Game editors

Posted: January 26, 2009 in Games
Tags: ,

In film and television there is a role largely unrepresented by an analogous one in video games. There are probably many, but I’m going to talk about one specifically, the editor.

When one speaks of a game editor, it conjures up images of some broken, half finished piece of software that some passionate programmer started without realizing the scale of what they were attempting. But I’m talking about a person. A role. A critical one. We need editors.

Our games are so big, with so many inter-related pieces, that we need editors to sift through it and help put the last layer of polish and love on. Details, consistency and impact all need a more objective eye to give perspective to the lengthy process of game making. The point would not be to throw the game out or reinterpret the core, but rather to take the vision and look for the last few opportunities or the pieces best removed. They would be the last user advocate. This would free the director to focus a little more on the vision and production.

This could be looked at as attempting to avoid accountability but without this kind of process, there will always be hedging. A director will second guess themselves trying to see it from the editorial point of view. Maybe the role is involved in the later stages of production, but editors are very much needed. When a director talks in prepro, not every idea is good nor will all be followed through. Yes it is thier responsibility to sort through them. Yet an editor, with a cold steel trap of a mind could make short work of a bad idea. It then becomes the director’s responsibility to bring the best vision and fight for what would bring the most joy and inspiration to the player. The producer is there to make sure it gets done and the editor is to sanity check and help land it just right.

Obviously this is an idealistic notion, but the most important thing we need to do in games, is to maximize the impact of every production as they are never going to get cheeper(until computers rule the world and we are just used for our bio-energy to power giant insectoid machines).

Ryan out.


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