November 20, 2012 by Nikos
I’ve been trying to write stories for games a year now,but so far I haven’t managed to finish a single one. Whenever I got stuck at one story I would get two ideas for other stories. It would be during a conversation or a movie or anything really. I’ve been writing them down and hope to someday realise them all or most of them at the very least.
This being my first tries it’s been difficult to brainstorm constantly for the same story. Not only that but there have been some mistakes on my part due to my inexperience. For example,the first story I ever tried to write has enough material as backstory goes and the character profiles have been created with plenty of detail. But I failed to do the one thing that distinguishes a game writer from a book or movie writer.I failed to think of Interactivity.
It’s been the subject of many talks for Steve Ince and it’s also written in his book. You want to write a story,you must think of interactivity in parallel. It’s not I chose to ignore it,it just failed to register. So I got so entranced in my attempt to make a believable backstory in order for the whole thing to make sense that I made a story that ,at that point,could be made into a movie or a book but not a game. Dear Esther developers and fans might disagree with me on this but just telling the story is not enough.
When I realised what I’d done,I decided it was time I educate myself before I take a stab in the dark.I just finished Steve Ince’s Writing for video games and I’m about to start reading Story by Robert McKee.I also read excerpts from David Perry’s Game Design:A Brainstorming Toolbox but that’s mostly to help with ideas instead of story creation.
Basically,now I’m trying to embed some interactivity to the story I have and fortunately I’m having a streak of constant inspirations from random moments of my everyday life. Taking notes of those inspirations till I read some more about story writing. If there are any other pitfalls newbie writers fall into then I should know about them before taking any more steps.
If you have any recommendations for books about writing and better yet writing for games please comment about them.