All the Write Moves

Warren Ellis does see one very specific transferable skill, and one that’s been honed to perfection creating monthly periodical comics.

“It’s knowing when to stop.  Whatever I put down is going to be interpreted by twenty to a hundred people, really, who will add stuff on to it. So I have to step back, not load things down with masses of description and specific timing, and take more of an overview.”

The comic creators seem to have some very strong opinions on the games world around them. Andy Diggle is quite animated about it all:

“It bugs me that there’s so much flabby, under-dramatized, downright clichéd writing in games. The endless, dreadful dialogue scenes in the Metal Gear Solid games make me want to shoot the TV - which is a shame, because I love the gameplay,” he says. “The Grand Theft Auto games on the other hand, have some wonderful writing behind them, without getting in the way of the gameplay. The talk radio stations and ads in Vice City are laugh-out loud funny.”

Palmiotti expresses his love for shooters. “The war stuff is brilliant and any sci-fi is fine by me. I play a lot and wish they would get a bit more creative and story driven. A lot of the stuff out there is pretty derivative and gets boring quickly.”

In terms of employment, Gibbons sees many parallels with comics.

“There’s the same level of enthusiasm as you tend to, or used to get, in the comics industry. These games people have grown up playing games in their bedrooms and have aspired to be involved in them. The career paths seem the same - you made a nuisance of yourself around the companies and get little bits of work. Thirty years down the line, it seems similar to how we all got involved in writing for comic books in the first place.”

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