It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single studio in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a writer.
Thing is, that truth is often not fully realised until all the game’s assets, mechanics and art have been finalised.
Video games writers have a far more complex job than their cinematic and literary counterparts.
Putting the right in writing
Brought on much later in a project’s development, they must work round foundations that have already been laid to construct not just a narrative, but the relationship between gamer and game.
In other words writers often don’t create a game’s story; instead they craft the world of the game through dialogue, loot descriptions, NPC scripts, and subtle verbal and written cues to direct the player to interact with the game in the correct way.
For example a writer might be constricted by a good / evil binary choice mechanic when writing interactions, while also trying to guide the player to open a trap door in a particular room by scripting subtle hints for an NPC.
At the Swedish accelerator Stugan, we caught up with three of the writers to ask how they go about the process of writing for video games.