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Lucas Loredo, a narrative designer on WolfEye Studios’ Weird West, recently had a chat with GamesIndustry.biz, during which he discussed his approach to video game writing that eschews cutscenes in favor of more player-driven interactions. Personally, I'm fully on board with that, so here’s a couple of paragraphs and you take things from there:
First, the assumption that writing game scripts follows the mode of your typical film screenplays -- as cutscenes tend to do -- when in truth "it's closer to creating an immersive theater experience." Loredo's writing needs to account for constants and variables influenced by the player, which means emphasis is placed on environmental storytelling over dialogue.
"The strongest tool I have is imagining environments the player gets to move through in order to communicate to my level designer what the stories of these spaces could be -- the way the scene is decorated and how the NPCs are moving about the space, for example," he says.
For Loredo, narrative design is "the ultimate playground" for writers like him who are "interested in expressing themselves not only through words but also through ideas, objects, sets, and moods."
"[This kind of writing] is so much more vast than [prose] fiction," he continues. "It's sort of like you have a billion toys to play with."