So I saw this retweeted by N. K. Jemisin: https://twitter.com/HarryGiles/status/933712327421067267
It struck two aspects of me: first, as someone who was also appalled by the wordcraft on display in Child of Light (admittedly I don’t follow games writing super closely, but this is the first person I’ve seen who had an equally negative reaction); and second, as someone who mostly plays games by small or lone devs (including a lot of text-based games).
When I read this thread, my main point of disagreement was that only a professional poet (rather than any kind of writer) would be suitable for such a task. For the occasional bit of flavor-text-level poetry (as opposed to an entire game based around rhyming verse – looking at you, Child of Light), I thought that have a general writer handle the poetry was no worse than a sound designer doing some voiceover effects or something. As the OP says, it’s not about some kind of amazing artistic achievement – just basic, “oh good, this isn’t stabbing my eardrums” competence.
Then I wondered whether this disagreement was a bias from mostly being exposed to indie games – and whether I was overgeneralizing my own experiences. Maybe triple-A games have specific experts for pretty much every other task under the sun, and maybe basic rhyme and meter are actually extremely difficult for most writers who don’t specialize in poetry. Or some less exaggerated version of those, you get the idea.
What do you all think?