.).
Sometimes, writing a video game script may seem overwhelming, however Magic Media offers support in all phases of video game development, including the writing of compelling screenplays. Our professionals apply their extensive experience and creativity to make your gaming dream come alive. Feel free to contact our team and find out how we are able to assist you.