EDGE says games "due for a lit course"


When we think about the aspects of RPGs that we like - the things RPGs have over other games - most of us will list the importance of story and characters among these. That's why when I see game developers or those in the game media writing about, well, writing in games, I can make an educated guess that most RPG fans will be interested to hear what's being said.

EDGE has a feature on the advantages of looking to literature as well as film for sources of inspiration in game writing. Surprise surprise, RPG writers form a significant bulk of those interviewed. Here's some of what the article has to say:
Descriptive text is a comparative rarity in modern games, and ill-fitting writing and clunky dialogue are common complaints in even the best-produced contemporary titles. In a film-obsessed industry, developers may yet have much to learn from literature. “Movies and TV are fine as sources of inspiration,” posits Sheldon Pacotti, who played a pivotal role as a writer on Deus Ex, a game that remains one of videogames’ most revered examples of quality writing. “But I don’t think they can teach you how to construct an experience for others. That process is slow and deliberate, as much a quality of mind as it is anything else. Reading novels is good training for the imagination, for anyone in the entertainment business.”

Chris Avellone, a creative director at Obsidian Entertainment who is probably best known for his work on Planescape: Torment, also cites literature as a chief influence in his work. “Many of the ideas for Torment were bred from blending ideas and characters I had read in books and novels and loved, and they were ideas that could only have been communicated through text, simply because no one would have the budget or resources to fully realise many of these fantasy works through TV or movies,” he says. “I think novels and literature have much to offer in taking stories and plotlines beyond the conventional.”
Read PLAY PEN: Games due for a lit course.

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digg this: | posted by Natasha, 5:35 PM |

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Natasha is a political science student, a gamer, a writer, an armchair philosopher, and a geek. Her first cRPG was Castle of the Winds.

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