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Alexander Freed's Blog   Expert Blogs

 

Alexander Freed is a freelance writer with nearly a decade of narrative design experience. He began his video game career at BioWare, where he served as Lead Writer on Star Wars: The Old Republic and Shadow Realms before departing to focus on freelancing. Since then, he's worked as a writer and narrative consultant on projects ranging from indie to AAA. He also writes comic books and prose fiction. See www.alexanderfreed.com for more information.

 

Expert Blogs

Posted by Alexander Freed on Wed, 01 Oct 2014 01:45:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
For decades, branching conversation systems have been a powerful tool in game narrative. In the fifth and final part of our series, we discuss means of improving branching dialogue on a line-by-line basis.


Posted by Alexander Freed on Wed, 24 Sep 2014 03:01:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
For decades, branching conversation systems have been a powerful tool in game narrative. In part four of our series, we discuss some guiding principles for crafting a branching dialogue scene.


Posted by Alexander Freed on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:59:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
For decades, branching conversation systems have been a powerful tool in game narrative. In part three of our series, we discuss toolsets and how to structure a conversation for easy review and later editing.


Posted by Alexander Freed on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 08:34:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
For decades, branching conversation systems have been a powerful tool in game narrative. In part two of our series, we discuss what sort of system to build for your game (covering everything from interface to voiceover).


Posted by Alexander Freed on Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:18:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
For decades, branching conversation systems have been a powerful tool in game narrative. In part one of a series dedicated to the art of branching dialogue writing, we define terms and discuss what kinds of games benefit most from such systems.



Alexander Freed's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 10/01/2014 - 01:45]

Glad you enjoyed the series ...

Glad you enjoyed the series I think profiling the Player character, as you describe, could work great for some games... and I think one of the benefits of handling it through dialogue is that the profile doesn 't need to be ACCURATE--it just needs to be accurate in regards to ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/24/2014 - 03:01]

Your choice of the word ...

Your choice of the word respected is an interesting one, and I think totally on target. It 's easy for a writer to fall in love with his or her dialogue and want to insist the Player see it... and end up dismissing or resenting Players who prefer a shorter ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/16/2014 - 07:59]

Oh, fascinating Building an XML ...

Oh, fascinating Building an XML interpreter is certainly a lot simpler than building a whole new tool. r n r nThat said, I 'm not sure what the legal implications of using such a tool for a commercial game would be. For any indie developers, consider this the obvious reminder ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/09/2014 - 08:34]

Hmm. I think special considerations ...

Hmm. I think special considerations would come less from the fact that conversations are the prime mechanic and more from the aims of the game. For example, a game that used primarily conversations and timed all responses would get both intense and exhausting awfully fast--but whether that 's good or ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/02/2014 - 10:18]

Hi, Larry. r n r ...

Hi, Larry. r n r nWe 'll definitely be talking about the philosophy behind meaningful choices and the cost-benefit analysis of branching in part four. Most of the focus is going to be on the conversation side of things, though, rather than where and how to use big gameplay branches. ...

Comment In: [Feature - 03/21/2013 - 04:50]

Hi, John. I should probably ...

Hi, John. I should probably clarify that I never worked on Mass Effect during my BioWare time--it just makes a good point of reference as branching narrative RPGs go r n r nYour reaction is a good example of what we always need to strive to avoid, but it also ...