The Same Problem Often Besets Game Designers

Many of the game designers I've met are, in some ways, as naïve as my writing students. Just like the students, because they grew up on film and television, they naturally assume that they can write well.

Like my students, they don't realize how much goes into writing. Sometimes in a film, a single scene will simultaneously:

  • Advance the plot.

  • Reveal new information about a character.

  • Reveal new information about the relationship between two characters.

  • Show multiple aspects of a relationship between two characters.

  • Show a character struggling to grow emotionally or to resist growing.

  • Use 5, 10, or 15 dialogue techniques to help the dialogue sound natural.

  • Use a number of dialogue techniques to hint at what the character is feeling beneath the surface, even if the character is unaware of these hidden feelings.

  • Use other dialogue techniques to show ambivalence between two characters.

  • Employ specific writing techniques that give poignancy or emotional power to the scene.

  • Reinforce the theme of the film or TV episode.

  • Introduce small elements into the story that will be revisited in the plot later in either ironic or even momentous ways.

  • Artfully employ one or more symbols.


If you'd like too see most of the preceding done in a single scene, take a look at Chapter 2.31, "Pre-Rendered and In-Game Cinematics."

And so much more.

Consequently, most professional writers I know rewrite every scene in their scripts five to ten times (and often more) before they even consider that they've arrived at a "first draft."

Game moments and experiences that operate emotionally on many levels end up being like gems, each facet of which serves a different purpose. To use a film example, did you know that the final script for American Beauty was only about 100 pages long? Yet, as a film, it was a rich experience. That's because almost every scene serves a multitude of purposes.

Creating Emotion in Games. The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
ISBN: 1592730078
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 394

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