Chapter 1.5. Why Game Designers Often Find Writing to Be So Challenging

It's hard to master what you don't even perceive.

The last chapter

pointed out all the areas where a traditionally trained screenwriter might run into trouble when working in games. At first glance, the apparent solution is to have a programmer, artist, animator, or someone else on the development team do the writing in the game. But that approach has its problems as well.

When I step into my role as a screenwriting teacher, I repeatedly see one phenomenon that never ceases to astound me: My students rarely read the screenplays of famous films.

No one would doubt that, barring from being born Picasso, becoming a masterful painter takes a lot of study and practice. No one doubts that much study and practice is needed to become a great ballerina. Or a great pianist.

And yet, my students continuously come to me believing that, because they grew up on films and television, they can be great writers without study and practice. Even on the face of it, this is illogical. They grew up listening to rock songs on the radio; why don't they feel they can be great guitarists just by listening?

These students of mine certainly aren't stupid; they're just naïve. They "don't know what they don't know," as the expression goes. They simply haven't a clue to the amount of craft and artistry that goes into writing a great screenplay.

Please don't misunderstand: This isn't a way of covertly boasting about my own writing. I can give you a long, long list of writers whose work I revere. And even if you asked these writers, they'd have their own similar list.



Creating Emotion in Games. The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
ISBN: 1592730078
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 394

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