Writing for Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Writing for Video Game Genres

From FPS to RPG, 1st Edition

Edited by Wendy Despain

A K Peters/CRC Press

300 pages

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Description

This book, written and edited by members of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Game Writing Special Interest Group, follows the acclaimed Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing to deliver practical advice from seasoned veterans on the special challenges of writing for first-person shooter games (FPS), role-playing games (RPG), and everything in between, including massively multiplayer online games, real-time strategy games, sports games, horror games, serious games, casual games, handheld games, and more. Game writing samples are included with the book, and more are available online.

Reviews

" Writer's SIG has assembled an impressive group of experts who deliver spot-on advice for tackling gaming's many genres. I wish I had read this 20 years ago."" -Bob Bates, Bob Bates, Veteran game designer, writer, and past Chairman of the IGDA, February 2009
must-have for the bookshelf of any game writer, no matter what genre they're working in. It was equally fascinating and useful for me to read the chapters about genres I'm experienced in and the chapters about genres I've never worked in."" -Steve Meretzky, Steve Meretzky, VP of Game Design, You, February 2009
those of us swimming in the murky waters of games storytelling and narrative design, Writing for Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG is not only a life raft, it's one with a treasure trove on top. Seldom do we erstwhile swimmers get this lucky. Read, learn, and build the rafts of the future."" -Rhianna Pratchett, Rhianna Pratchett, Writer and co-narrative designer on Heavenly Sword, Mirror's Edge, and Overlord, February 2009"

Table of Contents

Preface

Writing for Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Steve Danuser and Tracy A. Seamster

Introduction

The Play’s the Thing

Story and Play in Harmony

Unique Challenges of MMO Writing

Telling Stories: More than Words

Pitfalls: When the Story Doesn’t Get Through

Planning is the Key to Consistency

Got All That? Now Go Forth and Write!

Writing for Role-Playing Games

Daniel Erickson

The RPG Challenge: Writing without a Protagonist

Understanding Interactive Storytelling

Making Choices and Making them Matter

Keeping Players in the Moment

Reinforcing a Player’s Personal Fiction

Conclusion

Writing for Adventure Games

Lee Sheldon

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Writer as Designer

Player Character

Non-Player Characters

Death

Dialogue

Exposition

Puzzles

Story and Structure

Conclusion

Writing for Action-Adventure Games

John Feil

Introduction: "Hey, You Put Some Adventure in My Action!"

Story and Action, Not the Best of Friends

The Cracks

Characters

Locations

Writing for Licensed Games

Conclusion

Writing for Platform Games

Andrew S. Walsh

Jump, Die, Repeat

Learning to Run: Story and Game Objectives

Holes in the Ground: The Pitfalls of Platformers

Writing Techniques and Technology

Character Creation for Platformers

Linear Gameplay Equals Linear Narrative

Safe Landings

Writing for First-Person Shooters

Lucien Soulban and Haris Orkin

Introduction: FPS and the Nature of the Beast

A Primer on First-Person Narrative

The Caveats

A Very Short History of the FPS

Proven Methods for Telling FPS Stories: A Quick Primer

Early Classics and How They Told Their Stories

Modern Classics and How They Tell Their Stories

Storytelling

Linear versus Modular Storytelling

A Guiding Hand: Staying Inside Your Head

First-Person Characters: Identity Crisis Central

Technical Considerations

Writing for the Multiplayer FPS

Political Controversy

The Future of First-Person Shooters

Writing for Real-Time Strategy Games

Stephen Dinehart

Genesis

Evolution

RTS Narrative Structure

The Primary Storyline: Single-Player Campaigns

System Responses: Non-linear Interactive Dialogue

Putting It All Together

Writing for Sports Games

Maurice Suckling

"He Shoots. . . He Scores!"

Extra Time

Sports Games and Sports Management Games

A Whole New Ball Game

2K Case Study: Don King Presents Prizefighter

Techniques

"The Ref’s Going to Blow Up!"

Writing for Simulator Games

David Wessman

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles…

Know Your Audience: Who Plays Simulator Games and Why?

Structure

Scope

Story? What Story?

Conclusion

Writing for Driving Games

Maurice Suckling

"I’m a Game with Cars in It. What Kind of Game Am I?"

"Delivery for You! Where’d You Want It?"

The Sports Cars

The Other Cars on the Road

The Right Kinds of Cars for the Right Kinds of Roads

Hybrid Cars

Writing for Horror Games

Richard Dansky

Defining a Horror Game

Limitations and Conventions

Defining What Needs to Be Written

Mood, Tone, and Atmosphere

Character

Plot and Payoff

Exposition

Dialogue

In-Game Artifacts

Conclusion

Writing for Science-Fiction and Fantasy Games

Chris Klug

Fireball Spells and Ray Guns, What’s the Difference?

What Makes Sci-Fi and Fantasy Different

The Pivotal Role of Star Wars in This History

Writing for Sandbox Games

Ahmad Saad

Introduction

Defining the Genre

Examples of Sandbox Games

Structuring a Narrative in a Sandbox Game

Increasing the Complexity of Your Sandbox Story

Conclusion

Writing for Alternate Reality Games

Wendy Despain

What’s an Alternate Reality Game?

This Is Not a Game

Evolving Narrative Over Time

Writing Live—Working without a Net

If the Writer Ain’t Having Fun, Ain’t Nobody Having Fun

Conclusion

Writing for Serious Games

Sande Chen and Anne Toole

Introduction

Introduction to Serious Games

Serious Games Challenges

Case Study: Physics Adventures in Space-Time (PAST)

Conclusion

Writing for Casual Games

Chris Pasley

Who Is a Casual Game Writer?

But Tetris Didn’t Need a Story!

Write as Little as You Can—Then Halve It

Concise Copy and Instructions

Licensed Games

Voiceover

Conclusion

Writing for Handheld Games

Evan Skolnick

Introduction

Player Interaction with a Handheld Game

Additional Considerations: Cartridge-Based Games

What to Do?

Conclusion

Writing for Mobile Phone Games

Graeme Davis

Introduction

The Platform

Types of Writing

Other Issues

Must-Dos

Web Resources

Writing for Interactive Fiction

J. Robinson Wheeler

What is IF?

A Writer’s Medium

The World Model and the Library

Using the Medium

Player Characters as Storytelling Springboards

Conversation Styles

Notable IF Games

Go for It

The IF Community and Its Resources

Finishing Up

Step 3: Profit?

Appendices

Blood Wake Samples

Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance Cutscene Scripts

Big-Picture Plan for Proposed Game Starfall

Casual Game Wireframe

>Help

Coding Examples

IF Resources

Author Bios

Index

About the Originator

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COM012040
COMPUTERS / Programming / Games