Writing Game Fiction Day Three: Plot your Plot

So now you’ve decide you’re going to write this really awesome story based on the video game Final Fantasy X. You love the character of Yuna, so you’re going to sit down and write a story about…but wait? What is your story about? Okay, you’ve figured out that Final Fantasy X is based on the idea that Zanarkand was at the height of technology but somehow “fell” to “Sin” 1,000 years ago. You and your band of merry adventurers are traveling on a not-so-merry quest throughout the planet Spira to get that final Aeon to relieve the world of Sin; only to do this, you have to sacrifice. A lot.

Last time, we took a look at what the theme of the game should be. Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that we know the theme of this story is fantasy quest with eastern philosophical overtones. We also know what the overall plot is, because either we’ve played the game or we’ve heard about it from someone else. So now what? How are we going to expand upon this already well-developed story?

In an open game environment like an MMORPG, RPG or even a board game like Arkham Asylum, it’s pretty easy to plot the plot provided the “rules” are followed. Things like monster weaknesses, powers, setting restrictions, and other minutia all come into play here. For that type of gaming fiction, it’s easier to think big and squish down the elements to fit within those particular parameters because really, the sky’s the limit on the plot.

In a closed game environment, where the plot has already been decided, your plot is exceptionally more challenging to figure out because a closed game environment has a time line of events. As a writer, you’ll have to determine the “when” of what point in that time line you want your story to occur. Once you figure out the timing, you’ll probably be able to recognize “where” in the game your story might take place and then “who” your character is interacting with.
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Monica Valentinelli >

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