Game Development Reference
So avoid burying critical gameplay instructions or objectives in the middle of
narrative content. For important, need-to-know gameplay info, stick with in-game
iconographic or very brief text instructions that are impossible for the player to avoid.
Where does all this leave you as the handheld game writer? Perhaps a little ego-
bruised? Jealous of your console game writing contemporaries, with their fancy
FMVs and hours-long VO budget? Well, don't be.
Like all other game writers, you are not the main attraction. When was the last
time you heard someone say they can't wait to hear that hot RPG sequel, or watch
that new FPS title that's coming out next week? No. . . gamers come to play.
As a game writer, you're in a support role, bolstering and enhancing that play
experience. The best you can hope to achieve—and all you should be trying to
achieve-is to make a good thing better, by providing context for gameplay goals,
creating the illusion of a larger world, and making the player empathize with and
care about the characters. If you've managed to accomplish all that in a handheld
game, you've done very well indeed.
Hold your head high, soldier. You're a handheld game writer. You do more with
less. Be proud of it!