Game Dialogues – We need to chat about them
Today we’re gonna talk about writing dialogues in games general. Well, we’re not gonna talk for real unless you comment something down below, so let’s focus on you reading my words by now.
Anyway, dialogues in games are extremely easy to write and extremely easy to make it sound bad and boring.
What’s the opposite? I mean, the real opposite are dialogues that sound unfunny or too edgy or both in worst cases. How to find a balance between those two?
Feel the good vibration
You know, I’m not really an expert, but I can get you some advices from my own experience. First thing is to read your text out loud, preferably in most stupid, action-movie packed voice, so it sounds reeealy bad no matter what you are reading. If it still sounds somehow decent, you’re doing a good job.
Another thing is to write sentences that suits the character. We all know that some characters are silly, weird or bizarre like Jojo’s adventures, but most people talk using a “normal” language. Despite that, you have to make everyone in your game sound unique, cause everyone sounding the same is BORING.
And the last one, but not less important – let your characters live. If someone’s a gangsta he or she should use gangsta language or at least some street words or whatever you call it. If your fantasy world is full of useless gods, let characters say their names in some situations to make them more believable.
Swear you, I double swear you, my mocker
Swearing is good if you know how to use that. Swearing words are like light grenades – if you throw it too lightly it will backfire at you. First thing is to not use swearing at all. Everyone can swear, but not everyone can say something unique that’s not M-rated and still sounds good, badass, funny or whatever you need in your dialogue. Just think about it: wanna be known from swearing like idiot or from nice catchphrases? That’s the first thing you must think about every bad word in your script. Then you can swear.
Language in your league
You don’t have to come up with your own language to sound super-duper original and fancy. Just try to imagine some things that can be said in your game world and not in our. Everyone can say “bollocks!”, but not everyone will just shout in the middle of street “bollocks of mighty gods!”. If your gods don’t have bollocks try to come up with something else, I’m not responsible for changing your gods gender (if they have any).
People also live in places. Yeah, like, real places. Use the names! “I wonder what’s going on in this District Nice Named by the Game Writer?”, one of NPCs might say. And it sounds natural!
People also live in places. Yeah, like, real. Also don’t make your game as if you were in 1884 world with high censorship if it’s not necessary. Let your characters speak what’s in their minds. Someone hates rats? Cool. Someone is an mechanic and know so many mechanical words that I have no idea about? Let them use this kind of language.
Open your mouth
I mean, for real, do it. Not right know, cause probably no sound will play from audio source in your throat, but be more open and speak with different kind of people. Find some real dialogues in the Internet, chat anonymously with strangers, find yourself different types of speaking every day! And if it’s not working, try to talk with yourself. Yeah, I’m serious, talking with yourself, especially out loud, will make you better writer. You will hear yourself and know what sounds really bad. Find it as a fun, relief, not another work and you’ll be good.
As a game writer I have some hard work to do, but I enjoy it and if some dialogue sound too edgy, I change it – for the sake of players.
And remember – there’s a thin line between savage and edgy!