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A New Perspective on Game Writing
by Ben Serviss on 11/05/13 10:35:00 am   Expert Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

This article originally appeared on dashjump.com.

kick door
And now, an excerpt from the novelization of this year’s Interactive Game Society Award Winner for Best Writing, Murder Avenue.

I thought he was crazy. We both knew the odds of Cob Tyler coming back to his old stomping grounds were poor; he may be a lunatic, but he was a cunning lunatic. Carter had radioed to say that he went ahead, to do a sweep… but as I pulled up to the abandoned crackhouse we had as a lead, he was nowhere in sight.

I slowly turned the front door handle and slid open the door – only find myself staring down the barrel of a gun. Before I could reach for my piece, the door opened wide and a face appeared. Carter’s face.

He holstered his weapon. “Cob’s around here. I know it. I’ll check the basement, you sweep the house. Meet up again after.” Before I could respond he disappeared around a corner, and I was alone.

 I ran around in a circle and jumped up and down a few times then pistol-whipped the air.I ran around in a circle and jumped up and down a few times then pistol-whipped the air. I ran into the hallway at full-speed and a crackhead shot me point-blank in the chest two times before I fired my own weapon to put him down. Then, I ran full-speed up the main stairway and another guy shot me right in the face.

crime police
"You're a loose cannon, Justyce," yelled Carter. "You just can't go loose-cannoning up and down Murder Avenue."

Carter holstered his weapon. “Cob’s around here. I know it. I’ll check the basement, you sweep the house. Meet up again after.” Before I could respond he disappeared around a corner, and I was alone.

I ran into the hallway at full-speed and shot a guy right in the face. I guess he was a crackhead; he wore a tattered shirt and was holding a gun as he fell.

I ran full-speed up the main stairs and shot another guy then ran into a kitchen and a third guy shot me right in the chest with a shotgun. Without flinching I ran over and hit him in the face with the butt of my pistol and he slumped to the floor out cold. Or dead. It was kind of hard to tell.

I found a bottle of painkillers on the table and swallowed all 30 tablets inside. Immediately I felt great.

It was then that I noticed there were a few cardboard boxes sitting on the table. I ran over at full-speed and pistol-whipped them with my gun, watching them fall in tune with the natural laws of physics. Then I spent five minutes shooting assorted cans, cups and metal objects in the kitchen, watching all the objects fall in tune with the natural laws of physics.

From here, I ran full-speed up the stairs to the roof. There was a guy on the roof brandishing a large hatchet or something. I unloaded my weapon but only fired one round – I must’ve spent the rest shooting all that stuff in the kitchen. Just as the lunatic with the machete started running toward me I accidentally dove off the roof and hit the ground and died.

Carter holstered his weapon. “Cob’s around here. I know it. I’ll check the basement, you sweep the house. Meet up again after.” Before I could respond he disappeared around a corner, and I was alone.

shoot warehouse
"I ran down the hallway and shot a guy in the face."

I ran full-speed into the hallway and shot a guy in the face, then ran full-speed up the main stairs and shot a guy in the face. I ran full-speed into the kitchen and shot a guy in the face, then grabbed a full bottle of painkillers sitting on the table. Just in case.

Then, I ran full-speed up the stairs to the roof and shot a guy brandishing a large hatchet or something in the face.

As soon as his body hit the floor, Carter climbed up the stairs huffing and puffing, which was weird, since I thought he was still in the basement at that point.

“Good work, Detective Justyce,” he said. “This crew didn’t put up much of a fight.” He grimaced in a manly way. “But I’ve got bad news. Evidence.” He held up a matchbook with ‘666 Murder Avenue North’ written on it in some kind of dark red ink. “We’re at Murder Avenue South. There's no time for reinforcements – we’re gonna have to fight our way up to the North side.”

I popped my gun’s clip out and re-inserted it, even though there was no real need to. “That’s no problem,” I growled. “Because Justyce delivers.”

Murder Avenue is also this year's winner for Best Voice Performance and Most Innovative Gameplay. As of July 2013, it has sold 8 million copies.

Ben Serviss is a game designer and producer at NYC indie developer collective Studio Mercato. Follow him on Twitter at @benserviss.


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