Podcast: People Who Write (And Program) Video Games

Illustration for article titled Podcast: People Who Write (And Program) Video Gamesem/em

We’re back for another Kotaku Splitscreen special from the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Today we’re joined by storied RPG writer Chris Avellone, Double Fine senior gameplay programmer Anna Kipnis, and 80 Days writer Meg Jayanth.


Jason and I talk with each guest about the games they’ve worked on, with conversation focusing on Alpha Protocol, Prey, CRPGs in general, Broken Age, Psychonauts, 80 Days and Horizon: Zero Dawn. You can listen to the episode on iTunes or Google Play, or directly here. (MP3 download here.) As always, you can reach us at splitscreen@kotaku.com.

We’ll be back with three more guests tomorrow, then a special Nintendo Switch-centric episode on Friday.

Kotaku Editor-at-Large

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I’ve been wondering how diffrent devs handle game writing. It seems like many wall the writing away from the game itself. There are the cut scenes and thats what the writers get to write and then there are the things outside of those cut scenes and they just don’t seem brought in on all that. But I’ve noticed how there are games whose actual gameplay seems informed by the writing. An example would be Fallout 3.

In that game you talk to lots of people and they ask you to do things. But you never really know what the right answer is. In many cases the moral option doesn’t exist. Or, there are two moral options and you have to decide which one is more important to you. This impacts the flow of what you actually do in the game. I’d say this is an example of writing effecting design.

I’ve wondered how studios that make games like Fallout 3 and others, see the whole process and how they try (assuming they DO try) to make things differently.

So in short, I’ll be tuning in!