Video game writer
The video game writer is a writer who practices the craft of video game writing. They are part of the design team, during pre-production, and creates the main plot of a video game but can also focus on the dialogue, the character creation and development or the worldbuilding. During the game development process, the design may change and a video game writer can also be asked to fix the eventual narrative issues.
The importance of the plot can be minimized by some video game designers, for instance Harvey Smith of Arkane Studios claimed that "The world is very important. The characters are very important. The plot? It can be thrown away. Because each gamer will build his own story.". Moreover, according to academic and video game designer Ian Bogost video games can be much more than narrative media, by puting together, in a non-linear structure, elements of everyday life, as in What Remains of Edith Finch.
One issue specific to the medium is that priority is given to interactive play mechanics over narrative which could lead to Ludonarrative dissonance : a situation when ludic and narrative elements are opposed to each other as Far Cry 2 director, Clint Hocking defined the concept in his blog.
Also as video games are more recent than other media, video game writing is still a field to be conquered.
There is no specific training to video game writing and some video game writers – such as Tim Schafer and Sam Barlow – are also in charge of other game development tasks. In the video game industry, it is also one area where some women are very famous such as Roberta Williams and Jane Jensen.
- The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design, by Flint Dille and John Zuur Platten, Lone Eagle Publishing Company, published January 8, 2008
- Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing, edited by Wendy Despain, A K Peters, Ltd., published April 24, 2008
Notes and references
- How To Become A Video Game Writer, interview with Darby McDevitt, posted on Game industry career guide
- The Gamasutra 20: Top Game Writers, by Bonnie Ruberg on Gamasutra
- Building a Narrative That’s Explosive, by Chris Suellentrop, published on The New York Times March 19, 2013
- (in French)Dans un jeu vidéo, « le joueur s’inventera toujours sa propre histoire » by Corentin Lamy , published 27 december 2016 on Le Monde website
- Video Games Are Better Without Stories by Ian Bogost, published in April 2017, in The Atlantic.
- What In The World Do Video Game Writers Do? The Minds Behind Some Of Last Year's Biggest Games Explain., by Phil Owen
- Your Game Dialogue Is Bad And You Should Feel Bad published 13 October 2011
- for instance the poor-quality of most video games ending : That’s It? Graphics Improve But Video Game Endings Still Come Up Short, by Stephen Totilo
- Hocking, Clint, "Ludonarrative Dissonance in Bioshock", clicknothing.typepad.com
- Makedonski, Brett, Ludonarrative dissonance: The roadblock to realism
- Sawrey, Matt, Ludonarrative Dissonance: we still need to learn from Hocking
- Bad lines by Clint Hocking, published 9 february 2012 on the Edge website