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Friday, November 06, 2009

New writing gig - writing for games

APB beta
Monday I start a new writing assignment - working on a forthcoming game for Realtime Worlds called APB.

Here is some official blurb...

Players choose to be either a criminal or an enforcer and are matched against each other in fast-paced, third person action. The criminals aim to create a city rife with violent crime. The enforcers are pitted against them, protecting the civilian population and fighting the criminals at every turn. Want to commit a robbery with your friends? You can, but watch out because another group of players will be out to stop you! As a top player, your name will be at the top of league tables held online. San Paro will be your world: your character’s name and face as well known as a Hollywood movie star, a standard that other players aim for. But how long can you stay at the top?

So its a big online world, full of real players. And as such people can do their own thing. They go on their own journey and have their own adventures. As I writer I can't impose a 3 act structure or Hero's Journey upon them.

So what does a writer do for this kind of game. The task is about creating the characters and situations within this world that make it function effectively. So taking the example from the blurb it is about creating the mastermind character that orchestrates that robbery for you and your friends - plus giving him or her an intriguing backstory or hidden agenda. Just as in any writing the challenge is to ensure rounded characters through the use of 'wants' and 'needs', complex motivations, flaws and surprising goals.

Personally this mission based style of writing fits neatly into my long standing preference for the sequence approach.

In fact, playing games could be why I like it. So I feel I have gone full circle here.

If this kind of game is your thing and you want to be considered for the beta testing go here. But be aware you need a hefty spec PC.

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