3 Tips For Starting Your Gameplay Script
September 20, 2013
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Do you have a great idea for a gameplay sequence? Do you want to make your storyline a reality?
Gameplay scripting refers to a game designer or producer’s scripted sequence. The sequence is a predefined series of events that are triggered by the player when they enter or location or complete an action.
You have probably experienced a gameplay sequence before if you’re a gamer. The sequences are often cut scenes, which provide you with exhibition. As a player, you cannot control these scenes – but they’re important for providing information regarding the story. They may introduce you to a new challenge, goal or even a new enemy.
Are you interested in increasing player immersion? Do you want to learn how to develop your storyline further through gameplay scripting? Read these three tips and start working on your scripting skills today:
1. Use a Flowchart
If you are a visual learner, a flowchart is a great way for you to plot our sequence of your gameplay script.
Will, a writer for the tutorial website Storm the Castle, defines a flowchart as a series of boxes and arrows that lay out the decision making of the game. He says, “It shows the various logical paths the user can take and includes the prose script that describes what happens.”
The boxes include brief descriptions of what can happen and you can put them in a logical order. This allows you to see how the scene can unfold. It also allows you to see how the scene contributes to the rest of the game narrative. Using a flowchart, you can decide where this scene belongs and how much information it will provide the player.
A flowchart is a good option for you especially if your scene allows for player contribution. If the player can make decisions during the scripted sequence by selecting responses or other options, than you can use the flowchart to illustrate how those decisions can lead to different scenarios for the player.
2. Write It Out
Once you have a rough flowchart in place, you can elaborate on the sequence.
Writing it out can allow you to work out any problems you might be having with the sequence. It can also allow you to fill in any necessary details that didn’t fit in the flowchart.
Will recommends addressing three main points in your written script:
- Describe the environment. What does the setting look like? The characters? How does the setting make the character look or feel? How should it make the player feel?
- Describe the accompanying material, including sound effects and background music.
- What is going on? Describe how the gameplay sequence fits in and what decisions the player will have to make.
It is important to think through each scene and how it contributes to the progression of the game. Writing out the scene is also important because you can easily incorporate it into your design document.
3. Incorporate it into Your Storyboard
After incorporating the gameplay script into your design document, you can add it to your story boards.
Similar to a flowchart (but incorporating sketches), a storyboard allows you to illustrate your scenes. You can use the storyboard to show how the scripting sequence is necessary for the progression of the storyline.
This is especially important if you are using the sequence to introduce a new challenge or villain in your story. The boards can describe the villain and, in this way, connect the gameplay script with the larger goals of your game.
Interested in learning more about gameplay scripting and game production? Contact an admissions advisor at IADT to discover what the Game Production degree program can offer you. Bring your gameplay ideas to life today.