Experience the Horror and Absurdity of Writing for Video Games

‘The Writer Will Do Something’ is required reading for anyone interested in how the sausage gets made.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/kzz4xx/experience-the-horror-and-absurdity-of-writing-for-video-games

In a surprise twist, no one wants to be in the room where it happens.

I played TWWDS a long time ago. If I’m remembering correctly, while the game is more sympathetic to some members of the development team than others, everyone’s portrayed as a victim of a broken system. It also quite effectively gets the point across about what an existential nightmare of conflicting goals and priorities, clashing egos and ideas, and exploitative labor practices game making can be. Starting it again, I forgot that the whole thing is set in crunch, during which the creative director missed his son’s second birthday.

There’s a brilliant moment in which you have to make a decision about having a cold-opening or a cinematic opening for the new Shattergate game. Almost immediately after the third option appears on screen, but before you can select one, the game cuts to the next screen in which a vote has been made while you contemplated the choice. A vote immediately disputed by the arguments following it.

Another on-the-nose moment can happen if you choose to object to the idea of the anonymous henchmen speaking in “Arabic-sounding” gibberish. It goes about as well as you’d expect.

I don’t have the link anymore, but I recall a developer on Twitter saying he saw a number of players take note of how unprofessional your co-workers were. He just laughed.

:notes: The art of the compromise / hold your nose and close your eyes :notes:

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