Game Development Reference
game together and unless this person had natural writing skills such games
were unlikely to be known for the quality of their writing.
The games that formed the initial wave that used the written word exten-
sively were known as 'text-adventures', the first of which was called Adventure .
Instead of displaying graphics on screen, the player was presented with a
series of text descriptions of the locations and played the game by typing
instructions - 'Get key' or 'Go north', for example.
The story-based game had arrived and though we did not realise it at the
time, the idea that games would employ the skills of a specialist professional
writer was being established. The text-adventure gave way to the graphical
adventure - combining text and graphics, then later adding animation - and
the adventure genre in the early to mid 1990s was one of the most popular
at the time. The likes of LucasArts and Sierra created a regular stream of
hugely popular titles which were often seen as the cutting edge of computer
graphics at the time. It is ironic that today the adventure genre is mostly a
niche market that struggles to compete in the larger marketplace which is
increasingly driven by the perceived need for costly games.
The legacy of Adventure which was furthered by the other developers
within the adventure genre has been passed on to the world of video games
as a whole.With the advent of cross-fertilisation of ideas and the blurring of
'traditional' game genre boundaries, many games use ideas and styles pulled
from a number of sources. It could be argued that the role-playing game has
become the main torch-bearer for the story-based game, in terms of popu-
larity, but in today's development climate even high-energy action games are
using strong stories and rich characters - feeding the increasingly sophis-
ticated needs of an expanding demographic.
The global expansion of the games industry appears to continue unabated.
Although there has been some slow down in certain geographical locations,
new and developing territories like China, Russia, Brazil, India and others
means that the potential growth is enormous and will continue for many
years to come.The opportunities for the writer to become a substantial part
of that expansion and growth are on the rise, too.
The sales of interactive entertainment software, taken across the globe,
reached a staggering £12 billion ($20 billion) in 2004, and have outstripped
Hollywood's box office receipts for a number of years. It has been forecast
that those sales will at least double by 2007.