The Perils Of Writing Video Games

The Perils Of Writing Video Games

Rhianna Pratchett is best known around these parts as someone who writes video games, but what does that actually entail? It sure is different to sitting down and writing, say, a screenplay, or novel.

In a long post over on The Escapist’s forums, Pratchett has gone into fascinating detail on her past as a games writer, reminding us all that just because someone’s credit says “writer” on it doesn’t mean they’ve written the whole game. Sometimes they have! Sometimes they’ve simply been one of too many cooks in the kitchen.

Nor does it mean they’ve even had a hand in shaping the game or its inhabitants. Seriously, if you’ve ever thought any kind of writing-related aspect of a game isn’t up to scratch, whether it be background, plot or dialogue, the post is worth reading. It’s kind of of sad, actually, hearing how negligent some developers are of the need for a strong narrative spine in a game.

Post [The Escapist]


  • Is the peril running out of line space on your typewriter?

    All jokes aside, that was an excellent read.

  • Just like films. Producers and famous actors do most of the “writing” and plot, leaving the rest for writers to fill in under strict direction.
    (Thats why most Hollywood films are so bad, because they don’t get the people who know how to make a good story… actually do the story)

  • It’s funny, while I was reading that I felt like I was reading something that was written years ago and it had changed since then. It’s crazy that we’re still at the infancy is story in games when the graphic part of games has come in leaps and bounds.

    I really hope it changes soon. I would like stories and characters I can latch onto and remember like I do movies and TV shows in AAA games.

  • Could be why folks were surprised to see her name on Thief, whose writing was – by all reports – puzzlingly bad.

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