Game Development Reference
annoys the player when trying to get on with the investigative gameplay.You
have to balance this distraction with how you deliver the information the
player needs to know.
As discussed in the previous chapter, the logic that wraps up the scene is
very important and where comedy is written into the dialogue scenes you
need to be more careful that the scene hangs together if the player has the
option to vary the order in which the interactions take place. The comedy
could fall completely flat if it relies on information that has not yet been
revealed to the player. If such a variable nature exists in the character
interactions, it may be best to ensure that any humour is self-contained
within each segment, even if it advances a common or recurring theme.
Interactive comedy can also derive from how characters react to what
other characters do or say. If you talk with Bill and then tell Jenny what he
said, the reaction may be very humorous and may give a further chance for
humour if the player then returns to Bill to talk about Jenny. In these
situations, it is best if the characters are not too far apart, geographically, or
the player character will be forced to trudge back and forth a long way to
trigger the humour and it may take the edge off it.
Testing, feedback and brainstorming
Testing reaction to your comedy is important and the feedback on what
works is vital. Sometimes a section of humour may seem right to you, but
when people play through it they may find that it is not as funny as you think.
This does not necessarily mean that the whole thing needs re-writing; it could
be that a couple of tweaks here and there will change the whole thing around.
It can be difficult to create comedy on your own, particularly the tight,
snappy variety. Brainstorming can be of immense value because it provides a
situation where you can be as silly or outrageous as you like. Not only is
brainstorming humorous ideas great fun, it can throw up ones that none of
those participating would necessarily have thought of on their own. The
brainstorming session can also be an excellent way to recharge your humour
batteries and fire up your writing.
Many of the best comedy TV shows were created or developed by more
than one writer and many long-running series will employ a large number
of writers, often working in teams of two or more, because there is often
more to be gained by writers firing off each other.
Even when you are the sole writer working on a game, it is useful to have
brainstorming sessions with the design team who, at the very least, will act as