The artists bringing ideas to life and programmers coding the game have no trouble getting respect, but the storytelling is one that’s not seen as challenging. Of course, there are games whose storyline and dialogue are so cringe-worthy that you find yourself skipping it all. Usually, the games that are developed with the help of skilled writers stay in our mind for a longer period. For instance, games like The Last of Us, Bioshock, and Telltale’s The Walking Dead are a few of the many popular titles with conversations that helped entertain players into their unique worlds.
Learning how to write dialogue that helps to make the story and characters more interesting for the player instead of annoying them is a key in building memorable games. If you’re an aspiring game writer, consider the following tips to write captivating dialogues for the game.
Give The Regular NPCs Character: Non-player characters (NPC’s) play a significant part in making the game’s story meaningful, but the ones having a little character of their own will appear in a boring world that players have trouble getting sucked into. This is especially true when quest-givers lack any character that the player will find and the quest will become boring before they’ve even started it. Do you have an NPC that wants the player to collect 10 oranges from an enemy-filled orchard? Give the character a cowardly persona, so that you know why he or she won’t give it. Or make the character sound cautious and tricky to imply that he or she is asking you to steal the oranges without you knowing. Small changes in dialogues of a character can go a long way and can even make an average quest sound exciting.
Try Keeping It Short And Sweet: When it comes to game dialogue, you’re very prone to lose the player if the character’s all lines are long. It is very necessary to feel like the character to create interesting quests and dialogues. However, this can all be done by eliminating “needless words” and chopping down the useless words while still retaining the necessary information. Even if every line is interesting, players still want to jump back into the action as soon as possible and hence they can skip it if it goes on too long. So prefer using vivid verbs, avoid using the passive voice and the cliche. Be specific, precise and elegant. Omit all the needless words.
Make The Lore and Backstories Optional: Lore is one of the excellent tools for making your game’s world feel alive and real. Having the accurate knowledge about incidents that took place in the past and the history of kingdoms and races and kingdoms, but only when the player actually wants to care. Many players could care less about everything outside of the main story. That is why it’s essential to keep lore out of dialogue as much as you can. Even then, there’s a purpose why most games have collectible info logs and codex that players can open up and read if they choose so. Players don’t want every character to speak about history lessons.
Are you an aspiring writer? Have you ever written dialogues for a game? Let us know your experience in the comments section or tweet us @essjay_ent!
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