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Posted on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 by Malin
This happens often. A character that is not needed for the main story arc has to either be merged with another character, or deleted to save time. (Time is money!)
Question is, how do you fill the gaps your character left behind?
In my example, one young woman and one old guy was sharing a Café. They had cute “fight” conversations with each other and interrupted the main character as he was talking to one of them.
The old guy was the eccentric one and he got deleted. The neutralized and quite balanced young woman now turned flat as a pancake without her supporting old guy. She had to change, so I added eccentricity and catchphrases to make her appealing again.
And lucky for me, I loved the old guy so much, he didn’t get deleted, he just “died” before the game started. This means I could describe him from the belongings he left behind in the Café, and also mention him a little in the dialogue with the young woman.
I loved what my character stood for, as what he was trying to sell were things that scared the village he lived in. (Give the place you’re running around in some depth, not only the characters!) So since he got deleted, I decided to make the young woman try to do the same thing as he did “in his loving memory”, hoping the world would change, but it isn’t going well. Some things just never change, especially in a small village!
However, as dialogue and words are counted in games I needed to save up on as much text as possible. As a suggestion to you all, try to explain as much as possible about the dead character through items left behind instead of letting another character explain who the dead guy was. These items don’t even have to be click able – it’s all about the emotions it brings out of the player. This might be a perfect chance to really connect with your level designers – if you have any! For example, discuss what items in the room describe the character that used to live there and what kind of feeling should be present after he’s gone. The level designer might know exactly what sort of light and colors inflict that emotion on the players, and you as a writer might not! (Teamwork 4tw, people!) It’s all about the feeling, not the words. Besides, it’s boring listening to some random NPC reminisce about something that doesn’t exactly matter to the player.
Remember to give your players a reason to care, and don’t shove information down their throats! They’ll just click the fast-forward button.
Posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012 by Malin
As some of you may know, I planned to have an internship for 3 months at a German gaming studio and then move back to Sweden to write my Bachelor Degree.
Things changed. I am signing a contract at the gaming studio for 3 months more, and I’ll be staying to write dialogues and other text for a game they’re working on. For the time being I have written dialogues for 2 strong female characters, and 1 other has been planned.
The other character sheets I wrote accidentally were of characters that had to be cut out of the game, including my favorite character, a cute little old man whom I was desperately looking forward to write about – he was so different to what I usually do!
Well, one character that was not female survived, but as a new writer intern arrived, she had to be put to work as well. She was given my character sheet and told to write dialogues from it. As it was ~ 3-4 pages long I hope she has no problem getting ideas.
In the mean time I am writing/researching my Bachelor Degree 1 hour a day + 1 day with 5 hours (I’m in a foreign land when it comes to my research and everything about this particular thing seems to be very hush-hush… I don’t know why. It excites me beyond belief but also discourages me from time to time), and I am also fighting to get my first project at the gaming studio published. We’ll see how that goes. Please keep your hopes up for me! I’d appreciate it immensely!
On a side-note, I will also be dying parts of my blonde hair turquoise, and become one of those Tumblr-posers we all love to hate to love. I haven’t dyed my hair since it was completely black, and I am terrified it will fuck up. However, I don’t have much time to experiment before job-hunting starts, so… Let’s just go crazy, right?!
Ooh, right! I also changed rooms again. A much nicer one I have to say, but I had just started to get to know the people in the other room, so it was a bit sad having to say good bye so soon.
Much love to you all who are reading, and I’ll be hoping to be able to post good news in the near future.