Q: Hi Elise, why did you join Pretty Simple?
Well, I’ve always wanted to write for games, though I trained as a level designer. So when I saw the ad for mission designer, in which there was both narration and design, I thought I should try. Also all the writing is in English, which is my usual writing language.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
I really have the control on everything. I write, I code it straight into the mission design tool, and I can see my work in the game engine right away. I can see there and then if it’s good, what works and what doesn’t, and I can try things freely.
Q: What was your biggest challenge?
Well, the dialogs are very codified and there’s little wiggle room, because it has to be a sequence that works for players who play short sessions, unlike the usual behavior for console games for example.
Q: Three things you could say about Pretty Simple?
- Cool : I know how the games industry tends to work, I know what we have here, and it’s not that common
- Time : time is well managed, we know how long stuff takes, so no rush for months on end, and in the end we have time to think things through, to do things well, and it’s just a much more pleasant way to work
- Autonomy : hierarchy exists of course, but it’s not rigid, and good or bad, we can voice our ideas and have them considered and discussed
Q: What’s something amazing you’ve done at Pretty Simple?
Well it’s hard to say. One thing that shines is how open the communication is. For example, there’s a lot of talk right now about the way women are portrayed in games. When we’re working on new characters in new districts, we are free to create characters with any gender, or any skin color or creed for that matter. This allows representing the diversity of our players, and avoiding old cliches. My friends all work in the industry, and I’m surprised to see how easy it is to have such conversations here, and to see that we actually try to things differently.
Q: What’s something amazing you’ve learned at Pretty Simple?
Storytelling in games is very different from writing for film for example. It’s a much newer way of telling stories, and there isn’t as much knowledge and theory on what makes a good videogame story. So we’re exploring a lot to see what works for the player, and learning as we go.
Q: Best thing about Paris?
Well, I’m not really a big city fan, but there’s this one comic book store that is pretty good, so it’s all right.
Q: Anything else?
We need more chocolate snack bars!