Monday, January 29, 2007

Writing Oblivion

Hey, 50th post. Neatness.

Okay, so I promised yesterday, that I'd explain that long, rambling, not entirely rambling post, and what it has to do with The Artful Writer.

Basically, The Artful Writer has this post on Writing Oblivion. Found it while googling Kurt Kuhlmann, who I found while I was trying to find out who wrote the main quest for Oblivion. (Short answer: he did, but probably had some committee help.) It took entirely too long, because none of the writers are credited as writers. Instead, they're credited as follows:

Quest Design was done by Brian Chapin, Kurt Kuhlmann, Alan Nanes, Mark E. Nelson, Bruce Nesmith and Emil Pagliarulo.

Additional Design was done by Erik J. Caponi and Jon Paul Duvall.

Additional Writing was done by Ted Peterson and Michael Kirkbride.

That's a direct quote from the post, and I include it here because these people need to have their names in the ether, permanently attached to their work. The more websites that mention them along with the words "Oblivion" and "writer," the better. Because their work is really, really good.

The main quest kind of floored me, in terms of how good it was, and how fun, and how interesting. It's a good story, and it works much better as a game than it ever would as a movie or a novel, just from how it's set up. It has themes. Themes! In a video game. Have I mentioned just how awesome this game is?

That's what interests me about gaming: its application as a storytelling medium. It's hard to find games that have really good stories, because that's not where the focus is, right now. It's on the graphics and the simulation and the underlying doodads that make it all work. But I think that better storytelling, that really takes advantage of what you can do in a video game, is an area where the industry really could grow.

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