How to Create a Good Video Game Script – Complete Guide

author

Ibad Rehman

13 Feb, 2023

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4 min read

Words add context to your game and bring your game’s concept to life. They are central to making the theme of your game understandable to the players. It may sound hard to believe, but the right words can enhance the game’s user experience.

Those words in the game come from the script, written by a scriptwriter, who has to create the script following the rules of video game script writing. However, a game script is more than just the words the users see on their screens. This blog will give you adequate knowledge regarding creating a game script.

How is a Video Game Script Different?

Well, video game writing is different from traditional screenwriting. The difference is due to the very nature of video game concepts.

Modern video games create worlds where things are fundamentally different – the worlds in the games are governed by different "laws of nature" than the real world. Your game world will be conveyed to the user through your game script.

Breakdown of a Video Game Script

You are bound to fail if you take the game script as a whole and approach it as "one thing" that you need to get done.

A game’s script is divided into three parts: plot, characters, and lore. Before sitting down to write your game script, you need to think – you need to know which part will be central to your game script.

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The Three Pillars

If you are creating a game script, you must understand the three pillars on which a script stands. Knowing the purpose and importance of these gives you the basics you need.

Plot

If you look at video game script examples online, you will find plots in every one of them. Essentially, the plot is how each story sequence unfolds in the game. Some believe that plot has to be the most important part of the game script, but that is true if your game script is heavily plot-driven.

Characters

Character writing is a test of a writer’s creative capabilities. It is up to the writer to create a story around each of the game’s characters. The story would include the character’s background and give them a personality.

As a proficient game scriptwriter, your aim should be to make the characters relatable to your audience. Therefore, your characters should not be generic; simply portraying heroes as the good guys and villains as the bad guys isn’t enough. This approach would make your game boring – especially if your game script is character-driven.

Make your characters complex and relatable so that your audience falls in love with them.

Lore

Lore is mostly the richest aspect of game writing. Lore defines the "world" in your game that existed long before any of the characters. It is the space and time in your game. You can borrow your game’s lore from history and mythology or create one inspired by certain periods in historical times.

The richer the lore, the more interesting your game will be. Rich lore will also help you with level design by allowing you to play around and work some levels into the game world you have created.

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Other Components

Dialogue

The words uttered by the characters in your game will be labeled as dialogue. When writing this part, make sure to keep it concise and to the point. Each character of your game will have a certain style of saying things – hence the dialogue should be written accordingly, keeping in mind how that character would like to express himself.

Moreover, there will also be a few barks in dialogue writing, and you shouldn’t ignore them. What are barks? You might ask. Exclamatory utterances that a character utters as a reaction to circumstances. Barks create an ambiance and enrich the theme of your game. Needless to say, they should be written with much thought.

Cutscenes

Not every part of your script will be played out by the user, i.e., the player will not interact with the entire script. Instead, there are parts in your script that the user watches passively. These parts are called cutscenes.

Cutscenes are a great way to tell your game’s story and give the context to a certain level. They are usually incorporated when the player enters a new level or proceeds to a position that requires context.

Rules of Video Game Script Writing

  • Understand different components of the game script.
  • Approach each part of the game script with a fresh mind.
  • Know which of the three pillars of your game will be at the script’s heart, and nail it.
  • Think long-term – your game script should have enough depth in the story that you can easily come up with sequels.
  • Keep the dialogue concise.

Video Game Writing Software

Game writing software is not a requirement for game script writing. Simply open Microsoft Word, and start working on your game script.

But if you need specific tools created to help in game writing, you may opt for game writing software – such as inklewriter.

Read More: 7 Top Game Level Design Tips & Best Practices

Getting Started…

You have gotten the basic idea of game script writing, and you may have realized it is not that simple. There is a lot that goes into writing a good game script. Hence, we advise you to view some good video game script examples to get a feel for the game script and train your mind to think like a game script writer. You may also seek mentorship from established writers and watch videos to learn more.

author

Ibad Rehman

Keen to experiment with new approaches, yet obsessed with sticking to the basics - trying to find the right balance between the two.

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