writing scripts for video games


hi, i know its kind of a ghost town here but hopefully someone sees this

                        how do you go about witting a script for a video game? is it the same way you write something like a screenplay? 
              ive been writing it like a screenplay but when i come across gameplay events use tags and then describe the event like this

                            [GAME PLAY START]
         player has to fight coach richter in the lockers area by the pool 
         using items from the scene
         when coach richter is defeated if the player goes near the body 
         the player is prompted to inspect coach richter's body
         when the body is inspected a driver's license is retrieved
         the driver's license indicates that the corpse is coach richter
   		           [GAME PLAY END]
                        if some knows how to do it the proper way please help


I honestly have no idea, but my girlfriend makes Flash games for the internet and it was kind of like this, but with story boards.


thanks for your reply junghoonjoe, it least i know im not that far off and i do feel comfortable with this structure.

but im still gonna find out more about the subject and post it :buttrock:


there was a program on stars all about the influence of video games on motion pictures. they said it well. films have simple plots and complex characters video games have simple characters and complex plots. to “script” a video game is highly dependant on what type of game it is most specifically if it is world based or level based. if it is world based your best bet is to start with a tree diagram of event paths. if it is level based then write one sentence describing each level and one between each of them that describes the story events. and work from there.


thanks a lot for the tips HiroHito! :bounce:
i’ve been so preocupied with minor details i haven’t really fleshed out the entire concept
here’s a snippet of the game play events description


the player has to explore the lockers area until he finds the fire exit
(item “zippo lighter” is in locker room on a bench, player is to be prompted to pick it up when getting near it)

the fire exit leads to the roof where he sees the whole world seems to be engulfed in darkness and not able to see for more than a couple of feet he stumbles into a door that leads to a stair way going down to the main corridor of the school

the school appears to be completely empty but has soon as he turns to walk across to the exit "neschume" entities appear behind him


 the player has to fight "neschume" entities with an item found in the lockers area "zippo lighter" by setting them on fire,


 (if the player does not have the "zippo lighter" item he is left with no choice but to run in search of the only open door or go back to the stair way the leads to the lockers area)

when player defeats these entities he is supposed to explore the corridor area until finding one of two open doors

(one of the doors is only unlockable by defeating the "neschume" entities, the room is a janitor's closet and contains items "shot glass" and "bottle of super glue" these items are crucial for the advancement of the game and are to be picked up before the cafeteria level)

 the "shot glass" and "bottle of super glue" are combined, the "bottle of super glue" is used to glue the bottom of the "shot glass" to the knobless mechanism to be used as a door knob

when the player passes through to the cafeteria dialog starts

[/i]im trying to make it as clear as possible that’s why it sounds so sterile :smiley: the dialog is different of course[i]

[/i]any other tips would be very appreciated!


it would help the visualization process alot if you were to compare this game to one you’ve seen or played. or better yet one we might have seen or played.


if i have to compare it to other games i’d say…
battle system= condemned: criminal origins and Vampire the masquerade: bloodlines
quest and puzzles = silent hill series and Vampire the masquerade: bloodlines
story = like no other seen before LOL
i known that’s really hard to accomplish but that’s what im aiming for :wip:


i would imagine it’s like writing a screenplay…no idea really tho


Hello there,

I really don’t know either… But, here is a suggestion. Now, I haven’t updated my software, because it still works – so why shell out more when you don’t need too – but I use both Movie Magic and Final Draft. The version of Movie Magic that I have allows you to load a script in what they call Multimedia format (see attached screen shot of the screenwriting controls). With most screenwriting software programmes you can also customise your settings.

However, at the end of the day, I really don’t know if any actual scriptwriting conventions have emerged in the game industry, other than in-house style guides.

Hope this helps…



thx indiefilmgal :slight_smile: i am doing it like you would a screenplay

worldmender: Im just doing the standard screenwriting format but when i come to gameplay events i just invented my own tags and that has been working for me so far, i actually started writing another videogame with the same format.
for the writing i just use celtix

I been very occupied with some business lately but i’ll post more smipets of both scritps later to see what you people think :slight_smile:


Hi guys

I have had some experience in this field. Are you trying to script a game in the sense you are describing the game flow/player progress ( we call it a ‘metagame’) or are you trying to describe scripted events (key moment mechanics) within a metagame?

As regard conventions, a good game design document will have it’s own agreed and consistent ‘legend’ from start to finish :slight_smile:

I will post a typical GDD skeleton document soon. This should give you an idea of what sort of information and format you need to flesh out your ideas and generate creative briefs.


Hey Ric, thanks for the info!, i definitely have a lot to learn :argh:.
hopefully you get around to show us those documents soon :smiley:


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