Game Development Reference
set-ups and motivations, with a primary concern that the motivation you instill in
the player is to get him to see the world as an arena for his ingenuity. The world is
the hero in these games.
But in a game that is fundamentally about driving, you must get the player into
a car or the designers will take you out to the parking lot, lie you down, and drive
backward and forward over you until the message sinks in. In driving games, it's the
car, or the bike, or the driving experience that's the hero.
Writing for each type of game requires its own skills and approaches. I have no
doubt that a number of these skills are essentially transferable. Although I maintain
these categories require a different mindset for the writer, I don't think that one is
necessarily more problematic than the other. Trying to link everything back to being
in a car is a thin tightrope to walk for a 40-hour gameplay experience—but then
again, freedom is its own curse.
Essentially, I'm making the point here that games like Grand Theft Auto , Scarface ,
and Tr u e Cr ime are not truly driving games. In terms of writing, they actually have
more in common with RPGs with a more interactive and physics-endowed world.
10.2 “Delivery for You! Where'd You Want It?”
When it comes to driving games, writers can be asked to deliver all kinds of elements,
often some or all of the following:
Instructional speech and text, outlining mission objectives, also hints and
Tutorial speech and text.
Mid-mission speech and text.
Main story scenes.
Linking in-game cutscenes.
Pedestrian and NPC city speech.
Exactly what you might be asked to do, with what priority, and quite what the re-
quirements for each element will be will inevitably vary depending on the studio and
I would think most of these elements are fairly self-explanatory, but I'd like to
pick up on a couple of them. Mid-mission speech and text is the dialogue and on-
screen text spoken and delivered to add “flavor,” “character,” and “tone” to the game.
It is distinct from the instructional speech and text in so far as its function isn't nec-
essarily to clarify the player's objectives—it's often primarily to help with the pacing,