Rhianna Pratchett Talks Writing For Video Games

Posted on June 27, 2009

Terry Pratchett's daughter Rhianna Pratchett has found success in the video game realm. She told That Video Game Blog that game publishers still don't know best how to use writers. She says they often contact writers at the end of a game's lifespan instead of at the beginning - but she says that's starting to change.

"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."
Rhianna Pratchett would also like to see more variation in video game content and less of the "Gruff guy with super powers/large weapon kicks assss!" plot lines.
"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."
Rhianna Pratchett talked about humor in video games in another interview. Her writing in the Overlord and Overlord II video games helped make the games respected for their dark humor.
"What I think has really worked for the franchise is that the setup and gameplay is ripe with humour," says Pratchett. "You play an evil Overlord, rampaging through a twisted fantasy world, with an ever expanding army of sycophantic minions who loot and pillage for you. What's not to love about that?"
Rhianna Pratchett's website can be found here. She's has written scripts for several fantasy titles including Heavenly Sword, Overlord, Overlord: Raising Hell, Mirror's Edge and Viking: Battle for Asgard. She has also written a Mirror's Edge comic book mini-series with DC Comics.

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