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Central Clancy Writer: An Interview With Richard Dansky
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Central Clancy Writer: An Interview With Richard Dansky


June 21, 2007 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4
 

I've heard you're going to be involved in planning the Game Writers Conference this fall. Is there anything you can share with us about that?

RD: I'm really excited about the direction that the game writing programming is taking this year. The advisory committee had a long sitdown at GDC about where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see, and I think folks are going to really like the offerings this year.

Dana Fos is doing a great job of putting things together, and there's going to be some surprises – some different directions – from other conferences. I know that's a terrible teaser, but I can't let the numerous, extremely energetic cats out of the bag quite yet…

I've also heard that you write novels in your spare time.

RD: It's less "spare time" than "hours that I probably should spend sleeping", but I do write fiction as well as game material. I've got short stories coming out in a couple of upcoming anthologies, Astounding Hero Tales and Man Vs. Machine, and I've published four novels, with a new one scheduled for release next year. It's a very different type of writing, but that's one of the things I enjoy about switching gears.

Writing fiction makes you focus on mood, on tone, on description, on interior monologue, and all of these things are either covered by other disciplines or not germane to game writing. Doing the different types of writing is really doing different kinds of work. It lets me stretch all of my writing muscles, as it were – I just have to make sure to keep them well-defined and separate. Otherwise, I end up with elves with M203 underbarrel grenade launchers, and nobody wants that.

Can you say anything about the book you're working on right now?

RD: I'll hopefully be finishing up the next novel project shortly. It's a got a little bit of a video game theme to it, so we'll see how that comes out. "Write what you know" is a bit of an overused cliché, but there's some benefit to having experience with and comfort in your subject matter.

One final question - what games are you playing right now, and what do you think of the narrative elements in them? Sorry, I guess that's two questions. Still, it's the last one.

RD: How about we call it a two-part question and say we're even? Right now I'm shamefully waiting on a new video card, so I have a whole stack of games lined up that I really just need to lock myself into my office to play. In the meantime, though, I'm gleefully stomping my way through the Destroy All Humans series.

I think that series does a great job of incorporating wonderful little moments of conversation into the gameplay, and I've been really enjoying just listening to the minor characters – before I zap them, anyway. I'm also enjoying Titan Quest very much. The narrative there does a great job of setting up the action and then letting the player go wild within the fantasy that's been established.


Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4

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