Video Game Screenplay Essentials

Every video game, small or big, starts with the same thing - the screenplay. Every idea that is born in the development room goes on paper first. We have compiled a list of essential points that will help you understand the writing process for video games.



The narrative of the game consists of the setting, plot and text.
Problems with the narrative arise in two cases:
  • When the writer doesn’t understand the specifics of their work – due to lack of experience or to improper installation. In this case, the writer acts inappropriately: gets sensitive about the feedback, lazy, overestimates one's role in the project, etc.
  • When a team doesn’t understand the specialty of the writer - because of prejudice and negative experience of cooperation. In this case the team may unreasonably interfere with the script demanding the impossible, underestimating the role of the writer, etc.
Setting includes the world of the game, its laws and realities. Examples of the setting: post apocalyptic, medieval fantasy, cyberpunk etc.


Plot is a sequence of events that adds up to the story. It happens that the same story can be told in a different setting. It happens that the setting dramatically affects the plot. The plot majorly depends on the genre of the game. For some genres plot is not required. But if you add the plot it will make the game more engaging.
Screenplay is a form in which the story is expressed. Typically, the script looks like a list of what is happening with the description of scenes and dialogues. Writers are people who know how to tell stories in the form of the script so other members of the team can use this document as their main reference.
You need to make a decision before the development process whether your game needs a plot, and if it does, ask yourself to what extent, as it is necessary to take a balanced approach in this matter. If you want to tell a story, you need a plot. Some of the players want to see the story in the game, but most players don’t bother reading.


Vision is the essence of the project, an idea of what the game should look like. In a perfect world the writers’ and artists’ visions of the game have to match.
Screenwriting solution is the main tool of any writer. This means the writer finds the best possible plot device in order to meet the requirements of the team's project vision.
One should be very careful here and take into account every detail. One wrong step and the whole storyline will fall. The more information you have about the project, the more successful decisions you can find. It is strongly recommended to ask for directions from other team members. Many heads are better than one.

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