Game Story:
by SeiferTim : 11 March 2004

Now we're getting to the fun part. The Plot is the Meat of your Game Story, without a Plot, your story has no drive, or motivating force. Your characters have no reason to do anything, but laze about on large sofas watching TV, and eating pork rinds.... mmm... pork rinds.....Ahem.

Anyway, since the Plot is so important, I'm going to dedicate several posts to it. The first post is going to start with some of the basics of developing your story out from start to finish. Now, everyone works differently, and most people find their own way of looking at things, but I'm going to lay out a few different methods that I've seen work, and then I'm going to explain the way I do it. We're going to have fun...

First off, now you have a bunch of characters, a few locations, and a few bad guys, you need to figure out how to get your story assembled. Now, like I said, there are many different methods to build your story. We'll start with the Bubble Method. Essentially, the Bubble Method is sort of a way to brainstorm some of your ideas, and bring them together. It's also a good way to put together a non-linear storyline. It works like this: Draw a bubble in the center of a sheet of paper. Make it sort of small, so you can add to it later. In the center of this bubble, write down an event, or some kind of scene. I don't really have access to a graphics program now, so bear with me, I'll try to describe this as best I can... Here's a crappy example:

[ a crappy-looking example bubble ]

Next, draw a line out from that bubble, and draw another bubble:

[ two crappy-looking example bubble ]

Now, you'll continue to add these bubbles, and keep adding more sections of the story, eventually ending up with a whole bunch of bubbles on sticks, with ideas inside. This can help you form a representation of all the items in your game, and when they occur. This is one method I've seen lots of times before, but doesn't work for me very well... Some people like it, so you should give it a shot, and see if it works for you.

The next method I've seen is a little bit more like my method, but a little too logical for me... basically, you want to write down each of your events, the people involved, and give each a ranking to determine when they happen, and then apply these events to a timeline. This works for some people.


  1: Introduce Characters
  2: Tutorial
  3: Boss Fight
4a: Find Lock Pick
4b: Find Key
  5: Open Door


This can be good for those who are very logical thinkers, and who keep track of things through numbers, etc. I find it very hard to keep track of things this way, so my method is a little more straightforward.

My method is simple. I start with several sheets of paper, or to be able to read it later, I will probably use Word, and I start a Numbered List. I start out similar to above, with just a few words to describe each event:

  1. Intro Movie - Lab
  2. Introduce Eta
  3. (optional) Learn how to play
  4. Explore Ninja Ruins
  5. Boss: RagMan
  6. Scolded by Sensei
  7. Etc
Next, I open a new Word Document, and just start filling in the blanks. I'll start with a Numbered event in my first list, and fill in the details:
  1. Intro Movie: Lab
    Lengthy Description of Intro Movie
  2. Lengthy Description of This Event
  3. Etc.



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