For the past year or so, I’ve been playing video games for a few hours a week. I’m terrible at it. Little Big Planet took me months to complete. I was terrible, but I slogged through it, and getting through the final level felt like a huge achievement. That’s a side-scroll platform adventure, which is to say it’s an elaborate obstacle course in (mostly) two dimensions. Since then I’ve been dipping my toe in other kinds of games. The first time I played a third-person adventure game I got motion sick from my attempts at moving the character with one hand, and the camera with the other. I had to lock my elbows against my sides to keep from being sick. I soon got used to it, and I’m glad I did because the game was Journey, which is a short but gorgeous game. If anyone doubts that video games can be art, Journey is the example I’d use to prove them wrong.
Tonight I finished my first first-person puzzle adventure, called The Unfinished Swan. It’s sort of a paintball/waterballoon labyrinthine fairytale
The first-person aspect made me dizzy and unlike Journey’s third-person, it continued to make me dizzy until I reached the end, but it’s an enjoyable-enough puzzler that I don’t regret playing it at all.
I’m curious about the writer’s role in video game development. I’ve never seen any writer’s workshops on the subject, but I imagine it must be a very different process compared to screenwriting or prose. I’ll bet in involves flowcharts, to account for decisions that the players make within the general framework of the story. Do any of my readers have some information on how to get involved with video game writing? Of course, as soon as I typed up that last sentence I realized I could Google the subject. Yep, flowcharts: http://www.stormthecastle.com/video-game-design/writing-a-video-game-script.htm