Written Well AND Delivered Well

As a colleague pointed out to me at a recent IGDA meeting, game dialog can be written well but not delivered well.  Even if the dialog is out-of-this-world, poor voice-acting, engine limitations, or mismatched animation can hamper the performance.  Many game developers do send the writer to the voiceover session, but how many think it’s important for the writer to interact with the programmers and artists?

Nowadays, game development is a collaborative process.  Large games need teams of specialized workers. As we discussed in our SXSW Interactive session, story design shouldn’t be separated from the other disciplines.  Story can go beyond ‘just the words.’  Instead, a dedicated narrative designer working with programmers, artists, and sound designers will know how to convey story in an interactive experience.  To do this well, a narrative designer should be considered part of a multidisciplinary team.

For more on this topic, please read the article on Gamasutra“Towards More Meaningful Games: A Multidisciplinary Approach.”

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Filed under Collaboration, Game Design, Writers Cabal, Writing

5 responses to “Written Well AND Delivered Well

  1. In addition to being written well and delivered well, one thing that irks me in games is when the background music doesn’t match the context of the dialogue. I recently played Dreamfall: The Longest Journey 2, which looped music and it became very distracting. It would change to this ominous sounding music all of a sudden during game conversation, which kept fooling me and my husband into thinking something was going to happen, until we realized it was looping!

  2. Hi Jess! In Sande’s article, she talks about how to use music to deliver the story as well. It’s on the last page, so you’re forgiven for not reading it yet 😉


  3. Pingback: Is it all academic? Views on story and games from the ivory tower « Writers Cabal Blog

  4. Pingback: Steal from Fable II! Using actors and writers in games « Writers Cabal Blog

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