Lesson 5 of 10
Believability & Dialogue
- There are four elements that are the primary factors that affect believability in a story: consistency, coincidence, spectacle, and surprise. Think about several story-based games you’ve played:
- How do they maintain consistency with its world and characters, or where does their consistency break down in certain places?
- How do they handle coincidences in a believable manner, or how do they rely on a deus ex machina?
- How do they surprise you through careful preparation in which you are genuinely surprised but it makes perfect sense afterwards, or how are their “surprises” expected and/or unexplainable?
- How do they introduce spectacle in a way that improves the believability of the story, or how does their spectacle detract from it?
- How are you managing consistency, coincidence, spectacle, and surprise in your project’s story, and where do you need to make improvements?
- Dialogue has one main function: to convey exposition, specifically plot, character, emotion, and gameplay exposition. Think about several story-based games you’ve played:
- How do they explain details more through the world around you and rely on dialogue as a last resort, or how do they overuse dialog for exposition?
- How do they use dialogue to give a unique voice to each character, especially as their situations change, or how does they fail to create unique voices?
- How do they convey emotion through actions more than dialogue, or how do they convey emotions through dialogue more than actions? How do they use dialogue to infer emotion, or how do they outright state it?
- How are gameplay elements explained through dialogue in a way that integrates seamlessly as you play through the game, or how does the game stop you from playing in order to explain how to play?
- How are you managing plot, character, emotion, and gameplay exposition in your project’s story, and where do you need to make improvements?
- Have you created Character Description Documents for your characters? If so, how have they helped your process of determining what your characters do and say in your story?