Rhianna Pratchett, scriptwriter for such games as Mirror’s Edge, Heavenly Sword and the Overlord series, has spoken out against the industry’s “desire to keep rooting around in Hollywood’s action-movie scrapheap.”
Speaking to TVGB ahead of the release of Overlord II, Overlord: Minions and Overlord: Dark Legend, the award-winning writer shared her thoughts on the current state of videogame writing, what it’s doing wrong, and how it’s improving.
According to Pratchett, while the relationship between industry and writer is getting better, it still has progress to make. “Writers and narrative designers are still relatively new positions on development teams.” she said. “This means there’s still a level of uncertainty about how best to use and integrate them. I know from talking to lots of fine people in my field that the writing process can often be done too late, without proper access to the team and under extreme pressure. Thankfully, things are starting to get a little better and more writers are being contacted in the first few months of a project’s lifespan, rather than the last few months. Personally, I consider I’ve been very lucky with some of my projects.”
But it is not just the industry’s attitude to writers that needs to change, but also the writers themselves. Pratchett told TVGB, “A little more variation in concept and content would be nice, as well, which is something writers and narrative designers can help with. Although they have their place and god knows I’ve enjoyed them on occasion, I could do with a little less ‘Gruff guy with super powers/large weapon kicks assss!’ tales. The medium has huge potential, so I’m not sure why there’s this constant desire to keep rooting around in Hollywood’s action-movie scrapheap.”
Look out for our full interview with Rhianna Pratchett later today, in which she discusses “terrible” voice acting, how she wished she had worked on Psychonauts, and her own unique take on the “positive female role-model.”