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Colonial Marines writer: All good games are collaborative

2012-04-06 10:00:00·  2 minute read   ·  Jim Sterling@JimSterling
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You might hear, especially among the more pretentious areas of game development, the term "auteur theory" thrown around a lot. It's a film term that suggests a director's personal creative vision should be reflected in his work. There are some game designers, most notably David Cage, who liken themselves to such directors. Some of them take it a bit too far and claim sole credit for everything good in their games.

Mikey Neumann, lead writer for Aliens: Colonial Marines, believes it's somewhat deceptive for game directors to pass themselves off as the solo driving force behind a product, and argues that all the good examples of interactive art owe their success to teamwork.  

"It's a very collaborative process. We all have official titles, but nobody ever follows them," he explained. "We all work on design, we all work on the story, we all work on the levels, and characters. That's the only way to do it. All good games, no matter what, are a collaborative process. There is no magic guy that just makes everything. 

"It's not a movie, man. It's a little disingenuous to me when people allow themselves to be seen as that." 

Of course, I'm sure Mikey would make exceptions for small indie titles, but I totally agree with him when it comes to big-budget titles. Huge teams make the biggest games, not one guy, especially in an industry where the self-styled auteur characters regularly demonstrate that the one thing they need, above all else, is a team of sensible people telling them to rein in their silly ideas.




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