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Throwback: "Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2" Comedy Style Guide

When we were in the planning and preproduction phase of writing Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 I wrote up a document detailing some of the stylistic guidelines for how to write the characters, what kind of language was appropriate, etc. One of the sections that I spent the most time on was a section titled "On Comedy," which I thought might be fun to share below - It's a combo of thoughts on comedy specific to the MCSM universe, as well as some of my thoughts about interactive comedy on the whole. Hope you enjoy!

Comedy is an inherent part of MCSM, but the tone can be a little tricky for some folks to nail right away, which is why I wanted to do a section about Comedy in Minecraft: Story Mode --

Oh gross. Like a “How to Jokes” section?

Not exactly, but a section about some of the best practices for comedy when writing Minecraft: Story Mode. See, in a movie or TV show you could just pack every possible second full of gags, wordplay, etc. but in an interactive game it starts to feel like you’re just “along for the ride” if it’s a never-ending spree of jokes.

For example, imagine the player chooses to say “I want to go into the spooky house.”

JESSE: Come on everyone. Let’s go get up in that spooky house’s business.
IVOR: Ohh I know all about the spooky house business. Back when I was a real estate agent they were my speciality.

The player choosing to say “I want to go into the spooky house” became the setup for a funny line from Ivor which could probably get a laugh, but it kind of took the player’s input hostage. They hit a single button expecting to go to the spooky house but instead got an entire conversation between two NPCs. (A funny conversation, but not exactly what they were expecting from that button press.)

So what should you do instead?

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Eric StirpeComment