Monday, July 30, 2007

Joystiq interviews Heavenly Sword's Rhianna Pratchett

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While at the Develop Conference we had the opportunity to sit down with Rhianna Pratchett, script writer and story designer for Heavenly Sword. We discuss the story of the game, her inspiration, the role of storytelling in video games and, among other things, her dad's (author Terry Pratchett) influence on her work.

Why are you writing for games, in particular?

I've always been a gamer, since I was about six and I started playing Mazogs on the ZX81. My dad was very techy and into computers, electronics, robots and that kind of thing. He'd bring something that clicked and whirred home and I was an only child so, of course, I was fascinated with whatever my dad was doing. Games were only really becoming commercial then and maybe he thought it was quite cute to get his six year old daughter playing a game where she would run around with a sword killing giant bugs. I asked him about Mazogs the other day and he said that he remembers me being rather frightened of the bug creatures, at first. Although once I found I could kill them, I was much happier!

I got hooked from that and I would get all his hand-me-down machines. We would play lots of games together, mainly isometric adventure games. Or rather, he would play them and I would sit beside him drawing all the maps for him. When I was around eleven years old, a girl called Katie moved next door to me and we would play adventure games together (there was precious little else to do in our tiny, one-road village!) but this time it was our adventure. We played games like Monkey Island, King's Quest, even things like the old Leisure Suit Larry games (we'd have to guess all the 'are you 18?' questions - which were mainly, and rather bizarrely, about the American political process!)

I studied journalism at university. I didn't really think about games writing back then, so I started off being a games journalist, in about '98 on a magazine called PC Zone, which was (and still is) quite a hardcore PC magazine. I also did some work for The Guardian for a couple of years. Then about four years ago, I started going freelance and then I got my first gig as a story editor for a game and it took off from there as I started to get more and more projects.

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[via] Joystiq

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