The audience’s excitement was palpable well before the panelists hit the stage for Wednesday evening’s event, “Words Into Pixels: Couches, Consoles and Creating Worlds.” Students, aspiring writers, seasoned gamers and a smattering of proud moms, some of whom had driven from as far as Fresno, packed the WGAW’s Del Reisman Multi-Purpose Room to learn how to break into writing for the gaming industry from our lineup of writers, which included WGF Board member and moderator Neil Druckmann (THE LAST OF US), TJ Fixman (RATCHET & CLANK series), Marianne Krawczyk (GOD OF WAR series) and Tom Bissell (GEARS OF WAR: JUDGMENT).
The panelists certainly did not disappoint. From hilarious anecdotes about their respective introductions to the world of video game writing to practical details about the constraints and considerations behind navigating through a game’s complex script, the conversation deftly informed and entertained. Tom Bissell offered some clarity about what makes video game writing distinctive from, say, writing for film: “A lot of it is not writing scenes for actors to portray. A lot of it is coming up with solutions to production decisions. If they cut an entire level out, now you have to figure out a way to connect them that wasn’t apparent to you before.”
We’ll post the audio recording of the entire panel and Q&A soon so you can listen to every nugget of wisdom and each funny story. Until then, here are some photos from the event and audience responses on social media.
A huge thank you to Neil, TJ, Marianne and Tom for lending their time and sharing their tremendous knowledge and experiences with us!
Tom Bissell on the challenges of marrying narrative with game play: “It’s this completely absurd set-up that you have to do in the voice of the character and make it seem normal. This is a form of writing that throws some real curveballs at you.”
Marianne Krawczyk on an “a-ha” moment students reach in her video game writing classes at Loyola Marymount University: “You have to deal with a living agency within your game. Your character’s not necessarily going to do what you want it to do and you have to write from that angle.”
A look at the video game scripts we offer at our Library, which includes THE LAST OF US, ASSASSIN’S CREED series and ALIEN series.
Each panelist stayed after to answer individual questions and take pics.
— SYY (@WSyann) August 6, 2015