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Zoe_R

Game Writing

Question

I am interested in exploring writing for video games (as opposed to my usual theatre/radio writing)! I've never done it before, so wondering if anyone has any tips of which kind of programmes I could use, general game writing advice, or (besides my local uni game dev society/team) any groups online that work on developing freelance/indie titles? I have done a fair share of Googling, but looking for some suggestions as to which kinds of things would be the best pick. If that makes sense!

Thanks! And hope you're in for a fab weekend :D 

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Oh wow I know you posted this all the way back on March 2nd but I hope that I can provide a little bit of help.

I think the first question to consider is what sort of game that you want to make.  From the sounds of it, given your interest on writing, you would do best following an RPG or interactive story format.  RPGs tend to give lots of opportunity for story development and quirky NPCs (who can provide useful gameplay mechanic information or supplementary story telling bits) while still having a turn-based combat type of game play.  For reference such games include Final Fantasy, Earthbound, Mario & Luigi, Persona, Pokemon, and plenty of others.  On the other hand, interactive stories (a shining example being Kan Gao's "To the Moon" series) are great for indie developers who want to tell a story through a game interface, without having to worry too much about balancing out game stuff (programming gameplay, difficulty balancing, how interesting it is, etc.).

There's all kinds of ways to incorporate story into other game styles but since I'm no programmer (a regret of mine, I admit) I can only comfortably talk about using an RPG or interactive story based game engine.

A useful program that you can use is one of the programs from the the "RPG maker" series.  Kan Gao (To the Moon's creator) used RPG Maker XP to create the game and it plays spectacularly (it's a nice little story if you've never played it before, I definitely recommend!).  RPG maker allows for a lot of really cool stuff that you can use if you don't know how to code stuff but also lets you input code so that you're not confined to what it has to offer.  And considering that it allows you to import music, sprites, art, tilesets, and more it's great for making fan games and independent projects.  You can find the RPG maker series on Steam, where stuff goes on sale from time-to-time.  For instance, the newest in the series is RPG Maker MV... which for some reason costs $80 (USD) but I got it on sale so I only paid $20 for it.  If you don't want to wait, however, as far as I know RPG Maker XP is still pretty solid and is currently $25 USD.

The useful thing about getting something through Steam as well (if you know don't how to use Steam I'd be happy to explain it to you) is that there are community forums for talking with people about stuff, so there's plenty of opportunity to get advice/tips/etc. from people who also are using RPG Maker.  RPG Maker can seem a bit daunting because they don't really have a tutorial mode but there's so many helpful Youtube videos that I've made a few rudimentary test rooms with some fun quirks (like establishing warp points, changing the weather/music, button-activation mechanics).

With all that said, I don't know if RPG Maker would interest you.  I can say with certainty, however, that if you're looking for someone to bounce off ideas with that I would love to help.  Video games are one of my passions and I love the way certain games capture particular tones and nuances that wouldn't work in other mediums (the MOTHER series has a very quirky and charming sense of humor and is a great example of this).  If you're ever looking for someone to talk with about this sort of thing, I'd be happy to collaborate or help!

Edited by luvkirby4ever

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