The Average Gamer

Who Writes Games, Anyway?

As regular readers may know, I’ve been talking quite a bit about writing in RPG journals. Tying in with that, games need to grow up, stop obsessing over different ways to blow up the scenery and hire some damn writers. Yeah, I know that loads of very vocal people skip the dialogue and jump straight to the action. There are an awful lot of us out here who actually quite enjoy the cutscenes in Final Fantasy games, thank you very much. We have even been known to crack open a book now and then. We’d like to be considered too.

Brian Baglow of ScottishGames has posted an interview with Gordon Rennie, an author and comics writer who has been involved with quite a few games. Here’s an absolute gem of a quote:

The games industry has a reputation for poor writing in games. Do you think this is fair?
Pretty much, since very few games are written by writers. If you want a plumbing job done, you call a plumber. In the games industry, when you need plot, dialogue and characterisation done, who do you get to do it? Why, a level designer, mission scripter or a pal of the producer’s, of course.

I was playing a game recently, which I won’t name – okay, it was Gangs of London on the PSP – and you’d swear the dialogue was written as an afterthought by whoever was around the office that day, possibly even the guy that delivers the sandwiches.

Brian Baglow and Gordon Rennie, ‘But it’s not ART…’

Is anyone surprised? Nah.