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Story Ideas and Writers


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This isn't the same old "I like to read, so how can I be a writer..." or "I'm an English major, how can I get a job there..." thread. Besides, I have no misconception that anything I write here will ever be taken as "example" for a future script writer job. :lol:


What I would like to know is strictly out of curiosity:


1. Generally: How do developers come up with a story? Is it otherwise assigned by the producer, or does the developer present the idea to the producer? (And when I say producer in this thread, I mean the big shots at Atari, et-al)


2. I realize that some creators have a vision of what they would like to accomplish, and maybe that said creation would be their "dream" project. But then again, they have to do what the producers ask in order to pay the bills. Is there ever a point where the developer tells the publisher to go back to his hole in the wall and shut up?


3. Who do you find to be the best writers in the gaming industry: Those with language or journalism degrees? Those who have written a book or two, or maybe a screen play (regardless of genre)? Or someone with a vision who can ply more than 2 words together and make the end result sound enticing?


The reason I ask the last question is that I have seen some of the minimum requirements for some of the writing positions with some developers, and there always seems to be a published-works background. But, to be honest, I have read some works from people who, but for the internet, are not published, nor have any formal college communications/writing training, but have some awesome pieces of fiction. (Short-short-story format as it may be). No, not me, I can write when I want to, but like I said, I have no misconception that I could write professionally.

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As someone who has taken some journalism classes, I don't think journalism helps you creatively. It helps you take existing stories and arrange them in a reverse triangle format so that the end of a story isn't important, and the story can be read by any idiot.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Honestly, I think it's cool so many people on these boards are concerned about writing. But seriously, when was the last truly great game story?


I can't think of one. The story in KOTOR I loved. I mean I thought it was great. As far as actual literature goes, it was just Oedipus Rex. In fact, most good stories tend to be rip-offs of some classic. Maybe that's why they want literature majors.


It's not the writer's fault, but game fans don't really want a complex story, because complex story often takes away from the action.


As for who comes up with it, my observation has been, it's a team effort. Producers, big shots, visionaries, get the discussion going, game designers/writers pick up the ball, level designers smooth it into a playable game.


As for shoving producers back into a hole, some developers can. ID. Bioware. Maybe a few others. But the bottom line, the producer has to way, the number of dollars generated from being a unique game versus the cost it will take to reach that vision and the risk that uniqueness may impact the market place. So take my current favorite game to rip on Fable, it was pushed out before it met the unique requirements it set for itself. Alot of people would sit back and say, "Stupid publisher/producer/distributor making them ship the game before it was done". But they had four years to develop it and they were just WAY to ambitious. They should have had an earlier vision meeting and started cutting some of those ideas.


But the bottom line, someone pitches and idea, it's greenlighted and the story roles down through the filters of development from there.

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