Thatgamecompany’s Adam Lederer: “Writing is its Own Skillset and Must be Taken Seriously”
In a recent internal interview with fellow Thatgamecompany staff, Feel Engineer Adam Lederer (Flower), was asked as to whether or not the evolution and maturation of writing in games would soon grow to require professional writers or writing teams, thus making the option of delegating writing to designers unacceptable.
“In games that have a focus on plot/characters, yes, writing is its own skillset and must be taken seriously – for me there’s no doubt that someone who has dedicated years to the craft of story will be more effective in creating fresh and compelling characters/relationships/scenarios than someone who hasn’t meticulously honed that skill,” Mr. Lederer said, “on the other hand, even “plot” games achieve their most effective expression of story through gameplay.”
Mr. Lederer cited Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us as an example of a game that, “expresses its relationships masterfully to the player because the characters and gameplay were iterated in tandem…because the writer was also [the creative director], there was no artificial separation, and the studio was able to approach the game holistically.”
Mr. Lederer concluding, added that, “the future evolution of ‘plot’ games lies less in the improvement of writing as a craft, and more in skillfully removing the separation between the crafts of ‘narrative design’ and ‘game design.’