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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
05-24-2011, 04:25 PM
Originally Posted by Patarival View Post
I usually write prose and scripts for stage plays. Writing for the Foundry is, however (and somewhat sadly), quite different and - to me - much more difficult.
Maybe "writing" for the Foundry is a bit of a misnomer to begin with. It's really more game design than writing. A lot of people use writing to describe coming up with a story (and I may be guilty of this as well), but in actual fact it's more like conceptualizing or imagining. You're not actually writing the story, but rather coming up with certain scenarios for the player to experience. The only actual writing in the Foundry is fairly easy because it's all dialogue, which is about ten times easier than descriptive writing.

There are actually a lot of different elements you have to bring together in the Foundry. Coming up with the levels is visual design or maybe even interior decorating. Coming up with the encounters and text based puzzles is game design. Coming up with the story I guess is what many refer to as writing, but it's really not. You're envisioning the story, which is what you'd do before writing one, but beyond that what's done in the Foundry diverges.

Overall the whole experience of creating a Foundry mission is closer to making a mission for a pencil and paper role playing game than it is to writing a story. You have to accept that there are serious limitations to the medium, namely that you have only limited control over the protagonist. You can put him in a situation, but you can't really control how he acts. In the Foundry, unlike a PnP RPG, you can put words in the player character's mouth, but usually people don't like this. As well, I'd say the visual design of the maps, and the staging of encounters is just as important to a successful Foundry mission as the story behind it.