Interested in Writing for Computer Games?

In my other life I teach at a computer games college and one of teachers writes story for games. In this post they talk about the challenge of incorporating story into games.  They discusses when to bring a writer into the development of a game and what they can achieve.

‘This may not be a surprise to any of you.  I’ve worked in games for so long that writing only using dialogue seems natural, as I’m usually asked to wrap things up once the game is content-complete.  That means there’s no provision for a little extra asset that would make all the difference and save a tonne of dialogue.’

Writing for games, anyone interested?

2 Comments

Filed under Writing for computer games

2 Responses to Interested in Writing for Computer Games?

  1. Richard Simpson

    A course dedicated to writing for videogames, pity we have nothing like that in the uk. I’ve just completed a BA in Imaginative Writing and am starting an Mres in Interactive Narrative and Ludology as I aspire to write for games.
    I’m inclined to agree that games are dialogue heavy and that this is because writers are brought in too late. I.e. levels and cut scenes have already been made and as writers we are forced to jury rig what we can to fix issues.
    That said I think story can be told in game without dialogue. ‘Ico’ is a prime example of this. For those of you not familiar with the game I’d refer you to the opening of Pixars ‘Up’ where we see the protagonists relationship develop with his wife. Such a poigniant moment with no dialogue, imagine being able to interact in this situation. How much more could you have cared for the characters?
    Ico demonstrates this perfectly and shows just how far games have to go when it comes to just telling a good story or achieving the the status of ‘art.’
    Rant over I’ve said my bit.

    ps. really enjoyed the first two books looking forward to the third.

    • Hi Richard,

      Glad you enjoyed the books.

      You’d really get along with the lecturer I work with. She believes games writers are brought in too late and that the story (and world building) behind the game should be told intuitively through action.

      After all, writing we are told to Show not Tell!

      That’s her blog ‘The Story Telling Dream Thief’.

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