WGA Awards Force Unleashed

23 02 2009

The  WGA’s (Writers Guild of America) Videogame Writing Award came to a close (back in February 9th). Previously mentioned here, it seems AAA contenders, such as Fallout 3, Tomb Raider: Underworld, and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 have succumbed to Star Wars’ power.

The narrative of Force Unleashed takes place between the ending of the movie Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and the beginning of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and has the player don the role of Star Killer, Vader’s secret apprentice. Praised for its story by critics and gamers alike, this 3.5 Star Wars episode provides a lot of  backstory to the saga. Congratulations to writers Haden Blackman, Shawn Pitman, John Stafford, and Cameron Suey for their efforts and in succeeding with such canon and sacred material.

Licensed material rarely manages to achieve such heights, especially when concerning storytelling. To be awarded in place of other IPs native to the videogame medium is either a good or a bad thing. There’s the possibility that Star Killer’s tale is in fact the best one or the best told out of all the nominations. Then again, there’s also the alternative we haven’t fully realized the videogame medium’s storytelling potential and for that matter we relate better to a narrative told through tried-and-true methods, like movies and novels.

Nevertheless, gotta’ get me a copy so I can play it.

Source: Gamespot

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WGA’s Annual Videogame Writing Award

13 01 2009

For the second time, the Writer’s Guild of America is nominating games for its annual Videogame Writing Award. The most famous, or AAA titles, among those are Fallout 3, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Sadly though, the selection process requires winners to be members of the Guild. Naturally this reduces drastically the number of contestants and doesn’t account for the majority of games released.

Nevertheless, games are a somewhat recent medium and if the event’s objective is to “encourage storytelling excellence in videogames, improve the status of writers, and foster uniform standards within the gaming industry”; so be it.

As a Bethesda fan and having only played Fallout 3 (at length) from the list, I’ll cross my fingers for it. I’m sure though all of the games contribute to storytelling in their own distinct genre and manner.

Credit goes to the games which did not necessarily come closer to traditional means of storytelling similar to other mediums (like film), but rather found their own voice and method of telling stories.

I would like to see Dead Space and GTA 4 participating as well.

EDIT: Micah Wright commented that actually, the Award rules only require that writers who nominate themselves join the WGA’s sister group, the Videogame Writers Caucus, and don’t need to be members of the Guild per se.

Source: Gamasutra





Betrayal Gone Red

5 02 2008

Peace

We desired to be together. I did with my entirety, but she did only half. A part of her wanted to be with me and a part didn’t. Her words descended as cruel speech from a father upon his child. My inside ached, but I understood. I respected Decay and it would feel as a betrayal on my behalf.

As I treaded back to sulk into the darkness, my thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone. Nevertheless, I was rescued. The five steps that felt like kilometers were interrupted by the calling of my name. I turned and faced back. I couldn’t deny her voice.

It was unexpected, yet perfect.

Our lips touched.

Thoughts left my head and only a calm peaceful tide could be felt. Rejuvenating.

At the end, we knew words would not help at anything. We had already been careless for exposing ourselves in public, but it seemed worth it.

I smiled. She smiled back.

Then her eyes felt empty and her body fell.

Loss

Half of Decay’s sword had already pierced her from behind.

I drew my sword and as a reaction his lackeys arrived.

I used the opportunity to swing my blade. In a swift movement he retrieved his from her body and the blood escaped from the wound dragging her life with it.

The scene held my eyes in place almost long enough to join her. The high pitched swing of the blade woke me up and I evaded just in time. He held no grudge at attacking and drew a second sword from his belt. My avenging chances were slimming.

His men approached as well, but they were no match. As always, stupid enough to follow and stupid enough to fight. They lacked the intellect and the ability to truly assess the situation and confirmed the definition of disposable henchmen.

With one thrust I cut open three chests. Their leather armor was red and prevented much of the blood from being seen. An old technique to diminish the opponent’s moral. Luckily the falling of bodies and screams of agony easily substituted the strategy.

Decay seemed to laugh. I could not be sure. It was dark and he wanted me dead. I had no idea a kiss could change that much.

I wanted to swing, but my arm faltered. It hurt. It bled. Decay had somehow hit me.

My thoughts were in my way. They kept me out of focus. Where was her body?

Another musical attack headed my way. The sound metal cutting the air felt unpleasantly close.

I rapidly crouched and then tackled him with my shoulder. It worked.

Decay lost his balance. Holding two swords did not help regain the standing position. He tripped backwards, unfortunately on her body, and fell helpless.

One blade on the floor and the other held with both arms. He cowered. He acted as a child, upon the sight of a hungry bear, would.

But the bear had no words. The bear’s heart ached. The bear’s soul felt void. The bear wanted blood.

With one hit his sword flew far away. He held his clenched fists up and thought they would protect him. I took no chances. I cut them off.

I dropped tears from my eyes and the sword from my hand. I dropped my closed fist on his face. A successive session of blows and punches at first hit the flesh. Screams accompanied most of them and fueled my rage.

Some time later they stopped and I started to feel the hard and impenetrable tarmac. It seemed over.

I got up and searched for her. Tainted red and with a pale base she laid there on the floor. Back punctured and without a soul. I held her next to me. I hugged her hopping comfort would come out of it.

Decay knew everything, which meant he was a spy. A public enemy dressed in red armor portraying the eagle emblem. A traitor to the nation. And I, a traitor to a friendship.

It was all betrayal. Did the reason or consequences matter?

I would ensure they would both get a proper burial.

Would I deserve one too?








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