Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
In addition, even in delivering fairly straightforward writing requirements you
may also find yourself being responsible for deciding on, or at least hitting and writ-
ing to, a tone of voice. Is your soccer game FIFA 2009 or Sensible Soccer ?Isyour
tennis game Mario Tennis or Virtua Tennis ? Are you making an officially licensed
Olympic game, or is it Asterix at the Olympic Games ? Not every sports title plays it
“straight” and is designed to feel like you're watching it on TV. There's a difference
between writing for NBA: 2K7 and for NBA Street Homecourt . While the atmosphere
of the first is closer to that of watching the game on TV, the latter is closer to the
atmosphere of—well, more impromptu street games.
If there's not much word count to get your teeth into, then you need to make sure
every word counts—that it either helps convey instructions or helps build the tone
of voice of the game (ideally even instructional speech and text is an opportunity to
deliver tone of voice)—and makes it consistent with the rest of the game everyone
else is building. (Of course, when you're working with a large word count you should
still make sure every word counts.)
You may also have to consider other factors such as settling on UK or US spelling
and UK or US cultural references. Is it hockey or field hockey? Is it football, or is it
soccer? Is it a goal line or an endline? Are they midfielders or linkmen? Is it half-time
or intermission? This is far from complicated stuff to settle on in itself, but if you
don't get this sorted out with producers and designers beforehand, you might find
yourself wading through several hundred thousand words of text trying to rectify it
all.
8.2 Extra Time
Occasionally you get sports titles with stories of some kind in them, like Let's Make
a Soccer Team , and that can require a little extra thought over and above the usual
commentary-tutorials-on-screen text requirement. In that particular game, the story
was very light and was handled by designers, and my role (and my company's role)
as designated writer on the project was to localize the already-written English. Even
though the text was already translated, we found that it didn't sit right to just polish
the English when we had soccer players talking in changing rooms about playing the
violin in the evening and going to the opera. In the UK, this topic of conversation
doesn't match our expectations of what archetypal English footballers talk about in
changing rooms. We therefore rewrote instances like this to have players talking
about going to see a band, or going to the cinema instead. (We avoided the obvious
temptation to have them talking about gambling or three-in-a-bed hotel room trysts.)
8.3 Sports Games and Sports Management Games
A distinction should also be made between those games that are sports and those that
are sports management. When you're writing for a sports game, it's likely that captur-
ing the atmosphere of live games—from the pundits, the players, or the crowd—is
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