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Story Design Challenge #3: The Comic Character

Let’s test your comedy chops.

The monthly story design challenge is cross-posted on Gamasutra and GameCareerGuide.

The Comic Character

Almost no matter what genre your game is– adventure, drama, mystery, horror, etc. – its experience will probably benefit from comic respites here and there. A comic respite can take many form, but we’re going to concentrate on one: the comic character.

You know the one. The one whose almost every utterance or every action will get the players laughing. So much so, that when he appears a second or third time, the players will start laughing before he actually does anything.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write a description of a comic character you invented as well as a short dialogue or scene in which we get to see what the character is like and how he’s funny.

A Friendly Hint

Comedy isn’t about jokes or writing jokes. A comic character is rarely a character with one-liners or zingers of any kind. A comic character is based on a comic element. Remember? We talked about that. My best advice to you is: find the comic element that makes the character funny in your eyes, then find a way to squeeze-squeeze-squeeze that element.

The Rules:

  • Please don’t use anything anyone owns the rights to, even if you’re the one who owns those rights. Let’s have no variations on existing games, movies, or stories. And nothing you or your company are working on at the moment.
  • Please keep your entry under 1000 words. 1000 words translate roughly to 4 double-spaced pages. That should be more than enough.
  • Winners will be announced in a cross-post like this one, in Gamasutra and GameCareerGuide on Thursday, May 2nd. This means you have six days (Wednesday is the last day) to publish your entry.
  • Please publish your entry in the comments of this article. If you want to do it anonymously, use Gamasutra’s system to log in anonymously.
  • Format: I don’t care what format you use. If you write clearly enough, and I can understand what you mean, the format doesn’t matter.
  • Important: When you publish your entry, send it to me simultaneously via email (to guyhasson at gmail dot com). That way, you make your entry public (in the comments), while ensuring I have your real email address if you win. Don’t publish the entry at your website or in Dropbox, then link to it. Use the comments so everyone can see.

The prize: The prize that’s mine to give is a free electronic copy of my book, Secret Thoughts. It’s science fiction, recently published by Apex Books. Here’s a link to the publisher’s website, where you can check out the plot and the reviews. When you send your email, please specify the type of file you want (pdf, epub, or mobi). If you’ve already won a Story Design Challenge, all I have to give you is glory.

Good luck to everyone! Now go make us laugh!

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