You're the writer of a terrible videogame. Can you save it?


Is there a version that just gets on with it?

Ah. Do I really have to click on every single sentence to move on?

You’ve never actually played any of the Shattergate games, granted, but somehow you’re writing it anyway.

And you’re in your underwear, delivering a scientific paper to your middle school class.

Well, I knew the answer to that one before I even played the game.

I’m kind of curious as to how well-written games ever get made. It can’t be completely random, but excepting a few anomalous examples, recent AAA games have uniformly terrible writing.

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I’ve done work very similar to this, and a lot of this piece is very familiar to me-- although my experience was complicated by a language and culture barrier. I can’t imagine how dispiriting this atmosphere would be without that excuse to hold on to for comfort.

On the other hand, it’s hard to maintain sympathy when the ‘writer’ has admittedly failed to study the source material. I’m curious as to why that detail was added–and why ‘how you got the job’ is presented as irrelevant. In my story, ‘how I got the job’ explains a lot about the resulting mess, seems like that might be the case here too.

Would be great to know more about the author and the background of this piece.

EDIT: Haha, there’s even a bit where you’re about to admit you are unfamiliar with the original material, but an interruption prevents any exploration of that theme. I’m not feeling quite as accusatory as jeff_fisher–maybe the point is that everybody on the team, including you, is bluffing through fundamental incompetencies–but it’s still very strange how this detail isn’t elaborated on.

EDIT AGAIN: Looks like this fellow worked on a lot of Halos and Call of Duties. That explains a lot (including some very specific references), these games are renowned for being driven by spectacle rather than story. It would be pretty absurd for anybody to blame a writer for the success or failure of a Call of Duty.

Given the part of the premise about how you have been working on it for 14 months and not played the previous games: No. You can’t save it. You are useless and lazy. The real question is how much longer you can hang onto your paycheck without doing much, as that is obviously your real goal.

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Oh the place seems like a mess. Its not like the protagonist is letting the team down, they are all useless.

*ok the people in that room are all useless at work, except possibly the one who is useless at home.
** actually he is useless too, ought to be firing all these people.

As far as I can tell, you can’t change the game that ships and your choices can only change your own outcome. Those options are:

  1. end up 3 years later in exactly the same place with the same team, with the next game in the franchise
  2. end up 1 year later in exactly the same place working on an indy game that also tested terribly and was all the writer’s fault
  3. bailing completely and getting a gig 6 months later working on RC Cola rebranding.

This isn’t interactive fiction so much as a cry for help.


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