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Monday, November 30, 2009

Differences between games and films



More about the difference between writing for games and writing for linear media such as film and TV. When I say 'games' I am focusing on larger online environments as opposed to 'on the rails' adventure type games which tend to be also linear in nature.

Film and TV says
Build to a conclusion. Throw in obstacles to be overcome by the hero so that the ending feels rewarding. The audience can share in the heros triumph.
Games say
For goodness sake don't have a conclusion - we want people to carry on playing. And they need lots of rewards, they won't wait until the end. They are the hero.

Film and TV says
Your script is there first of all to be read by a reader and then a producer. And then used as "bait to get actors". Then used to create a budget. Then it acts as kind of road map and people improv around it. And then it gets hacked up in the edit anyway.
Games say
You've written it. There it is. People are playing it already. I hope you checked it.

Film and TV says
It's a script - its not meant to be read by the audience.
Games say
Get polishing your prose. There is a lot of text as well as voice over.

Film and TV says
Make the world smaller.
Games say
Make the world bigger.

Film and TV says
Its about the characters.
Games say
Its about the player.

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