Baby Q&A #5
How do you approach writing the game’s history/lore?
“How to approach lore:
Where are you starting from?
- you’re never starting from scratch – you always have some idea of the world you’re creating
- if creating OC (Original Content), feel free to borrow from mythology, religion, pre-existing stories as you see fit – if working with pre-existing IP, then you have a fair amount to build on already
- understand where the world is in the “here and now”, at least in the context of the story you’re trying to tell – if you know where you’re trying to get, it will make getting there much easier
How did your world get this way?
- doesn’t have to be the entire history of the world, just the stuff that’s significant to the story
- figure out a timeline, a sequence of events that lead to the current state of affairs – this doesn’t have to be the HOW or WHY, just the WHAT and the WHO
- this will inform your potential story and characters and how they fit into / relate to the world
Hint, don’t exposit.
- story is priority number 1 – whether it’s character focused or action focused doesn’t really matter, no amount of lore is going to make up for an uninteresting story
- sprinkle your world with lore – think of it as icing on the cake, too much and it just tastes like icing
- lore will always exist, whether it’s intentional on the creators’ side or fans filling in the gaps – you don’t have to do 100% of the work
- keep it loose – don’t be afraid to change / adapt as you go, it’s okay to abandon ideas if they don’t work anymore
Don’t spend too much time on it (unless you really want to)
- avoid a “world bible” – this can end up feeling limiting rather than exploratory
- most of this stuff WILL NOT MAKE IT INTO YOUR STORY – don’t waste your energy
- keep it simple – your world and story do not to be complex to be good
- leave things intentionally vague sometimes – a lot of the fun comes in speculation on the “space between”, fueling your audience’s imagination is often more impactful than spoon-feeding them a story
- have fun with it – the “rule of cool” wins out 90% of the time, if you’re stuck then do the thing that feels cooler”
– Pelo Tsavoussis
Writer and Narrative Designer at Sweet Baby Inc.