The International Games Developers Association () Games Writers Guild held their annual writing event at the Southbank University last Wednesday, where some of the video games industry's most recognised names shared their thoughts on breaking into the industry. Covering a range of topics, from the merits of cutscenes to the uses of Excel in scripting, a panel consisting of Rhianna Pratchett (Tomb Raider), James Swallow (Deus Ex), Andrew Walsh (Fable:Legends), Ed Stern (Brink) and Tom Jubert (Subnautica) discussed in detail exactly what makes for a good in-game story.
One of the biggest talking points was environmental storytelling, which according to Pratchett has come on leaps and bound in recent years. “It has really flourished in the last seven or eight years”, she commented. “The original Bioshock is a great example of that. Everything from the visuals in the environment, the placement of audio diaries and how it puts the scenes together – it is a masterclass in environmental storytelling.”
The panel gladly answered questions from the audience throughout the event, and were more than happy to continue the discussion in the more relaxed confines of the local pub, The Albert Arms, afterwards.
If you are looking to build a career in the games industry or are just curious to know the technicalities behind of the biggest selling titles, IGDA London frequently hosts a number of similar events throughout the year.also runs a Game Design and Development degree, which covers everything a budding programmer or artist needs to know, including level design, character animation and the game production cycle.