Secrets for Successful Video Game Script Writing

Everybody likes video games and the demand for them doesn’t appear to be slowing down. The genre has developed considerably over the years and the hyper action is not the only thing that people want to see. A story is important to video gamers and writing for video games is a definite career path for writers. To be successful there are a couple of video game writing elements you should know about.

Video Game Writing Must Tell a Story

Players want to get involved in video games and a good story is going to help. This is not the same as doing film scripts. There has to be an executive overview that outlines the story from the start to the very finish. It doesn’t have to be extensive, but it does have to detail all the steps from start to the completion of the game. Designers want to be able to visualize the world in which this video game is going to be played. As a scriptwriter you have to provide this.

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Guide to Writing a Video Game Script

If you want to be a video game script writer then you are going to have your work cut out. Good video game production companies will tend to involve the writers right from the start so that they can be involved in the creative side of the actual game design. After all most games are very much led by the game design rather than the actual story line. That being said one can rarely survive successfully without the other.

Players today expect a world that they can interact with as well as a clear and well defined storyline that they can follow. Often the storyline will be broken down into three main parts:

  • The beginning: this is where the actual conflict is established. For many games this is accomplished through an introductory video sequence or short gaming acts that lead you into the main part of the game.
  • The middle: this is the main part of the game and will usually involve a sequence of different acts that will move you steadily towards the conclusion of the game.
  • The resolution: this is the point when you get to face the big boss and hopefully come out on top. Again this can often be played out in small acts with videos for many games.

A good storyline can make a huge difference to a game and help to make it a success. But writing video game scripts is far more than simply outlining a story. Especially if you are designing an RPG style game in which there can be many possible outcomes.

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There Are Some Mechanics to Video Game Script Writing

Video games have at various points decision-making required of the player. A flowchart with the alternatives and consequences will help flesh out your story. Character development is going to be essential, because both the designers and the players want to know more about the characters and their relationships. One thing that a video game script has in common with a film script is the need for a storyboard script. This is going to have to have a lot of detail to help the designers bring images to the story.

How to Write a Video Game Script

When writing a video game script you need to follow a very careful process so as to maintain control of the many different factors that are involved. Learning how to write scripts for games can take many years as there is so much that you will need to learn. Learning the secrets in video games design can help you to become a success in this difficult field. The following steps for how to write a game script will help you to understand just what is required:

  1. High Level Summary: this is often when the process starts. This needs to be a top level view of how the game will flow. This will often be used to get everyone to buy into how the game will flow and to get everybody working in the same direction.
  2. Major Locations or game levels: if you are a writer ensure that you get involved in this stage of the process as many of the designers do like to rush ahead and design levels with not a lot of thought to the actual story line. But it is important to agree these levels as an early stage so that is clear where the story will be led through.
  3. Detailed outline: this is the story that your game will wind its way through from the opening scene right through to the final showdown. For a very plot driven game the story that is told will very much drive the game play. However for a more RPG style of game this can be a very complex outline.
  4. Create a flowchart: at every step within your story there will be multiple outcomes that will affect how the game will progress. The more complex the game and the more choices the more complex this flowchart can become.
  5. Sub-quests: many games have additional quests that can occur in parallel to the main story. Each of these subplots will need their own outline and also flowchart to detail out what will happen.
  6. Cutscenes: many games are broken down into steps with a video sequence in between. Often these cutscenes will be used to tell the next part of the story and lead you into the quest that follows. You need to know at an early stage how many of these there will be and what they are.
  7. Characters: as with a novel your game world will contain a number of different characters with whom the players will interact. You will need to define who they are and create a bio for each. Often these characters will pop up in more than one place and they will need quite well developed and defined stories.
  8. World History: you will need to have a defined history which will often cover all of the major locations within the game as well as any plot items that will need to be covered within the storyline.
  9. Storyboarding your text: creating a database of the different parts of your script is a vital part of ensuring that the story will hold together within your game. Using a good scriptwriting software program can help you to maintain your organization at this point.

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The Process for the Video Games Script

The actual script will often go through several stages from the initial setting up of the world and how the story is going to run.  The realities are that the game script writer is likely to have to make revisions right through to the final voicing as often game designers and clients will continue to make changes right through to the obligatory fat lady.

The following is the usual process that will be run through:

  1. The first draft: after all of the design work has been done and the game outlined you should be able to get your initial draft of the script completed. Often there can be a fair amount of back and forth between the writer and game designers.
  2. Story sign off: it is important that you get the client to sign off on the script as quickly as possible. Words are easy to change later, but delays in getting the main storyline approved can cause significant delays to the actual game design and cut scenes especially. The sooner this is done therefore the better.
  3. Casting: most games today will use real actors to provide the voices of the characters that get to speak within the games.
  4. Final script: more often than not the game script writer will be making tweaks to the actual script right through to the point when the recordings are to be made.

What Were the Most Successful Video Game Scripts

If you are going to make it writing a video game script then it may be best to have some of the best to look back at. The following are considered to have some of the best scripts you will find for any games:

  • Portal and Portal 2
  • Half-Life 2
  • Mass Effect Series
  • Borderlands 2
  • World of Warcraft

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Do Not Hesitate to Seek Professional Assistance

Video game script writing is an opportunity that you might want to pursue. The challenge is the technical side and that means the flowcharts. You are not just writing a script for director, but for designers as well. They need to have as much detail as possible to create the images. You also have the task of creating a good story and developing the characters. It is a lot of work with many sub parts to it. You may discover that is easier to farm out some of those tasks to professionals.

We can provide the assistance you need. We have professionals who know how to write a movie script, what common screenwriting mistakes need to avoid and who worked on video game script in the past. If you have a particular part of the script that you are having trouble with, our staff can pick up the task and complete it for you. These people are seasoned veterans who understand the need to work with the client. You can rest assured that a working relationship is easily developed. With our staff working on assigned sections, you can concentrate on those areas where your greatest talent happens to be. It can all be brought together in a video game script that is appealing.

Video game design companies want to have superior scripts from which to develop the games. The writing is different than movie scripts, but it is not impossible. With the right support, you can develop a game script that catches the attention of the right people. There is no need for you to put this opportunity to a side.

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Our assistance can help you in your video game script writing, move your project forward to a profitable conclusion!