I've been popping in and out of the site for many years now; never have to search far for interesting topics! I seem to have reached a point where I have too many questions for my head to unravel, and would love to thrash some thoughts out with you guys.
I write for games. There are countless similarities between writing a ms and writing and designing a narrative-driven game. However, I keep coming up against techniques that don't translate so well. For example, pacing is different (much quicker in an interactive environment!), and the standard of writing is considerably lower in games (generally speaking) with deus ex machina and weak development (plot and characters) rife, but deemed acceptable. Game writers also have a slightly different language, in part because we need to refer to interactive-specific functions: an affordance, for example, is a verb assigned to the player. If I hand the player a spade, she is afforded the action 'dig'. (Or 'bash' if she's being menaced by zombies!)
I've learned a lot, but still have a long way to go marrying any sort of sophisticated emotional topography to an interactive narrative. Are these types of questions valid here? I promise to do what I can to downplay the interactive side and focus on specific story design problems...
Wonderful to be here and I look forward to chatting! And thank you for having me.
Hi, glad you've joined us to help unravel those questions.
Don't worry about the differences, whilst I can't think of anyone currently active also writing for games you'll find a few of us are very aware of games. A lot play games, so can do the translation with a few definitions.
Others, like me, are programmers as well as writers.
Thank you Deb and Catrin. Seems like there's a wonderfully diverse group here! I've always figured that games would be so much easier to create narrative for if you didn't let the players monkey with it!