Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Watch_Dogs writer's meeting: Feb 14th, 2011



The following is a transcript of a meeting that obviously never happened:

Present at meeting:
A Ubisoft writer [UA]
Another Ubisoft writer [UB]
Ed Smith, albeit in his imagination [ES]

UA: Okay. Glad you could both make it. Hey, Ed, you're looking impeccably handsome today.

UB: As always.

ES: [Sound of cigarette being extinguished] Thanks, guys.

UA: So, let's get down to it. What's Aiden's motivation?

UB: Well, we were thinking that in the first act his niece gets killed, like it's meant to be a revenge hit for something Aiden has done, but she gets killed. Totally fucking killed in the head.

UA: Nice, yeah.

ES: Well, no. I mean, come on that's bullshit.

UB: It is?

ES: Yeah. I mean, if it's in the first act - by which I'm assuming you mean the opening five minutes of the game?

UB: Duh!

[Sound of UA and UB high-fiving]

ES: Well yeah, that's bullshit. You haven't set her up as a character, so no-one will give a fuck if she's killed and you're using her as just like a vector for Aiden's emotional arc. She isn't a character - she's just this functional property that you're deploying, without much thought, to propel your main character. You can't just kill someone off and expect people to give a shit if they don't know her. It's kind of backwards to use the death of someone - especially someone female - as the inciting event.

UA: Ok...well we'll park that-

ES: No, don't park it. Fucking bin it. Fucking bin it, in the bin. Then put the bin in another bin and throw them both into a landfill...on fucking Neptune. It's a shit and awful idea.

UA: Okay, okay. So if the niece is dead-

ES: Fuck me!

UA: then who is Aiden fighting for during the rest of the game? What's at stake?

[5 minute silence as subjects think. Silence interrupted by sound of opening door and anonymous female voice, hereby referred to as AFV]

AFV: Hi. I was just wondering what time you were gonna be finished with this meeting room?

UB: Hey! You're a woman! What do you think of this ide-

[Sound of door slamming. AFV is presumed to have left the room]

UB: Dang it.

[Further silence]

UA: Ok, ok. I got it. So, the niece right?

UB: Yeah.

UA: She was a kid right?

UB: Yeah.

UA: And kids have mothers.

UB: Oh fuck, yeah. Kids have mothers.

UA: Yeah they do. So what if, right, the mother, right is-

UB: Killed also?

UA: Kidnapped by...wait for it...SOME PEOPLE.

UB: Oh my god, yeah, because like...they are pissed off at Aiden for something. Maybe...well, you know how he used to be a criminal? Maybe they want him to be a criminal again and like, kidnap the niece mother, whatever she is, to make him do crime again.

UA: HOLY SHIT. That's super hype.

[Sound of vomiting]

UA: Ed, you ok?

[Sound of vomiting]

UA: Ed?

[Sound of vomiting]

ES: Guys, look, that's a really-

[Sound of vomiting]

ES: That's a really bad idea.

UB: Why?

ES: Because, again, you're just using a woman as a means to characterise and motivate your male character.

[Silence]

ES: Ok, look. Have you read Wetlands?

UB: What platform was it on?

ES: No, it's a book.

UA: Book?

ES; Yeah, you know, a book. One of those things...you know like the strategy guide for Assassin's Creed 2?

UB: Yeah?

ES: Yeah it's a bit like that. Anyway, in this book, there's a character and she's female, okay?

UA: Okay...

ES: And the book is all about her struggle, okay, specifically her struggle to have her feminist outlooks and behaviours accepted by society.

UB: Sorry, what platform was this again?

ES: It's a book. It's not a game or a film - it's a book. You read it.

UA: Oh like Twitter?

ES:...yeah, a bit like Twitter.

[Sound of UA and UB high-fiving]

ES: So, anyway, the point is the woman in Wetlands is a proper female character. She has discernible characteristics, her own struggles and motivations, her own history and drives and sexual-

[Sound of giggling]

ES: desires. Her thoughts and actions aren't dictated by the men in the book. She isn't there simply to enable the author to tell a more exciting story about men. Okay? So that's kind of what we should be going for right?

UA: It is?

ES: Yeah.

UA: Why?

ES: Well, because, it'd make a better story. And you know this is one of the largest entertainment companies in the world-

[Sound of UA and UB high-fiving]

ES: and we have kind of a responsibility to firstly drive people's opinions on social issues and secondly to fairly and properly portray women, who, not that this should matter but whatever. comprise more than half of our consumer base.

[Silence for 10 seconds]

UB: Women like children

UA: Yeah and strong manly men

UB: Yeah. So she's kidnapped because of her niece and she has this other kid but she can't do anything about it until Aiden comes and rescues her, yeah?

ES: Guys...

UA: Yeah and let's have it that she eventually kills a guy but she's all like fucked up about it and Aiden can have this totally fucking shit monologue about like "oh my god I failed because she killed someone and that means she isn't pure and virginal and perfect like women should be"

ES: Guys...

UB: Yeah. I mean Ed's right that we have all this money and power and reach and therefore the onus is on us to write credible, pioneering and responsible fiction but I think we should just make this game totally shit. Like not just the writing on its own. Let's make the writing so totally shit that it ends up infecting everything else about the game. You know we can get our systems and gameplay and visual designers to spend years building this amazing, functioning world with good car chases and gun fights and stuff and then just like fucking ruin it with this bullshit script that'll read like someone just shat it out over a weekend or during a long flight while they were fucked up on ludes or some shit.

UA: It'll be like an office prank!

UB: Yeah but on everyone, in the world, who buys the game.

[Sound of UA and UB high-fiving]

ES: This is a joke, yeah?

UA: Hey Ed, listen. You're still immaculately handsome and everyone wants to be like you, but you're fired okay?

UB: Oooh! You went there!

UA: I went there. I smacked him in the dick with my big fired fist.

UB: Too bad!

[Sound of ES standing up. UA and UB beginning to snort and giggle. Sound of hands slapping against hands as UA and UB begin to play slaps. Sound of door opening. ES is presumed to have left the conversation.]

UA: No you're meant to slap *my* hands, not yours.

UB: What?

UA (shouting): Hey! Big tits! Can we get a couple of fucking Americanos in here, like pronto?

[UB snorts]

UB: She totally has big tits.

UA: Totally.

Transcription, and eventually the world, ends. 

1 comment:

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