End of Year 2018: Favorite Writing


#1

Favorite Writing

The words that you read and hear in a game are massively important. The rhythm of a splash of dialogue, the weight given to the words, and the construction of narrative shape how we understand the narrative in a game. While a picture is worth a thousand words, I walk away from a game thinking about its writing more than anything else.

I’d like to ask if you did the same this year. What game’s writing was your favourite in 2018? When we say writing, our definition isn’t simply ‘how well-written are the words’’. How did the narrative capture you? Which twist on an old classic made a character shine for you? What made you tell people that a game was important?

Or, you know, it can totally be about how good the text is. I love me a diary entry now and again.


Nomination Submissions

[click here for access to the submission form]

You will have until 5th January to nominate your games – this is our cut-off ahead of polling going live.

Remember: you can nominate up to three games, so be creative with your choices!

Be sure to check the Q&A section below if you have questions, otherwise feel free to reach out to one of us! We hope you enjoy this event and we’re excited to see what sorts of discussion each category inspires!


Q&A

Q: End of Year? What's that?

A: I’m glad you asked! Just head over to our pinned topic if you need a catch up! You can also find details on the process for the event here.

Q: How do I nominate a game?

A: To nominate a game, head on over to our google form and write down your submissions in the appropriate field. You may nominate up to three games and you will be able to edit this submission at any time by returning to the google form (before the nomination date closes).

As the nominations will be done externally, this thread will instead be the place to discuss what your favorites were and to make the case for them if you feel strongly. We welcome thoughtful posts about how you made your decision, as long as we keep it positive and respectful.

Q: When does the nomination process end?

A: The period of time to make your nominations will end January 5th, 2019.

Q: What games can I nominate?

A: For this category, we’re specifically looking for games that were released between 10th December 2017 - 15th December 2018.

Games that either entered Early Access or hit 1.0 during this period are eligible.

Ports, remakes, and remasters are not eligible.

Standalone games/expansions are eligible, however Downloadable Content (DLC) is not.

Mobile and browser games are eligible as long as they meet all other relevant criteria.

The moderation team reserves the right to remove any game from nomination if necessary.

Credits
  • Thank you to @Emily for the banner!

End of Year 2018: Waypoint Community's Favorites
End of Year 2018: Vote for your favs!
#2

Heaven Will Be Mine somehow outdid We Know the Devil in its poetics and the way it perfectly balanced strong feelings, natural seeming dialogue and constructed segments and language. By being close to “realistic” but still being clearly authored and subtle, it really rewards re-reading and returning to. The ending monologues in HWBM will never not make me cry.

(vague ending spoilers for HWBM)



#5

I’d typically have a story heavy game here, but for whatever reason I haven’t yet played any with great writing this year. Luckily there has been a lot of good incidental writing and I’d like to highlight Into the Breach for this. Its sparse dialog effectively creates a universe and sets up the stakes. It grounds your actions in the battlefield, as different pilots reflect on their place in the current time line or civilians cry out in hope as your team drops from the sky.

This time line may be lost but there is still hope in the next one. Rusting Hulks, move out.


#6

I know Celeste is quite the darling already, but I think the thing that impressed me most about it from a writing perspective is how much it does with relatively little. Dialogue in Celeste is fairly infrequent and brief, but always impactful towards character development and speaks well to the core messages of the game.

In my opinion, a lot of Celeste’s success with art, music, mechanics, and writing are due to it all working together so well. Each of these elements got to shine in the narrative because they only hard to communicate a part of the emotion and story. The writing is bolstered by things like intense musical moments or adorable selfies of Theo and Madeline, so it can be a little understated and still succeed.


#7

Here’s a little RPG a lot of folks may have missed that I think has some excellent writing:

Fortune-499 is a card-battling RPG where you play as Cassandra, a fortune-telling witch in the “magical resources” department of a corporation. When monsters start a literal “hostile takeover” she has to be the one to handle the mess, even if none of her co-workers appreciate her.

Not only does it have good jokes - and it does! - but Cassandra and all the other main characters (even the monsters) are so very human, and the story of a 20-something surviving in an indifferent-to-hostile corporate environment was moving and felt very authentic.

It’s on itch too: https://apthomson.itch.io/fortune-499

EDIT: I just had to add a couple of more screenshots!


#10

Unfortunately, there are a lot of games I wasn’t able to play with great writing from what I saw, so shout outs to games like Quarantine Circular and Extreme Meatpunks Forever, the later of which features the incredible dialogue:

A: “I’m you, but stronger.”

B: “That’s bullshit. I’m me but stronger!”


#11

Loved the dialogue in Extreme Meatpunks Forever . That is definitely my top pick for the year. Have to look back through my list for other noms.


#12

Hey folks!

With the deadline for phase 1 fast approaching we wanted to remind everyone to get their nominations in if they haven’t already. The google forms will stop taking submissions by 10pm GMT (2pm PST / 5pm EST) on Saturday.

That said, these threads will remain open so that people can continue to share their thoughts on specific categories/games for the remainder of the event. We hope you’ve enjoyed the event thus far and we’re excited to unveil the the voting phase over the weekend!