1. Grappling Minstrel
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    Grappling Minstrel New Member

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    Problem with character twist

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Grappling Minstrel, Aug 21, 2015.

    I recently wrote my first video game script and a week or so ago, the game came out. At first, the reviews were really positive and flattering, people claimed that they found the storyline intriguing, the character lovable, then a few days later, after people beat the game and saw the endings, the new reviews that came in are rather mixed, here's the problem.

    One of the character in the story, which have been established as stoic and tactical, had a major blowup in the end of the story and a segment of the players thought it was 'out of character'. I, as the writer, have no problem believing that someone can snap and just do a 180 after enough stress, but I think the lesson here is that it needs to be set-up.

    Considering that video game is mostly done with very little narrative or inner monologue, most things are conveyed with action or dialogues, and I didn't put enough hint for his turn, but here's my question: Do you think it's doable to make a sudden twist without any hint of it coming? Or should every big twist have a foreboding first?
     
  2. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another issue is videogames often set up main characters as bland to make it easier for the player to insert themselves or at least so I have seen.

    And yes of course a sudden turn without explaination previously can be done. Sometimes that is the fun but that is sort of like a trope or a trope is similar. I think it is called Chekovs Gun.

    The idea being that when you set something up people expect a pay off. A sudden and unexplained twist in a character is something that will catch someones attension and as such they will expect a pay off or an explanation eventually.

    In the case of reviews I wouldn't sweat it too much because everyone is different so it can be much harder for some people to put themselves in the shoes of a certain situation. Which by not being able to relate to a situation they may think the character was flawed when the flaw is really there understanding of the situation.

    So to recap, no a twist doesn't need set up first but I think that is when it is the set up. In essense I think most stories have set up and pay off. If the twist is set up then it doesn't need set up but a pay off. If the twist is a pay off then it needs set up.

    If you are worried you didn't provide that in your script. I would ask yourself the following questions;

    1. "What objective information is here that leads to the conclusion?"

    2. "Is that information easy to see? Easy to understand?"

    3. "Is that infomation enough to reasonable lead someone to the conclusion by itself?"
     
  3. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    Pretty much what @GuardianWynn said, except:

    Chekhov's Gun is the idea that a gun that appears in an early scene needs to be fired by the end of the story. Kinda the opposite of an unexplained twist; it's all about following through on your foreshadowing. The flipside is that if the gun doesn't get fired, it seems like a red herring/cheap trick. (But it's just a trope, and tropes are tools, not rules.)

    I can't specifically comment without seeing the game, but I think that out-of-character behaviour generally needs an explanation (either in advance or subsequently). Depends a bit on how out-of-character it is, which depends on your characterisation and how much the audience picks up on it. The huge amount of stress the character went through might have been an adequate explanation, but maybe it wasn't visible enough.

    IRL people act 'out-of-character' all the time, but it usually draws question (and if it's about something important, concern). As people can't question your characters, you need to provide the answers in advance :) I'm not familiar with game design, so perhaps the communication is trickier than in writing.
     
  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know the comparison wasn't perfect but I think where I was going is sort of valid. Let me explain my dots.

    I was saying that if the twist comes without foreshadowing then the twist is then forshadowing. Because the moment the twist accures unexplained people are going to be curious and thus want to know why. Thus eventually explaining why is following through on the event that I was considering foreshadowing.

    I suppose even now I am stretching the true definition of the term foreshadowing but I think the logical connection to Chekovs Gun is still there, in spirit anyway. ;)
     

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