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Blog: Barks and Branches

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On Wednesday night I went to South Bank University to attend a Writers Guild Of Great Britain/International Game Developers Association event called "Barks And Branches". It was a strange coming together of WORLDS for me, in several ways, the first being that althoughI heard about it through SKOOL, when I looked it up I found that one of the people involved with it was Mr Dave Green of Fakebit Polytechnic. Worlds! CollidinG!

The actual EVENT was a panel presentation/discussion about Writing For Computer Games and it was VERY VERY INTERESTING INDEED. I learned all sorts of new words and what they mean (For instance, "Barks" are the noises characters make in games when they're just doing stuff), and had a good old THINK about how games make you DISCOVER content, rather than in films where it's DELIVERED.

It made the BRANE go WHIRR. My favourite bit was the talk by Ed Stern - it was EYE-OPENING and THORT PROVOKING throughout, but I must confess my heart LEAPT when he demonstrated how he writes "barks" and other repeated/looped lines for Multi-Player games using EXCEL! He was using spreadsheets in a database-y way to do WRITING - this was the SECOND strange merging of worlds, as he was using my current job to do the job I'd LIKE to do!

It was a fantastic evening, which culminated in going to the PUB for further chat and discussion. It really made me think about the possibilities of writing games stuff in the future, even if (OH DEAR) it means i may simply HAVE to go and play more computer games. The big point everybody made at the end of the talk was that to get work in games the best thing to do was MAKE a game. They said it was easier than making FILMS, and hey! I've already been INVOLVED in that sort of thing, so maybe that's a project for after Christmas? That noise you hear is my BRANE, THINKING!

posted 6/12/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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