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New School Blues Dev. Diary #17: Script

On December 3rd 2012, YoyoBolo Games posted this developer diary entry regarding script-writing and design, specifically dealing with our initial approach to the script and changes that were necessary to make.

Game Developer

February 7, 2013

2 Min Read

You may remember from a ways back that YoyoBolo decided early on to have silent characters with no voices aside from a storybook narrator.  (On a side note, that doesn’t mean our characters won’t make any sounds, just that they won’t TALK.)  This was done due to constraints of time and resources, though as you’ll see, these ended up being positive things in the end since it challenged us to find more creative and concise solutions to develop NSB.

The original script had the narrator saying upwards to a couple hundred lines.  The speaker was intended to have a very strong personality and serve not only as a plot exposition device, but also to give hints on how to solve puzzles through direct and indirect dialogue cues.  In the vein of old school graphic adventures, we also made the script funny (or tried to :P), peppering jokes liberally throughout character interactions.

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Good comedy is awesome and makes you laugh!

This seemed like a good choice at first but the more we implemented the more bloated it felt.  We realized adding too much descriptive text made the game more about reading then interacting, and that by trying to make every single line witty or clever, it just made the experience feel pretentious (also we’re not THAT funny).  The overt puzzle clues left no way for players to challenge themselves and find answers on their own; it ended up feeling patronizing.

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Bad comedy kills kittens.  We decided not to tempt fate and keep our script simple.

After significant rewrites and edits, we finally arrived to something much more streamlined. There was now less than 70 lines of voice work, which included some gameplay clues but nothing overt.  While the speaker retains personality it is much more subtle and does not overpower the narrative.  Finally it cuts down on the goofy jokes.  

So now that we had a script, it was time to prep for the studio, more on that in the coming week.

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