Author Topic: Anyone have experience writing a video game?  (Read 116 times)

Offline LtBroccoli

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Anyone have experience writing a video game?
« on: January 15, 2021, 01:12:37 PM »
Like the subject asks, does anyone have experience writing a video game?  I've hit a block on a couple of my stories that I keep chipping away at, but recently an opportunity came up to help rewrite a video game/visual novel on another site.  It'll be more of a long-term project, so it's something I can work on in the backgroud while doing other projects.  My main question is if anyone has experience working in that media?  I was thinking of attacking it like a video script, but there's a lot more complexity when it comes to various options and stuff.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Offline LtBroccoli

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Re: Anyone have experience writing a video game?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2021, 03:42:41 PM »
I decided to just attack the video game and work on it when I have time.  I can't spend too much time on it, but fortunately it's not as intensive as some other projects.

Speaking of other projects, I've been quiet recently.  The short version is that it's too damn cold to be here right now.  My current setup has my writing rig and gaming rig in the coldest part of my house, an unfinished basement in the north.  Even if I wasn't freezing my stems off after a few minutes, it's hard to get time away from the rest of the house to do any serious writing in the porn genres.

That said, I do have some stuff in the works for 2021.  Assuming I ever get out of this "too cold to write" writer's block.  Once the temps get above freezing for more than five minutes, my "office" might warm up enough to do some writing again.
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Offline Grumpy

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Re: Anyone have experience writing a video game?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2021, 10:39:41 AM »
Yep, I have written for video games. You'd be surprised at how rudimentary the tools for game writing are in the AAA industry. Some use Excel sheets for dialogue.

There are tools out there for writing for video games, although they're usually geared toward very specific types of video games, so it sort of depends on what the game you're working on needs. Movie/Tv-scripts are also an alternative, although again, they're mostly good for episodic gameplay where you can divide it up into distinct scenes.

If you're doing a branching, narrative heavy thing, you could try Twine. If you want to add more "game detail" and have more polish over how it flows and feels, Articy Draft 3 exists - but it's not free. For dialogue, I could recommend something like TextureWriter. There are others too, like Tinderbox and Quest, and a bunch of half-finished prototype-style things that were developed as part of academic research into the area, like StoryTec.

Offline LtBroccoli

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Re: Anyone have experience writing a video game?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2021, 07:06:04 PM »
Yep, I have written for video games. You'd be surprised at how rudimentary the tools for game writing are in the AAA industry. Some use Excel sheets for dialogue.

There are tools out there for writing for video games, although they're usually geared toward very specific types of video games, so it sort of depends on what the game you're working on needs. Movie/Tv-scripts are also an alternative, although again, they're mostly good for episodic gameplay where you can divide it up into distinct scenes.

If you're doing a branching, narrative heavy thing, you could try Twine. If you want to add more "game detail" and have more polish over how it flows and feels, Articy Draft 3 exists - but it's not free. For dialogue, I could recommend something like TextureWriter. There are others too, like Tinderbox and Quest, and a bunch of half-finished prototype-style things that were developed as part of academic research into the area, like StoryTec.

Thanks Grumpy.  I'm trying to keep the storyline relatively simple and straightforward with minimal branching.  It's an adult visual novel that will be broken into acts, and each act will have missions and goals to accomplish before moving on to the next act.  Should also make it a little easier to code, too.  The branching shouldn't take place until later in the game.

For the dialog and tracking the story, I'm just using Word, Excel, and their alternatives.  I found a program called Atom for editing code which is nice so far.

I'm turning into a bit of a writer and PM with this game.  My code sucks, my graphics work sucks, but I can write, craft the story, and organize.
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Offline Grumpy

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Re: Anyone have experience writing a video game?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2021, 08:20:18 PM »
If visual novel is the route you're going down, there's actually a tool exactly for that. Ren'Py. No need to code anything. :)

Also very possible to do with Twine - more customization options, but you need to code that customization yourself.

There's a bunch to try out on itch.io if you're looking for inspiration.

Both for Twine: https://itch.io/games/top-rated/genre-visual-novel/made-with-twine

And Ren'Py: https://itch.io/games/top-rated/made-with-renpy
« Last Edit: February 10, 2021, 08:29:08 PM by Grumpy »

Offline LtBroccoli

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Re: Anyone have experience writing a video game?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2021, 02:41:56 PM »
If visual novel is the route you're going down, there's actually a tool exactly for that. Ren'Py. No need to code anything. :)

Also very possible to do with Twine - more customization options, but you need to code that customization yourself.

There's a bunch to try out on itch.io if you're looking for inspiration.

Both for Twine: https://itch.io/games/top-rated/genre-visual-novel/made-with-twine

And Ren'Py: https://itch.io/games/top-rated/made-with-renpy

The game we're working on is originally written in RenPy.  I'm going through the code fixing things up, but from what you're describing I'm doing this the hardest way possible.  RenPy is a flavor of Python, which I'm a little familar with.  Instead of taking the 20 minutes to learn the RenPy interface and how to make a file from scratch, I'm spending hours digging through the code, rewriting the logic and trying to come up with a better story.

The game is called Bad Bobby Saga, and there's a group over on F95 that I'm working with to revive the game.  The dev abandoned it over a year ago and several of us were big enough fans to try to kickstart it.  Next thing I know, I'm working with a couple people that can code and do graphics while I help go through the code and set up the long term story.

We're sticking with RenPy for the time being because I don't know Unity and Tyrano is a resource hog.  I know enough Python to be dangerous, which means that I can really screw up some logic.
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Offline Grumpy

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Re: Anyone have experience writing a video game?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2021, 04:19:27 PM »
Alright then, cool. Good luck :)

I develop in Unity for my day job, so if ya need some coding help or anything, you know where to find me.