If you're one of those peeps who simply LOVE good stories and engaging characters, then take a look at some of those writing techniques I use. Establishing relatable characters and engaging stories can be a tough one, but using these techniques will get you there sooner than you think.
#1 How Do I Know This?
Besides being a Game Artist and Digital Marketer, I have also written 3 novels and over 50+ stories in sci-fi/high-fantasy and horror genres.
I have also worked on the stories of the games I've worked with my team in Mystive Studios, my own solo games, and provided consultations for clients' games as a freelancer.
Here is a brief example of a Lovecraftian Story I wrote on Wattpad and it became the 8th story of over 5000:
#2 Lair of the Endless Dreamer
I stood on the empty shore, hearing the thundering rumble; that insidious drumming of hellish fiends consuming the corners of my mind. Shiver, as chilling as the winds of most northern lands crawled down my spine. My bloody eyes, widened, wet, started at the incoming wave of destruction; the dark abyss of water rising and rising before me. Soon, the horizon drowned, a shadow creeping over the beaches as the enormous wave rushed to meet me, countless feet tall.
But, before I could feel the blast that could wipe cities, I gazed at the black abysmal emptiness. The wall of water turned black like ink. Like a hole that swallowed me, silencing the chaos in the blink of an eye.
I found myself floating, like a helpless being trapped in an unseen cage, unable to move, speak or even twitch. My sight became dripped in stars, and comets, and nebulas of burning colors never seen by ordinary men. I felt cold, alone, worthless. And the universe heeded my thoughts.
#3 Character Arc
Character Arc is a gradual change in beliefs from the beginning of your story, all the way to the end. It influences both the story, structure and the main theme. Character arc is what defines each of the characters in your game's story. Now let's take a look at the four important elements to establishing an amazing character arc and an engaging story. Let's start with...
#4 Character's Lie
The Lie is something your character believes to be true about the world or himself. His way of seeing is misguided or wrong and throughout the story you should make your character realize that his way of seeing is not the real truth and along with the help of other supporting characters, make him find the way to the real truth.
Eg. Tony Stark - Iron Man. In the first movie, the story starts with a lie. He doesn't feel responsible or that he needs to be held accountable for the weapons Stark Industries makes and sells to terorrists. Another example would be Luke Skywalker - who believes he's an ordinary farmboy from Tatooine and he believes he's destined to be stuck on Tatooine - the desert planet. Luke believes in the lie that he's nobody.
#5 Character's Ghost (or Wound)
Sometimes it can be found as the Character's Wound. It is the very reason your character believes in the lie. It could be some kind of traumatic experience that makes your character see the world the way he sees it. This is usually a backstory element and not all of the games have lore and backstory elements, but it is good to have it written down in paper (maybe just for yourself) so you can properly shape your characters.
Eg. For Luke Skywalker, the character ghost is the death of his parents - Anakin and Padme. He's stuck on this planet, he believes that he'll never reach popularity like his father being a best pilot or a war general etc. That's the reason why the character believes in the lie.
#6 Character's Want
It represents something that your character desires more than anything. Keep in mind that the Want is always External. The Want can change throughout the storyline, but remember. Your Character's Want is as good as the "physical" obstacles you put along the way.
Eg. In Lord of the Rings - Frodo wants to destroy the ring. In Matrix - Neo wants to save humanity from the machines.
#7 Character's Need
The last element would be the Character Need. The Need is always internal and it's something the character needs to figure out about themselves in order to get the thing they want. The need also needs to have Obstacles - but these obstacles will not be external, but internal like self-doubt.
Eg. In Lord of the Rings - Frodo realizes that he needs Sam to complete his journey.
#8 Here's How to Apply the Character Arc in Your Game Story:
- Establish the Lie your Character Believes in
- Craft the characters which can impact the arc of your character's lie (eg. Obi-Wan to Luke)
- Be always aware of the exact lie your character believes in
- Be always aware of the exact, real truth
MystiveDev is a Game Development (Game Design, Level Design, 2D & 3D Art) and Digital Marketing brand helping Indie Game Developers power up their game journey and release their dream game. Its main purpose is to provide aspiring Game Developers knowledge and educational content of value, contribute to the global Indie Game Community and help more and more developers reach their dream of being full-time indie game developers.
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