Saturday January 13, 2018
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Billie Lurk, voiced by Rosario Dawson, star of ‘Dishonored: Death of the Outsider’. — Picture b Arkane Studios/Bethesda via AFPBillie Lurk, voiced by Rosario Dawson, star of ‘Dishonored: Death of the Outsider’. — Picture b Arkane Studios/Bethesda via AFPLOS ANGELES, Jan 13 — The Writers Guild of America has unveiled its four video game awards nominees ahead of a February 11 ceremony celebrating 2017’s best in film, TV, online and interactive.

Illustrating the breadth and depth of storytelling excellence in video games through 2017 are the four diverse picks put forward by the Writers Guild of America.

Extravagant, stealthy action-adventure Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, city management alien invasion smartphone game Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow, post-apocalyptic robo-dinosaur epic Horizon Zero Dawn and the career-based story mode from sports sim Madden NFL 18 are all in contention for Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing ahead of February’s 2018 awards ceremony.

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is the third in its distinctive and well-regarded franchise, presented as a standalone expansion to Dishonored 2 that arrived a year previous.

In dark-skinned female assassin Billie Lurk it promoted a supporting character to centre stage, and French-based Arkane Studios backed the decision with an all-female writing team: Anna Megill, Hazel Monforton, and Sophie Mallinson worked together with the studio’s narrative designer, Sachka Sandra Duval.

And despite its presence at the other end of the portability scale — Dishonored: DotD was released for a trio of home-gaming platforms (the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC) — animated series tie-in Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow for iOS and Android was likewise commended with a WGA nomination.

It’s the latest in a line of licensed work from San Franciscan studio TinyCo, well-praised for Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff and subsequently Marvel Avengers Academy, with Cas Ruffin and Patric Verrone recommended for the WGA’s consideration.

Third on the list takes us from tiny to big, Dutch setup Guerrilla Games being one of the PlayStation brand’s biggest internal teams.

Having built its reputation on the grim sci-fi wars of the Killzone series, Guerilla launched its PlayStation 4 era with the more optimistic arc of Horizon Zero Dawn.

Narrative Director John Gonzalez led a team of named writers that included Ben McCaw, Ben Schroder, Anne Toole, Dee Warrick and Meg Jayanth. Their storyline had its lead go from tribal outcast to world-saving sci-fi heroine with some surprising bumps and twists along the way.

And an annual sports franchise might be the least expected nominee, but in Madden NFL 18 an homage to the long-odds rigors of NFL tryouts makes the WGA’s list.

Following the success of a similar zero-to-hero fantasy career storyline in Electronic Arts’ football game Fifa 17, subtitled The Journey, a similar concept was introduced in Madden NFL 18 by Florida’s EA Tiburon; Michael Young and Adrian Todd Zuniga wrote Longshot, the story of Devin Wade’s comeback from college football dropout to NFL draft pick. — AFP-Relaxnews

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