Continuing the massive script edit, I decided to work on paper and was surprised how much easier it is to spot problems with your script. For some reason, superfluous dialogue and jumbled action parts are much more obvious on the page than on the computer monitor. It is also much simpler to correct these with a pencil than with a computer keyboard.

You can see how this method is much more immediate and the nice big print makes it easy to fully grasp the impact of a line of dialogue or an action sequence. You can write a lot of stuff very quickly on the computer, such as a first draft or a wide-ranging story edit, but for the fine work such as this, you can’t beat paper.

Example of an audio log and work being done to shorten it, giving it more impact. You can see the last couple lines simply struck, because you can’t end on a stronger line than “strike these people down”.

This is the first chapter / first level printed out for editing. The first 12 pages — the introduction — have gone through so many changes and edits that I lost count. They’re very close to rock solid now.

Script writing is not the most interesting part of game design to most people because it’s not as immediately impressive as level screenshots or videos. Nonetheless, it is very hard work and totally underappreciated by most gamers.

Spare a thought for the people writing your game. It’s more common these days than you might think, and it’s back-breaking work.

Kind regards.

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Can’t beat paper

Let’s get back to some images of raw work – I’ve been mostly drawing and taking notes, because job and life have eaten most of my time lately. A wide number of drawing tools have been tested. Here’s a pic of my current workhorses. Stylefile markers, Pentel brush pen, Parker ballpoint, Faber Castell push pencil and leadholder, Staedtler and Sakura fineliners.

Real paper work. Blue ballpoint sketch of SJ Project 81 / Tempest rifle, from Project Banshee. I’ll change the model down the line for more flowing lines and details – Luminar prisms and bio-optical transformers. 😉

SJ level 4 – Scourge Fortress. Scene of a major fight between Scourge troops, the Herd and a coalition of Tribals, Luminar and Guardians. Ballpoint and marker.

Drone tank from a cutscene that’s not currently in the script anymore. The Herd were being attacked by EUFOR with these, main battle tanks and infantry, defending with Tempest rifles and missile turrets…

Checking out the Pentel Pocket Brush pen. Amazing stuff, very black and messy.

Notes taken for the script! Another major rework due. Chapter 1 – 3 make more logical sense now and have better flow. One scene builds on the other.

Useful synergies from the job: Python programming! Keeps the fingers nimble.

Until next time.