Game Development Reference
Clearly, this misleading of the player was unintentional, but highlights how
important it is to look at your dialogue in the context of playing the game
and trying to see it from a player's perspective. If you do not catch such
instances, the player could waste a lot of time trying to find a way to do
something that the game will not allow.
The flip side of this coin is the way that such lines can be used to guide
the player. If it was important that the player picked up the log, the original
line I came up with would have been a subtle clue that a stronger character
was needed to do this. For some types of game this line may be too subtle
and a more blatant direction could be used: 'I should find someone to help
me with this log.'
The advantage of the more subtle approach is that you can guide the player
without being obvious and the gameplay becomes a little more of a challenge
without being impossible.
Finding the right level of clues and guidance that fits the style of the game,
the nature of the main character and requirements of the gameplay is
something that must be worked out with the design team.
The writing team
Some games can have ten thousand lines of dialogue, or even more. As a
typical movie contains about a thousand lines, it quickly becomes clear that
these games have the equivalent dialogue of ten movies. Asking one writer
to create scripts for ten movies would be a huge expectation and one that is
unlikely to produce consistently high quality and still fit within the time-
frame of the project's development. The only answer is to use a team of
writers on the project who must each understand the way that gameplay,
story and dialogue mesh together.
Whenever a team of writers work in this way, they must ensure that their
writing styles match, but this is only part of the picture. Understanding the
style of the logic structure that drives the dialogue scenes will enable the
team to maintain a consistency in the way the game's scenes unfold.
Even with the best will in the world, maintaining consistency of writing
style will be difficult without the writers constantly reviewing each other's
work, so time must be allowed for this. Alternatively, it may be better to have
one writer who acts as the script editor for the project.This person could be
one of the writing team, or it could be a person who has been brought in
specifically to fill that role once the scripts have been completed.
The script editor should always have the ability to look at the game and