Rhianna Pratchett, Overlord and Mirror's Edge wordsmith, has said narrative in games has gotten better but needs less roots in "Hollywood's action-movie scrapheap."
Writers are still the new kids on the game developer block, meaning there's "a level of uncertainty" in how to "integrate them" best. More are being included in the "first few months".
"What we’re all really looking for is better integration. There have been too many instances where the story feels like an afterthought and doesn’t fit comfortable with the gameplay," Pratchett tells .
"A little more variation in concept and content would be nice, as well, which is something writers and narrative designers can help with."
"Although they have their place and god knows I’ve enjoyed them on occasion, I could do with a little less ‘Gruff guy with super powers/large weapon kicks assss!’ tales. The medium has huge potential, so I’m not sure why there’s this constant desire to keep rooting around in Hollywood’s action-movie scrapheap," she continued.
Despite the leaps and bounds the industry has taken in recent years, 'the writer' can still prove to be an alien concept to studios. "Writers and narrative designers are still relatively new positions on development teams. This means there’s still a level of uncertainty about how best to use and integrate them."
"Thankfully, things are starting to get a little better and more writers are being contacted in the first few months of a project’s lifespan, rather than the last few months. Personally, I consider I’ve been very lucky with some of my projects," stated Pratchett.
Most recently she's helped Triumph Studios bring words to the gobs of many a minion and towns person in Overlord II, and reveals her favourite evil lackey. "Gnarl is the obvious one, really. But I also have a soft spot for Giblet."
Pratchett: Plot not so much "an afterthought" now, needs variation
29 June 2009 | By Simon Priest