Script Writing: Capture the Flag

Written by Gordon S. McLeodWednesday, 26 April 2006

This was a group assignment completed with the assistance of Mark Smith and Frank Messier, classmates of mine at the Academy. In this class we were taught to read, write and analyze scripts as used in film, theatre and television, and with thought in mind on how they can be useful in the game development world. Note we also studied the game design document in detail in this class.

CAPTURE THE FLAG Screenplay by

Gordon S. McLeod Mark Smith Frank Messier

February 4, 2005



A carpet of trees covers the sides of the river valley, broken in places by clearings; some natural, some bearing the look of old battle scars. The sky is a pale green/blue of a shade never seen in any time or place on Earth.

Glints of metal in the starlight hint at recent wreckage not yet overgrown.

Two imposing fortresses stand off at opposite ends of the valley, the river between them. They crouch in night's shadows, facing one another like cathedrals of diametrically opposed religions, each convinced of its own rightness at the other's expense.

A full moon observes the eternal confrontation, small in the sky, as though distancing itself from a fight it knows will never end.


THREE PEOPLE sit at a triangular desk. There's an air of tension and a hint of veiled hostility in the room.

BLUE LEADER, aka LITTLE PONY, a hard woman in her mid-twenties, faces RED LEADER, a sombre but sharp man only a few years her senior.

The THIRD FIGURE in the room sits in shadow, watching the two leaders in silence.


I knew this meeting was a waste of time! Who are you, and what do you want with me?


A good question. I too would like to know why I was called here. My time is valuable.

The THIRD FIGURE almost appears not to notice that the two have spoken to him. The orange glow of a cigarette rises in the shadow, casting the faintest of lights on his features. The eyes are large and almond, traced with fine lines, but there's a hardness to them that suggests it was acquired, slowly, over a long time.

Standing slowly, as though time held little meaning for him, he turned his head from RED LEADER to BLUE LEADER slowly.


This war of yours has gone on for generations. Centuries. Some say even millenia.

Pausing, he took a drag on his cigarette. The light it casts intensifies, revealing a craggy face worn by long years.


Get to the point. Who do you think you are to call us together the night before battle?

Though her words are strong, BLUE LEADER seems taken aback by his demeanor, and perhaps more taken aback by her own reaction to him. There's a hint of uncertainty to her voice. She tugs unconsciously at her VIETNAM-ERA MILITARY UNIFORM.

RED LEADER controls himself somewhat better, though he too smooths a wrinkle from his VIETNAM-ERA MILITARY UNIFORM - the same era, and same army, as that worn by BLUE LEADER. An ex-wrestler, RED LEADER'S massive muscles keep the uniform from smoothing well.

THIRD FIGURE's eyes catch the body language, though he doesn't betray the perception except with the barest flicker of an eye.


There are those who might see opportunities in a situation such as this.


Indeed. And what sort of opportunities do you see in us? Monetary? Military? Intelligence?


You're from a rather large organization, I'd say. I'd love to know how he arranged this meeting otherwise.

THIRD FIGURE's mouth almost twitch in a smile around his cigarette at BLUE LEADER'S snide tone, RED LEADER'S down-to-business attitude.


You're perceptive. Yes, I represent an organization with certain... interests in your operations.

BLUE LEADER has heard this before. Eyes rolling, she immediately relaxes into what she mistakenly believes is familiar ground.


Hold it there a minute... I've heard this pitch before. I thought for sure word'd gotten out that Blue Team doesn't hire out our services. I've never seen Red Team do so either. If you're lookin' for a private army, look somewhere else. Or am I wrong? Is that why HE'S here?

Eyes dangerously close to twinkling, THIRD FIGURE actually breaks the barest of smiles.


Oh no, no. We aren't looking for an army, private or otherwise, I assure you. At least, not for any genuinely military purpose.

RED LEADER glances at BLUE LEADER, and both share a slight frown of confusion at this. Eyes narrowing, RED LEADER takes a half-step towards THIRD FIGURE.


Enough with the guessing games, please. We do have a battle to attend to in the morning. If you're not looking to engage our services as mercenaries, what is this all about?

THIRD FIGURE lifts a BRIEFCASE from under the table. Opening it with care, he withdraws a perfectly-aligned stack of documents on INTRAGALACTIC MEDIA NET stationary. With equal care, he withdraws an antique FOUNTAIN PEN.


Please, allow me to introduce myself properly. My name is Bronte. James Allan Bronte. I represent IntraGalactic Media Net. We see a great deal of promise in these... conflicts of yours.


What... then... this is all about holovision? You want to broadcast our WARS?


We prefer the term "matches", but yes, essentially that is correct. We would like to sign for the broadcast rights to your... wars. We've already discussed the situation with Yellow and Green teams.

Eyebrows raising slightly at the stunned disbelief clear in the faces of RED and BLUE LEADERS, BRONTE pushes the stacks of paperwork towards them.


You would all be compensated, of course. But if you need a few moments to go over the details...

Open-mouthed in surprise, BLUE LEADER shrugs at RED LEADER.


I've lost track of how many hundreds of years it's been since there was any point to this war anyway. It... it might be nice to fight with a purpose for once... even if it is merely entertainment.



An unaccustomed feeling of motivation hangs over the blue camp this morning. Though tired, BLUE LEADER moves energetically. The TROOPS are brisk and professional in their preparations.

BLUE LEADER loads ammunition into the GUN mounted on the back of her JEEP. The vehicle is an ancient model widely used in mid-20th century conflicts on old Earth, painted with her personal insignia, the LITTLE PONY. Crudely painted EMPTY COFFEE CUPS in rows count the number of kills she has racked up in years of CAPTURE THE FLAG conflicts.

BRONTE oversees unit directors installing holovision camera emplacements about the base, checking remote links to the crews doing the same about RED BASE. He pauses his activity, looking almost fatherly down upon BLUE LEADER.


Let's give them a show they'll never forget, my LITTLE PONY...



As the first missiles arch into the skies to rain down on advancing flag seekers, the IntraGalactic Media Net logo flashes onto screens across the galaxy.


Welcome ladies and gentlebeings to the first IntraGalactic Capture the Flag Championships...