Spider-Man PS4 Script Book Wants to Teach You Narrative Design

Insomniac Games has released the script for Spider-Man PS4 which offers a rare glimpse into a mostly unseen aspect of game development.

Announced last year by Insomniac Games, Marvel’s Spider-Man Script Book is a 240-page undertaking that covers the working-script for Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4. Lead writer Jon Paquette, whilst speaking to Vice’s Patrick Klepek, noted that there aren’t many resources for people to see how video game scripts are written.

“I get asked all the time, usually from students, ‘What does a video game script look like?’ [They say] ‘I want to get my hands on one so I can learn what you guys do and how I can maybe become a game writer one day.’

Paquette guestimates that the writing team wrote roughly 800,000 words for the game, with roughly half making it into the final product. Video game scripts are like no other format shared throughout literature, which makes this collection even more unique. Artbooks have become the usual companion of AAA releases over the last decade, which makes the publishing of a game script the next natural step, especially for narrative-driven experiences such as this. The script, co-written by Jon Paquette, Christos Gage, and Benjamin Arfmann, also features some gorgeous artwork that showcases how it evolved throughout the production process.

“I don’t believe a video game script has ever been compiled into a script book format such as this,” explains Eric Monacelli, Director of Production, Marvel Games. This thought was built upon by the Creative Director and VP, Bill Rosemann, as he talks to Vice about the internal discussion surrounding the project. “We started talking about it. Is [publishing the script] possible? Can [it] be done? Then someone said, ‘That’s ever been done before.’ I said, ‘Well, great, we loved it [the script] at Marvel. Whatever hasn’t been done, let’s try it.'”

Marvel’s Spider-Man proved to be an incredibly popular title. It enjoyed frequent updates from the developers and was supported by Marvel in the form of companion comics. With the march to next-gen platforms continuing to quicken in the latter half of 2020, it won’t be long until the expectation for a sequel is front and centre again. If nothing else, Marvel’s Spider-Man Script Book will help bridge that gap; for the time being.

Although this book doesn’t explore the entire writing process, it is nevertheless an interesting document for those captivated by the story or wanting to explore narrative design. What other game scripts would you like to see published in book form? Will you be picking up this one? Let us know in the comments below.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Script Book releases February 11, 2020.

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James Bowers

Yorkshire starting zone. 26th level human. Glasses give a +4 sight bonus once equipped.

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