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Writing: Game Narrative Notes

1) Create the World

  • World Map
    – Continents
    – Areas
    – Cities
    – Capitals/Kingdoms/Villages
    – Landmarks
    – Secret Areas
  • Population (who lives where)
    – Nations
    – Peoples
    – Abandoned areas
    – Ruins (recent or ancient)
  • World “conflicts”: economy, politics, technologies, social structures, travel, religion
  • Technologies -> How advanced is this civilization? Are all areas advanced, or are some wealthier/better off than others?

2) Create the Characters

  • Appearance
  • Personality
  • Skills
  • Backstory
    – Where they come from
    – Ideals, flaws, bonds, mission
    – Who, What, Where, Why
  • Alignment
  • Name

3) Create the “Grand Storyline”

What is the overarching conflict?

Does an open world follow a grand storyline?
– The reason for the final boss encounter (if any)
– Twist on the final boss encounter
– Can we sympathize or connect with the final boss?
– If there is a hero, there is usually a villian. THE HERO’S JOURNEY trope

4) Create the storyboard

  • Thumbnail sketches
  • Color studies
    – Temperature reflects time of day and mood
    – Use limited palettes to experiment with mood and setting
    – Top-down vs Platform vs Open World perspectives

5) Implement the story

  • Cutscenes
  • Environment
  • Enemies
  • NPCs
  • Allies
  • Loading screens
  • Art, merch, hype, etc

Notes from Feb 2, 2019
Ljubica Todorovic
Calgary, Alberta

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