Best Games of 2011 Nominated by British Writer's Guild

Greg Tito

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Sep 29, 2005
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Best Games of 2011 Nominated by British Writer's Guild



Or at least, the best games written by residents of Great Britain.

Update: A former winner of the award for his work on Prince of Persia in 2009 - Andy Walsh - contacted The Escapist to let us know that the nominations are not restricted to Guild members as I was led to believe. "The award is open to all British games writers and to writers working in Britain," Walsh said. I've corrected the lead in to this story and the parrgraph below to reflect this information.

For the last few years, the Hollywood-based Writer's Guild of America has been awarding videogame writing excellence, but early on the nominations were a bit laughable as the award was restricted to members of the Guild. (Dead Head Fred?) The awards have been receiving more applications of late and nominating more well-known games, with Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood picked as the 2011 winner. America's videogame-penning brethren have a different restriction for the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards in that those nominated must be residents of the United Kingdom. The restriction is great for encouraging and rewarding cultural development within Great Britain, but the downside is that even three nominations must include a few head-scratchers.

The nominees for 2011 Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards for Best Videogame are:

Brink by Ed Stern
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West by Alex Garland and Tameem Antoniades
Curfew by Kieron Gillen

Everything that I saw and read about Enslaved - game-writing took a back burner to the gameplay [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/reviews/8188-Review-Enslaved-Odyssey-to-the-West]. I don't want to disparage Stern's writing - I did quite like the story that he crafted - but I think it's a bit odd to reward a game so clearly focused on other parts of the story.

As for Kieron Gillen's The Curfew [http://www.thecurfewgame.com/play-now.htm], well it totally deserves the accolade. Sure, it's a flash game you can play in any browser, but after only a few moments the narrative transports you into a Britain ruled by a right-wing fascist government a la 1984 or V for Vendetta. The Curfew might be a dark horse because it's "only a browser game" but I would totally be on board if Gillen's game wins. If you haven't played it, then clearly you are a member of Shephard's party and you must be eliminated.

The winner will be announced on November 16th at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill.

Source: Writers' Guild [http://www.writersguild.org.uk/news-a-features/general/203-guild-awards-2011-shortlists-announced]

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Lt. Vinciti

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Why Brink? I wouldnt file it under "Story" more of... Police v Resistance ala Red v Blue ala TF2


Enslaved? I heard hit and miss about it...mostly gameplay

Curfew? Never heard of it. Perhaps a PC game? or Europe only?
 

Frostbite3789

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Kevlar Eater said:
Whoever nominated Brink had to be as high as a kite.
You know how much awesome writing it takes to get those sounds guys make when they get shot just right.

You know, things like "Unnnngh!" and "Arrgh!" Just...quality writing.
 

weker

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While brink's story was light to say the least it was fairly interesting, furthermore there are loads of audio diaries in the game. Don't assume these things, investigate them.
Ensalved had a fairly good story, and very good writing, which was really well executed.
The Curfew I haven't played but its an online flash game from what I know for 4OD I think.
 

wooty

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How can Enslaved's story be up for a modern writing award? Isnt it based on a hundreds of years old Chinese epic?
 

Sonicron

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Mar 11, 2009
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wooty said:
How can Enslaved's story be up for a modern writing award? Isnt it based on a hundreds of years old Chinese epic?
Would you believe me if I told you that good adaptations manage to stand on their own merits?

Seriously, this "Simpsons did it!" mentality is just ludicrous. Just because something was adapted from an earlier work doesn't mean it has to be a) worse than the original or b) unoriginal. For Christ's sake, there are dozens of books on the issue.

-EDIT-
Forgot to post on topic: I haven't tried The Curfew, but I'll give it a look. I can certainly see Enslaved winning that award; the writing (and delivery by the actors, of course) was fantastic.
 

T-Bone24

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wooty said:
How can Enslaved's story be up for a modern writing award? Isnt it based on a hundreds of years old Chinese epic?
It's also set in post-apocalyptic New York and the main characters are a burly wild man and a young tech expert. I very much doubt that the ancient Chinese epic had anything like that.
 

wooty

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Aug 1, 2009
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Sonicron said:
wooty said:
How can Enslaved's story be up for a modern writing award? Isnt it based on a hundreds of years old Chinese epic?
Would you believe me if I told you that good adaptations manage to stand on their own merits?

Seriously, this "Simpsons did it!" mentality is just ludicrous. Just because something was adapted from an earlier work doesn't mean it has to be a) worse than the original or b) unoriginal. For Christ's sake, there are dozens of books on the issue.
WOAH! I merely asked a question here, didnt rant and rave about it.

Also, allow me to throw another out there, whats all this "simpsons did it" quote? Was it in an episode or something
 

Sonicron

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Mar 11, 2009
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wooty said:
Sonicron said:
wooty said:
How can Enslaved's story be up for a modern writing award? Isnt it based on a hundreds of years old Chinese epic?
Would you believe me if I told you that good adaptations manage to stand on their own merits?

Seriously, this "Simpsons did it!" mentality is just ludicrous. Just because something was adapted from an earlier work doesn't mean it has to be a) worse than the original or b) unoriginal. For Christ's sake, there are dozens of books on the issue.
WOAH! I merely asked a question here, didnt rant and rave about it.

Also, allow me to throw another out there, whats all this "simpsons did it" quote? Was it in an episode or something
I reread my post, and it certainly came out more hostile than I intended. I apologize. I suppose I get a bit thin-skinned on the subject of people denigrating the value of adaptations (I wrote my BA thesis on that topic just a few months back), and I misinterpreted your innocent question.

Also, "Simpsons did it!" is indeed from an episode of South Park; its main theme was basically that doing, saying, writing etc. something original nowadays, no matter how far out there it appears, is impossible because The Simpsons (in its ridiculously long run of 20+ seasons) has covered it already at some point (which, iirc, drives Butters insane at the end of the episode).
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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Enslaved - Adequate at best. It reads like something Garland did a really, REALLY off day. If ya want a better adaptation of Journey to the West, go heck out Monkey by Damon Albarn.

Brink - ...Okay, now they're not even TRYING.
 

wooty

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Not seen that one, not a regular South Park viewer you see.

But theres no need to apologize for that, its your view on the subject clashing with mine, thats all. Its just my opinion that awards should be given out for fresh ideas and not neccesarily for a "re-hash".

This just comes off the back of a debate I had with a friend this morning that in the movie and gaming world, re-imagining an idea or producing another adaptation is a sign of lack of creativity or laziness, yet not in literature or art. Lets just say that the discusion got a little bit heated and this is the after effect.
 

dfphetteplace

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Sonicron said:
wooty said:
Sonicron said:
wooty said:
How can Enslaved's story be up for a modern writing award? Isnt it based on a hundreds of years old Chinese epic?
Would you believe me if I told you that good adaptations manage to stand on their own merits?

Seriously, this "Simpsons did it!" mentality is just ludicrous. Just because something was adapted from an earlier work doesn't mean it has to be a) worse than the original or b) unoriginal. For Christ's sake, there are dozens of books on the issue.
WOAH! I merely asked a question here, didnt rant and rave about it.

Also, allow me to throw another out there, whats all this "simpsons did it" quote? Was it in an episode or something
I reread my post, and it certainly came out more hostile than I intended. I apologize. I suppose I get a bit thin-skinned on the subject of people denigrating the value of adaptations (I wrote my BA thesis on that topic just a few months back), and I misinterpreted your innocent question.

Also, "Simpsons did it!" is indeed from an episode of South Park; its main theme was basically that doing, saying, writing etc. something original nowadays, no matter how far out there it appears, is impossible because The Simpsons (in its ridiculously long run of 20+ seasons) has covered it already at some point (which, iirc, drives Butters insane at the end of the episode).
Completely off topic.

I enjoy a site where people don't just start ridiculous arguments and refuse to back down and never apologize when something was off. I wish more people online behaved as such and acted like they were interacting with real people, instead of becoming trolls.
 

Section Crow

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Aug 26, 2009
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brink has a story if anyone bothered to read the journals you unlock and listen to why you are fighting in the first place.

but i guess people are entitled to their opinions
 

Thespian

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People are seriously underestimating Brink. It's writing was unfortunately hurt by the fact that they had to cram it into a multiplayer formula.
First of all, the general idea behind Brink was very solid and original. They even had a timeline set up following the events leading up to the game which you could tell had a lot of work put into it.
Even more importantly, the story is evident better than anywhere else in the environment, which is exactly how a game's story should work. It was a concise narrative about social caste, reform, and a new post-apocalyptic society being formed, built on the dreams of a perfect, efficient new world.
The whole thing is dripping in symbolism, and literally nothing like it, setting-wise, had been done before.

The downside is that it got bastardized by the multiplayer FPS formula, and no one wants to have to wade through a chapter of heavy narrative each time they play a game of team death match or whatever, so the story was shoved into collectible tape recordings that were hidden away and remote, tiny cutscenes punctuating the levels.

Still, Brink does have a good story, and to be honest, yes, at first glance it appears like it has absolutely none - But that just fills me with respect for the process, that they recognize story not just when it's laiden in plain sight, but incorporated into gameplay. Something not even a lot of gamers noticed. If you don't like Brink's story, fine - But claiming it's nonexistent just means you haven't really looked.
 

Woodsey

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wooty said:
How can Enslaved's story be up for a modern writing award? Isnt it based on a hundreds of years old Chinese epic?
Just because you lift plot elements or the general template doesn't mean you don't write anything; specifically, dialogue.

OT: Didn't play Curfew, Enslaved was doing well for me until the last third (hey, let's take this character-piece and completely shift the focus and have a stupid ambiguous ending because everyone else is trying those), and Brink... really?

I guess it depends on how they're considering it - the actual writing itself was nothing special.