Author Topic: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!  (Read 2628 times)

Yitcomics

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For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« on: 23 May 2017, 03:19 »
I've been struggling in writing the comedy aspect for my game, to make things worse, its a game with a serious tone but with comedy elements.
The Jokes/Humor at the moment are either subpar or just felt force, I've been trying to play some Lucas arts game like Grim, DoT etc, hoping
to get some inspiration, but the humor just isn't coming to me.

Do you guys have any advice on writing comedy for adventure game? (Maybe I just don't got them funny bones) :~(
« Last Edit: 23 May 2017, 04:27 by Yitcomics »

selmiak

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #1 on: 23 May 2017, 10:35 »
uh, timing is important for a well delivered joke. But writing a funny game is hard if you don't have the required humor and no message board posts in world can help you with that (in my humble opinion), you either have it or not. So my advice here is: just write serious games, writing quality funny games is serious business in itself. Serious games are easier to do if you have a talent for good writing, and some jokes here and there in serious games are always refreshing for the player and they are funny most of the time as you as the author are not forced to write funny joke after funny joke.

Danvzare

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #2 on: 23 May 2017, 13:08 »
I agree with selmiak. But I suppose there are ways to try and learn how to do humour better, but that takes time and isn't necessarily going to yield results. But if you want to know how, just try and write jokes. Lots of them, every day. Since the best way to learn anything, is to do it over and over again.

If you really want to put humour into your game though, I suggest bringing someone else on board. Jokes tend to come out much better when you can bounce them off someone else.

Yitcomics

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #3 on: 23 May 2017, 20:22 »
But writing a funny game is hard if you don't have the required humor and no message board posts in world can help you with that (in my humble opinion), you either have it or not. So my advice here is: just write serious games, writing quality funny games is serious business in itself.

Unfortunately I can't turn back now, it's already too far in production, but I am afraid that, what if I just I dont have "IT".

If you really want to put humour into your game though, I suggest bringing someone else on board. Jokes tend to come out much better when you can bounce them off someone else.

Sadly I'm surrounded by unfunny people in my life. :P
But yeah after seeing some interview by Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert, they did mention surrounding yourself with funny people. *Sigh* If only I have Tim & Ron as buddies (roll)




« Last Edit: 23 May 2017, 22:15 by Yitcomics »

Squinky

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #4 on: 23 May 2017, 20:25 »
When I was making games, most of my best jokes came from me just writing down weird things I think or see. Over time. So by the time I was making a game, I had a sketchbook with tons of stuff I found funny written in the margins. Most of them were garbage, but some worked. I also would try and use tropes from comedies, and just use them in new ways.

One of my favorite easy things to do is the running gag. It doesn't even have to be all that funny, but it is easy, and can help tie the story together. If everyone points out how odd your character is dressed, its just another opportunity to show their personality and add some humor to the reply.

Also, you kinda have to write the game in a way that puts the character into moments where silly things can happen. It all still has to fit into the world and make sense after all.

Good luck working on your writing.

Yitcomics

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #5 on: 24 May 2017, 06:16 »
Also, you kinda have to write the game in a way that puts the character into moments where silly things can happen. It all still has to fit into the world and make sense after all.

I think that's probably part of the problem why I'm finding a hard time making jokes, I'm trying to write humor into you could say non-silly moments.
Trying to write in a silly moments in the game is kinda hard since it's a serious game. But the thing is,the protagonist is a "silly character." (roll)

Hmmm...I think I'm gonna go brainstorm how to shoehorn some funny situation into the game

Anyway thanks for the advice ;)

« Last Edit: 24 May 2017, 06:29 by Yitcomics »

InCreator

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #6 on: 24 May 2017, 09:40 »
Watch a lot of standups. Old Sierra games had tons of observational humor just like stand-up comedies do.

You could also "borrow" some adventure game classics (Thimbleweed Park brought entire library of those back), such as

* Dialog option is too ballsy and character actually says something else
* Character is patronizing other in dialog ("I'm selling those fine leather jackets" type of stuff)
* Dialog is never-ending (Guess the color/wheel of fortune number puzzles and many, many others from MI2)
* etc. Any Lucasarts game will give you tons of those examples

And of course, you can just play funny games and get ideas and into the funny mood. Ruin is pretty funny AGS game, for example. So is YAPnCA and so on.

Danvzare

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #7 on: 24 May 2017, 13:18 »
Trying to write in a silly moments in the game is kinda hard since it's a serious game. But the thing is,the protagonist is a "silly character." (roll)
So you've got a silly character in a serious game? Why not use dry humour then, with the character doing absolutely bizarre and insane things, and all of the other characters treating it like it's a perfectly normal everyday occurrence.

Mandle

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #8 on: 24 May 2017, 13:47 »
Another great example of a "silly" character in a serious genre might be Leslie Nielson in Airplane, and/or The Naked Gun movies.

In fact, any Zucker brothers' movie really shows exactly how to do comedy without seemingly trying to be funny.

C.L.I.C.K.

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #9 on: 18 Jun 2017, 15:39 »
I might be a little late, but whatever. I like, and practice, misunderstandings on purpose as a source of humour. Speaking of practice, I try to find a witty response to everything I read or hear. Might be hard for the people around you, and you will produce a lot of really bad jokes. The sheer amount should get you a lot of good material, though.

Monologues (for item descriptions) are rather easy, for dialogues you also have to write the "straight man" of course, to set up your punchline.
« Last Edit: 19 Jun 2017, 00:30 by ClickClickClick »

Yitcomics

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #10 on: 27 Jun 2017, 09:42 »
I might be a little late, but whatever.

Nah its fine, I appreciate any advise and help I can get, It's not like I mastered comedy in a few weeks (lol). I tried to follow everyone's advice as much as I can. :)

Stupot

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #11 on: 08 Jul 2017, 06:18 »
I haven't read through the whole thread (nor am I a very good comedy writer, but I do love making jokes), but here are some points.

Don't try too hard. If nothing funny comes to mind after a while, then just move onto the next thing. If there is sinething funny to be said, trust your subconscious to keep working on it while you're doing something else.

Don't go with the most obvious puns and gags. If you think it's probably been done before, it probably has. If you think it hasn't been done before, it probably has, too. So trash your first ans second gag, go with the third.

There doesn't need to be a gag on every line. Especially if, as you say, it's not a strictly comedy game. Let the jokes cone naturally from the characters. If the characters are fleshed out enough, there will be some interesting personality clashes that could make for some witty banter or comedic sutuations.

And lastly, don't try too hard. Did I already say that? Seriously though, some games (etc) try way too hard to plug in tonnes of cheesy gags and it can be cringey.

LimpingFish

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #12 on: 09 Jul 2017, 02:09 »
And comedy shouldn't just be about punchlines.

I'm kinda drunk at the moment, but I can honestly say that the above statement makes perfect sense to me.
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Stupot

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #13 on: 10 Jul 2017, 04:40 »
Also, I don't know if anyone mentioned visual gags. It's a visual medium, so why not take advantage. Funny signs, animations and the like can (if not overdone - see above) can add another layer of humour. But stay true to the overall tone that you want for your game. And remember: referencing other adventure games has its place but it is not comedy.

C.L.I.C.K.

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #14 on: 10 Jul 2017, 06:07 »
And remember: referencing (...) is not comedy.
This so much. I have no idea where that even came from. It's either the author trying to show off their knowledge, or a try to bond with the viewer over a shared past. Nothing else.

Blondbraid

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #15 on: 10 Jul 2017, 17:24 »
And remember: referencing (...) is not comedy.
This so much. I have no idea where that even came from. It's either the author trying to show off their knowledge, or a try to bond with the viewer over a shared past. Nothing else.
This is so true, and a similar pitfall is fourth-wall breaking. Sometimes, but just sometimes, it works, but far more often it just throws the player out of the story.
I also say comic relief characters mentioned, and there are some good ones out there, but also many terrible ones. As a rule of thumb, a comic relief character is fun when they annoy the other characters, but they should never annoy the audience. But if you want fun dialogues, try having characters that contrast each other, with different temperaments and personalities, an intellectual arguing with a simple-minded person, a rash and impatient person dealing with a slow and meticulous one etcetera.

Most jokes, but not all of them, follows a simple formula:
setup => buildup => payoff (or punchline)

for example:
a man sits in a resturant => he orders a dish with a very fancy foreign title => the dish he's served turns out to be a slice of spam with a boiled potato
A good way to make a funny payoff is to subvert the audience expectations, if they are led to expect something, show them the opposite.

Lastly, I think you shouldn't just look at good comedy, but look at bad comedy as well and try to analyze why the jokes fail. If anything, it may show some pitfalls to avoid.

Izera

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #16 on: 16 Jul 2017, 13:57 »
try having characters that contrast each other[...]
A good way to make a funny payoff is to subvert the audience expectations, if they are led to expect something, show them the opposite.
This. Contrast + Surprise is what makes us laugh. It's easier said than done though. Making funny moments in my game scares me as well. I'll try to stick to some simple rules found floating around the web, mix it up with some funny stuff from my life and see what happens. Also, be sure to show your funny scenes and jokes to other people. You as the creator lose the ability to judge if your jokes are funny or not because you can't feel the surprise anymore.

Edit: Just noticed this is 6 days old, sorry for necro :)

manifest class

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #17 on: 16 Jul 2017, 14:24 »
If you aren't funny, please stop trying. There's nothing cringier than an unfunny developer that won't stop trying. :sealed:

Izera

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #18 on: 16 Jul 2017, 14:39 »
If you aren't funny, please stop trying.
Hmm... Can't say I completely agree with that. It depends. If the developer wants to learn how to be funny there is no other choice but to try and then analyze where he or she succeded and failed. It's like saying "if you can't draw, please stop trying". I personally belive that if you really care about some skill then you simply have to keep trying until you get good at it.

HOWEVER, I have to admit that it seems that some people have BIG problems with being funny. This is one of those skills where natural talent is very important. If you're not funny at all then you'll probably have much much much harder time learning how to be funny.

Danvzare

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Re: For the life of me I JUST CAN'T WRITE COMEDY!
« Reply #19 on: 17 Jul 2017, 09:52 »
If you aren't funny, please stop trying. There's nothing cringier than an unfunny developer that won't stop trying. :sealed:
In other words, Al Lowe. (laugh)