Book Review: Slay the Dragon: Writing Great Video Games

15-0619 Slay The Dragon

Summary: This is a non fiction book about writing video games.

4/5

I was really excited to read this book. I knew video games needed writers but I did not know much about getting into the industry. I am a casual gamer but my boyfriend is a hard core gamer. I feel like having some background in gaming is useful when reading this book. Also, be prepared for game plot spoilers.

This book has lots or really amazing points. Some are relevant to writing in general and some are very specific to creating video games.

One of my favorite sections talked about creating compelling characters. It used the examples of Superman and Batman to talk about what makes for an interesting character. No big surprise that Batman prize for more interesting hands down. He is human. He has flaws. He has many more weaknesses than Superman. Basically, Superman is a boy scout. Generally speaking, complete do gooders with almost no weaknesses make for boring stories. Especially in video games. There is little challenge playing a video game in “God Mode.” Believe me, I used to play the first Warcraft game with that cheat. It was fun for a minute but there was no challenge there.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was the explanation for how different writing for games is. For instance, players care about movements that make the story progress. They need things to be active. Spacing a story out and adding lots of things for the character to do is super important.

I think this book is a valuable read for writers even if they have never thought about video game writing. One never knows where the information might take them.

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About authorjanebnight

Hello. I am Jane B. Night. I am a writer and also one of the owners of BZ Publishing LLC.
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