Game Screenwriting is Still Going Strong With Bungie and Last of Us

Here on TGD we’ve written extensively about game screenwriting, and several major Hollywood scribes have been writing video games including David Goyer (Call of Duty Black Ops, The Dark Knight Rises), John Milius (Apocalypse Now), and more.


As Creative Screenwriting reports, there’s a new game coming from Bungie called Destiny, which will be out in the world in 2014. This is what’s called a “sandbox” game, which means the first person shooter can go anywhere they want to in the game. 

As writer Joseph Staten told CS, “Bungie has always made big cinematic story-driven games, and a big part of Destiny is that cinematic linear experience. There’s a story with a beginning, middle and end…We wanted to make sure that it’s a game that appeals to a lot of different gamers; We want to make Destiny a hopeful world, not a dreary, dark place.” 

As we’ve seen with the last Halo game, there has been more care going into the writing and character development of games than ever. CS also ran a story on the popular survival game The Last of Us, where creative director Neil Druckmann said the key to writing the game was, How do you make it personal?

“A lot of this story is very personal and, ultimately, it’s trying to say something I felt was very honest. You have to make sure that your writing has to be honest. Otherwise you’re trying to please some other person, and then you start losing what makes the writing good.” 

As far as tackling a post-apocalyptic game, Druckmann said, “The good thing about a story that’s been tread is that you can get rid of the exposition pretty quickly, because people have seen this before. You can get into the meat of what I find interesting, which is the characters…This genre has usually been very plot driven instead of character driven. It’s usually about how did this outbreak happen. The Last of Us is about a family unit, how far [somebody’s] willing to go to save his daughter, and what are the sacrifices he’s willing to make.”