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Default Gamasutra - The Top 20 Game Writers

February 20th, 2009, 22:09
Another list - but at least one that addresses an overlooked segment in terms of press coverage. Gamasutra has assembled their Top 20 Game Writers, with Chris Avellone the first (or last?) cab off the rank. BioWare's Drew Karpyshyn, Beth's Emil Pagliarulo and 2K's Ken Levine all get nods. On MCA:
When working with such vast and shambling properties as Dungeons & Dragons or Star Wars, an individual writer's voice could easily get lost behind the accumulated lore that has built up over many years of overlapping narratives.
Chris Avellone neatly dodges that trap by always emphasizing his characters' personalities and relationships over back story.
Avellone also understands that dice rolling is the least interesting aspect of role-playing, and in his work, typical "gameplay" activities are often subordinate to character interactions.
While his upcoming Alpha Protocol will undoubtedly have some entertaining action, the real pleasure in the game will come from getting to know the many personalities inhabiting it.
More information.

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February 20th, 2009, 22:09
Great idea for a list, but I have to say a big fail in that not a single person there has a credit for Baldur's Gate I or II.

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February 20th, 2009, 22:23
Yes, I'd have thought David Gaider would be the Bio choice. Maybe because he doesn't have a credit for a while, with DA taking so long?

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February 20th, 2009, 22:45
In addition, they also completely padded Pagliarulo with Thief credits he can't really claim as a writer, while simultaneously leaving out the original Thief story credit to Levine which by most accounts has been the stand out in the series, which helped propel the Sneaker series into the limelight or maybe I am just bias.

Good list in general but still has much room for improvement.

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February 20th, 2009, 23:49
This list is in my personal opinion total crap, because it misses ALL adventures !

There is actually no-one from the old LucasArts adventures in it, for example !

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February 20th, 2009, 23:58
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
This list is in my personal opinion total crap, because it misses ALL adventures !

There is actually no-one from the old LucasArts adventures in it, for example !
? Did you miss Tim Schafer, who created Full Throttle and Grim Fandango.
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February 21st, 2009, 01:28
Ken Levine? That's crazy. Wasn't he the one that said story didn't matter?
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February 21st, 2009, 02:01
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
This list is in my personal opinion total crap, because it misses ALL adventures !

There is actually no-one from the old LucasArts adventures in it, for example !
Those where the the dark ages of computer times. The article states that they only include the last 1.5 years releases, so they probably ended up including every writer available. We need more of those.
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February 21st, 2009, 03:19
Originally Posted by hishadow View Post
The article states that they only include the last 1.5 years releases
Too bad really, because one name I really missed on that list is Ragnar Tornquist. The Longest Journey, Dreamfall … those were stories that I found so fantastic and memorable that I specifically browsed for info on them after I finished playing.

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February 21st, 2009, 03:49
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Too bad really, because one name I really missed on that list is Ragnar Tornquist. The Longest Journey, Dreamfall … those were stories that I found so fantastic and memorable that I specifically browsed for info on them after I finished playing.
Hehe, I know the feeling. New Year's Eve 2000 I had almost completed Discworld Noir while the rockets fired off and at 1:00 I was ready for the New Year.
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February 21st, 2009, 09:01
Not to mention they definately left out Amy Henning, responsible for the Legay of Kain series, which has one of the best writing in a game I've seen.
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February 21st, 2009, 11:06
Well, they specifically ask for further nominations at the end, go post your suggestions over there for a followup piece. Always nice to see writers and writing get a bit of attention.
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February 21st, 2009, 12:37
Originally Posted by sam16 View Post
? Did you miss Tim Schafer, who created Full Throttle and Grim Fandango.
No, I rather miss Ron Gilbert.

Full Throttle was a funny game, but not too deep enough for my personal taste. Which might have something to do with the fact that I didn't like the setting too well.

Grim Fandango, on the other hand, was a good game - at least, until I ran into a bug that was seemingly never patched and gave up.

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February 21st, 2009, 12:52
I agree with most of the list, although I am a bit surprised Gaider didn't make it. Some people might think it odd that Bethesda had a guy there, but Emil Pagliarulo really is a good writer (the Dark Brotherhood was the best questline in Oblivion by far in my opinion).

Truth be told, I've had quite a few laughs because of Al Lowe (Leisure Suit Larry), but he hasn't been active in the gaming industry for ages as far as I know, so it's no wonder they didn't mention him.
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February 21st, 2009, 13:34
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Too bad really, because one name I really missed on that list is Ragnar Tornquist. The Longest Journey, Dreamfall … those were stories that I found so fantastic and memorable that I specifically browsed for info on them after I finished playing.
Same here. I hope he does finish the story of Dreamfall in a sequel, and not in a comic book, which he once wrote was a possibility.
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February 21st, 2009, 15:41
I thought they are doing Dreamfall episodes something or the other …
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February 22nd, 2009, 04:57
What no mention for Thomas at Basilisk? You wait give it ten years
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February 22nd, 2009, 12:19
Originally Posted by sam16 View Post
? Did you miss Tim Schafer, who created Full Throttle and Grim Fandango.
I miss him, Grim Fandango and Psychonauts are freakin' awesome.

This list is pretty crappy. :/
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February 23rd, 2009, 17:44
Originally Posted by Explodin' Gobbo View Post
I miss him, Grim Fandango and Psychonauts are freakin' awesome.
You will be able to enjoy a Tim Schafer creation again when Brutal Legend is released in Q3 2009.
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February 23rd, 2009, 20:28
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
You will be able to enjoy a Tim Schafer creation again when Brutal Legend is released in Q3 2009.
Yep, I'm horny already.
When will Tim learn that interesting ideas aren't for the gaming industry!
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