Richard Dansky

Dansky Dinosaur PicInterviewed by Kimberley Ann Sparks

Writer, game designer and cad, Richard Dansky was named one of the Top 20 videogame writers in the world in 2009 by Gamasutra. His work includes bestselling games such as TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION, FAR CRY, TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX: 3, OUTLAND, and SPLINTER CELL: BLACKLIST. His writing has appeared in magazines ranging from The Escapist to Lovecraft Studies, as well as numerous anthologies. The author of the Wellman award-nominated VAPORWARE, he was a major contributor to White Wolf’s World of Darkness setting with credits on over a hundred RPG supplements. Richard lives in North Carolina with his wife, statistician Melinda Thielbar, and their amorphously large collections of books and single malt whiskeys.

I know Richard through the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) Writers Special Interest Group forum, and we first met at the Game Developers Conference. This is a hybrid phone/e-mail interview. It started on the phone, but my recording device broke and I couldn’t record it, so I thought I’d type as we spoke, but that didn’t work out so well. Richard was kind enough to fill in the gaps via e-mail. He’s a swell guy and an awesome writer, whose work I’ve admired for a good long time.

Can you describe what a video game writer does?

What I do is I work on the narrative elements of the game. In a real sense, I create game assets that are made of words. I’ll work on story, developing characters, world-building. I’ll write dialogue and in-game artifacts, such as journal entries, files, radio transmissions, etc. I also write text in menus that aren’t related to story at all for UI (user interface) elements, or I’ll be asked to help name achievements. Whatever’s called for, really. [Read more…]