One essential component in a role-playing game (RPG) is the storyline. It’s what holds the game together and provides players with focus throughout their playtime.
If you’re planning to launch an RPG on the market, you’ll need to go beyond choosing a reliable outsourcing game development provider. You also need to come up with an excellent story for your game.
Story writing is no walk in the park. Blank page anxiety can creep up and prevent you from producing an epic storyline. But you can follow an approach that will give you the foundation needed to produce a compelling video game script.
Start on the right foot with these five steps:
1Create the Major Outline for Your Story
Whether you’re writing a linear RPG story or a game with multiple endings, you’ll want to begin by developing the major storyline. List the important plot points of the story along with what happens for each character.
If you’re just starting with video game writing, you could come up with a linear storyline. Creating the outline is easy in this case, as you don’t need to think of alternate outcomes and endings.
On the other hand, be prepared to work hard if your story has multiple endings. Besides staying faithful to the canon story outline, you have to list all the ending possibilities. Also, don’t hesitate to play games that have multiple endings. You could use them as inspiration when writing your outline.
2Create the Story’s Main Characters
Devote time to describe the hero of your RPG along with the other important characters, such as the hero’s companions, minor villains, major bosses, and vital non-player characters (NPCs) that move the story along.
Having trouble describing the characters of your game? Take note of these guide questions:
- How old are the characters?
- What are their physical features?
- Where did they grow up? (Tip: Use this information when designing your world map)
- How do they react to their environment and other characters in the game?
- What are their skills or magical abilities? (Tip: Use this information when creating the mechanics of your game)
Be as specific as possible when designing your main characters. If the protagonist, for instance, has a lightning bolt tattoo on his left arm, describe the size, color and other attributes of this body marking. You could also give the tattoo a backstory if necessary.
3Develop Your Game World
When you’re making an RPG, the world comes from the perspective of your character. This is how game players experience character development. Similar to how you describe your characters, you need to be specific with descriptions of your world elements.
Here are guide questions to help you in the game world writing process:
- How many continents does your world have?
- How many cities, towns and villages does your world have?
- How is the government running for each city or continent?
- What kinds of technologies exist? Are they using magic, laser swords or both?
- Do the inhabitants of the world have enough resources (food, water, shelter, money, etc.) necessary to survive?
4Write the Major Story
Now that you have the main elements of your game story set up, you can begin writing the major storyline. When starting, zero in on the main version of the story or the canon cutscenes. Once you have the core version established, use that to create additional storylines.
You have two options when writing the RPG story: dive into scene writing or create a summary of the main story. How you begin the writing process is completely up to you.
5Introduce the Small Story Details
Once you have the major story completed, go ahead and add in the fun stuff of the RPG. This may include filling each location with non-important game characters. This is also the opportunity to develop alternate characters or worlds in the game.
If you’re unsure how to go about this process, here are a few elements you can integrate into the main storyline:
- Items – This can be the armor, weapons and restoratives used by your main character. They can also refer to objects necessary to push the plot forward, such as a skeleton key that unlocks a chamber door.
- Side Quests – If your story has multiple arcs, you could sprinkle optional quests for game players. They may or may not be related to the main plot.
- NPCs – These are characters in the game found in certain world locations. They can provide their opinion on a particular topic, give hints, or offer side quests.
Take note of these five tips to help you create a worthy story for your RPG. Once you have all the elements finished, ask a few people to review your story and check for plot issues and other problems.