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The Gamasutra 20: Top Game Writers

February 20, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 21 Next

Richard Dansky

Manager of Design, Red Storm Entertainment

Central Clancy Writer, Ubisoft

Notable projects

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, Far Cry

Project focus

Formerly a developer with White Wolf studios, Richard Dansky now works as a game writer for both Red Storm Entertainment and its parent company, Ubisoft. A fiction author with a flare for horror, Dansky has also contributed to over 130 role-playing books from White Wolf.

In addition to writing over a dozen games for Ubisoft -- most notably the games in the Tom Clancy series, for which he holds the title of Central Writer -- Dansky is the co-author of an instructional book on writing for games, Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Video Games.

He also holds an executive chair on the International Game Developers Association's Writers Special Interest Group. Dansky has gone on record about how much he enjoys one particular element of game writing: composing believable dialogue for bad guys -- like the guards in Far Cry some of his players found too realistic to kill.

What stands out

With extensive experience as a writer of fiction and manuals, the sheer volume of Dansky's gives him an impressive basis from which to approach games.

Perhaps it shouldn't be surprising then that his Tom Clancy series is on of the most consistently praised in video games -- a series not coincidentally also inspired by books.

Of course, what really shines is his believable dialogue, which could even conjure sympathy in a player coming in for the kill: no easy feat.

Our take

"Dansky's credits aren't best known for their writing, but his firm hand has helped steer a number of projects into the clear -- with a reputation among game writers as being something of a professional "fixer".

He's a mentor to writers online and in discussions, and enjoys running writing workshops and advocating for better storytelling -- in short, his reputation extends beyond the obvious into behind-the-scenes movement that's just as critical to improving the stories in games." - Christian Nutt, features director, Gamasutra

Article Start Previous Page 3 of 21 Next

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