Pratchett: 'Integrating writers into games development is the key'

'There needs to be a hell of a lot more communication on both sides,' says award-winning scribe
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Speaking to Develop as part of our writers roundtable - part one of which has been published today - Writers Guild of Great Britain Award-winning game writer Rhianna Pratchett told us of the problems writers confront when they aren't integrated into the team properly.

"There’s a tendency to put writers in boxes – I think far more developers are aware of the need for writers but they don’t really know how to integrate them into the team," she said.

"It’s like, ‘Orders go in the box, and words come out of it. The writer will not be integrated into the team for fear of affecting their work.’ That’s really how it happens – I’ve been on projects where I haven’t seen the game! So it’s a good thing that they’re realising that you need professionals to do it – but they don’t really know how to use them, how to integrate them with a team."

She added: "If you never meet level designers and you’re just kept in a box, you don’t know if what you’re doing is working properly, or if it’s pissing people off because you don’t know their needs. So integration is the key, and there needs to be a hell of a lot more communication on both sides."

For more from our writers, check out part one of our roundtable here. Part two will be published tomorrow.



Writers Roundtable - Part 2

With interactivity the key point of our medium and engines becoming ever more powerful, is the day of the cutscene over? Our assembled writers weigh in...


Writers Roundtable - Part 1

With gamers and specialist press putting more emphasis on stories in games, itâ??s now the norm to work with a writer during the development process. We picked five of the UKâ??s top games writers to talk about where weâ??ve come, and how far we still have to goâ?¦