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The art of writing for games.

October 13, 2010

I just wanted to point at this post over at www.gamasutra.com. It’s quite educational about how to (successfully) write for a game. Being interested in doing that myself, I found it to be a rich little treasure-trove of tidbits for any aspiring storyteller. However, he also shines a light, obliquely as it were, at the problems involved in writing for videogames: misconceptions, limitations, conflicting requirements, etc.. Viewing the writer as a specialized perhaps the best way to approach the problem, but that isn’t something the writers themselves can do; they can merely encourage his clients to view him as an integral part of the team, rather than an apocryphal element. As the media continues to develop, and the relationship between story, place, character, sound and visuals is explored deeper, the role of the game writer will come to stand out.

There have been more and more games as of late that lean heavily on their narrative to be engaging, such as Alan Wake, but the craft of writing for videogames lags far behind the other disciplines involved in this media. People like the author of the post I linked above will push that aspect of videogame production forward. What remains to be seen is just how well the rest of the industry will listen to them.

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