Game Development Reference
As a writer, it will be your job to leverage that cliche in modest ways but still find
some new angle that comes at that cliche in a way that seems totally original and
unique. Yeah, it's not easy at all.
Luckily, as mentioned, action-adventure games tend to use a familiar intellectual
property (IP) as their basis, so some of that responsibility will be removed from your
shoulders. However, working within someone else's world can be very frustrating.
4.6 Writing for Licensed Games
Writing for games based on a license can be one of the most frustrating experiences
imaginable. Here's why.
Let's say that you are working at an independent developer hired by a publisher
to develop on a game based on a movie. The publisher will have definite ideas of
what they want from the game, and your designers will respond to that, trying to
make sure they make the game their team will have fun making while also making
sure the publisher is happy.
Once the publisher is happy with the direction of the game, they'll send it on
to the people who actually own the license, as there will probably be some sort of
agreement in their contract with these people that lets the license holder have some
say over the product the publisher is trying to get your developer to create. In this
case, the people who control the license are not only the people who are making the
film but also the people responsible for publishing the topics the film is based on,
plus the agents of the author who wrote that book, plus the author herself.
Let's list this out. People in charge of the direction of your game include the
1. Developer's team management (lead designer, lead producer, etc.).
2. Developer's upper management (studio head, creative directors, etc.).
3. Publisher's primary liaison to the developer (i.e. their producer).
4. Publisher's upper management.
5. Film license holder (this may be split up amongst several distinct companies).
6. Book publisher.
7. Author's agents.
So, basically, you can have more people telling you what to do with your writing
than there are people on your development team. In the case above, there may
be infighting between factions that can cause you to wonder who has the ultimate