‘Gears of War 3′ Writer: Video Games Will Become Dominant Storytelling Medium

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 19th, 2011 at 11:17 am,

Gears of War 3 Interview with Writer Karen Traviss

Karen Traviss is well-known for her New York Times best-selling Star Wars novels and original series, but she has also written several tie-ins to the Gears of War universe, starting with the 2008 prequel novel Gears of War: Aspho Fields.

With a strong writing background, it shouldn’t surprise that she was approached by Epic Games last year to write Gears of War 3.

The Gears series is known for a doing many things very well: cover mechanics, detailed graphics, visceral combat, epic moments, and (now) overpriced console DLC. Arguably, storytelling was way down that list with the first two games – often serviceable, but probably  not the main draw for many. However, Traviss’ pedigree and her need to get inside the minds of the characters she is writing should give the series a finale it deserves (as mentioned in our Gears of War 3 review).

Still, when you’re dealing with a medium where different players might take different paths through the levels, skip cutscenes, and put the controller down for a week or a month between play sessions, you have your work cut out for you. In a recent interview with CVG, Traviss commented on the future of storytelling in games – and was actually enthusiastic about the challenge, “…you’ve really got to try and cover all the bases every time but not make it look as if you are repeating information.”

Traviss went on to say that she thinks “games will become the dominant storytelling and entertainment medium.”

Check out the full interview below (courtesy of CVG) to see what else Traviss had to say:

Given time, it’s easy to agree with a lot of the points Traviss makes. With gamers worldwide excited over the imminent release of Gears of War 3, we are hoping to see more storytellers coming on board to write for our favorite videogame series.

Be sure to check out our feature on the life or death of Clay Carmine, and read about how you can get your hands on golden hammerbursts and lancers for online play.

Gears of War 3 releases exclusively for Xbox 360 on September 20 - click here for midnight launch event info.

Source: CVG

TAGS: Epic Games, Gears of War, Gears of War 3, Microsoft, Microsoft Game Studios

2 Comments

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  1. I’m sorry to disagree but in no way will video games overtake books or even movies in their story telling. A game follows a plot & eventually all plots will end. You cannot play a story, you read one.

  2. I’m not sure I understand your point, Movements in Shadows, and I strongly disagree with your final assertion.

    You *can* play a story – we do it all the time. Choose-your-own-adventure books, tabletop roleplaying games, and videogames all provide stories that you play (and best of all, affect the course of). Further, it’s all escapism, and people only have so much time and energy with which to escape. Videogames become more prominent every year, and more people are using those resources to play through interactive stories rather than reading books or going to movies.

    Obviously popularity isn’t proof of good storytelling in games, but it’s a powerful trend and indicator. When coupled with the efforts of many developers to improve the general writing and storytelling in their games (especially Triple-A devs like BioWare and Bethesda who write novels and novels of documentation for each new title), I don’t see how games couldn’t eventually overtake books and movies in their storytelling abilities.

    But I could be wrong.

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