Hey, developer, get out of my game story!

In the last few posts, we explored how to wrangle game writers who poke around your game design.  To be fair, it has to be said that sometimes, on occasion, when the moon is full… game developers may get their fingers into the story, and it’s not always for the best.  Let’s explore three reasons that this happens, and what to do about it. 

1.  You’re accustomed to coming up with the story. 

Many developers have spent years developing game stories for their games, so they think nothing of continuing to do so even after hiring a writer.  If you’ve had well-reviewed game stories already produced, share them with your writer.  However, if your stories haven’t gone over so well… perhaps that’s what drove you to hire a writer in the first place.  Let your writers do what you hired them to do, so you can focus on what you do best. 

2.  You don’t like some aspect of the game story.

This is fair.  Not every story is going to be Shakespeare the first time out.  In Hollywood, the tip for taking notes (aka getting feedback) is to take the note, not the suggestion.  If you find yourself saying, “Add a giant squid monster,” it could be that your real concern is that there’s not enough action at one point.  Try to articulate your problem with the story, then let the writer come up with the best solution.

3.  You want to put your fingerprint on the game. 

I can already tell by the fact that you’re reading this blog that you’re not that kind of a developer.  However, on the off chance one has wandered here by accident, remember you’re creating the game.  Your fingerprints are all over it.  If you’ve hired good writers, they will make you look good.  Let them.   

That pretty much sums it up.  Ultimately the role of game writers is to make you/the game look good.  Even if they don’t like the story they’re handed, they should be doing their best to make it work.  Got a better plan for working with writers?  Drop us a comment.

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Published in: on October 10, 2007 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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