Rhianna Pratchett Is Tomb Raider's Lead Writer

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Posted by patrickklepek (4604 posts) -
Pratchett's involvement with Tomb Raider has been kept a secret for the past two years.

Timed for Comic-Con, Eidos Interactive and Crystal Dynamics have announced Rhianna Pratchett has been working with the developer for the past two years as the lead writer on Tomb Raider.

“Seldom do we get the opportunity to reimagine and reinvent a legend, so getting my narrative hands on Miss Croft was a once-in-a-life-time opportunity,” said Pratchett in the announcement release.

Pratchett’s known for her work on Mirror’s Edge, the Overlord series, and Heavenly Sword, among others.

It’s not surprising that we’re seeing Tomb Raider news as Comic-Con begins, but given this game’s involvement in recent controversies regarding the representation of women in games, it’s perplexing the companies involved did not move up the disclosure of Pratchett’s involvement. Knowing a woman was chiefly involved in setting the tone and establishing the context of this new game, one that finds Lara Croft put in harrowing, formative situations, would have framed the conversation differently.

I would have been interested in hearing her thoughts, anyway.

“I grew up playing Tomb Raider, uncovering the world’s secrets and unearthing its treasures; I have lived and died as Lara Croft, but nothing comes close to the challenge of re-writing her,” said Pratchett.

We’ll learn more about Pratchett’s perspective in the coming days, as she’ll be participating in two different panels at Comic-Con, the details of which are on the official Tomb Raider Blog.

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (4604 posts) -
Pratchett's involvement with Tomb Raider has been kept a secret for the past two years.

Timed for Comic-Con, Eidos Interactive and Crystal Dynamics have announced Rhianna Pratchett has been working with the developer for the past two years as the lead writer on Tomb Raider.

“Seldom do we get the opportunity to reimagine and reinvent a legend, so getting my narrative hands on Miss Croft was a once-in-a-life-time opportunity,” said Pratchett in the announcement release.

Pratchett’s known for her work on Mirror’s Edge, the Overlord series, and Heavenly Sword, among others.

It’s not surprising that we’re seeing Tomb Raider news as Comic-Con begins, but given this game’s involvement in recent controversies regarding the representation of women in games, it’s perplexing the companies involved did not move up the disclosure of Pratchett’s involvement. Knowing a woman was chiefly involved in setting the tone and establishing the context of this new game, one that finds Lara Croft put in harrowing, formative situations, would have framed the conversation differently.

I would have been interested in hearing her thoughts, anyway.

“I grew up playing Tomb Raider, uncovering the world’s secrets and unearthing its treasures; I have lived and died as Lara Croft, but nothing comes close to the challenge of re-writing her,” said Pratchett.

We’ll learn more about Pratchett’s perspective in the coming days, as she’ll be participating in two different panels at Comic-Con, the details of which are on the official Tomb Raider Blog.

Staff
#2 Posted by koolaid39 (248 posts) -

Cool!

#3 Posted by Elwoodan (830 posts) -

Good choice, I loved the characters in mirrors edge

#4 Posted by Vodun (2370 posts) -

Only good things can come of this!

#5 Posted by Tidel (360 posts) -

She is the lesser Pratchett.

But a lesser Pratchett is still a worthy amount of Pratchett.

#6 Posted by Hameyadea (348 posts) -

Wicked!

#7 Posted by Morningstar (2161 posts) -

Daughter of a living legend.

#8 Edited by Animasta (14691 posts) -

Mirror's edge huh?

Well you don't get a free pass just because you wrote a good female protagonist once, obviously, but I'm still mildly interested in what the game actually is (as I have always been)

edit; I just realized that they should have announced it when the whole shitshow was going down

#9 Posted by Kyle (2323 posts) -

Could've mentioned this way earlier, Eidos. Maybe would have saved you some sexism grief. MAYBE.

#10 Posted by Divina_Rex (351 posts) -

I love Overlord! However, the second's narrative wasn't as strong as the first's.

#11 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Oh man at first I thought it was Sherilyn Fenn from the eyes in the image on the GB homepage.

#12 Posted by Vodun (2370 posts) -

@Animasta said:

Mirror's edge huh?

Well you don't get a free pass just because you wrote a good female protagonist once, obviously, but I'm still mildly interested in what the game actually is (as I have always been)

edit; I just realized that they should have announced it when the whole shitshow was going down

She gets a free pass because she's the friggen daughter of Terry friggen Pratchett!

#13 Posted by zoozilla (978 posts) -

I read an interview with her a while back, seemed like she really cared about stories in games. Too bad so many developers don't really care. Hopefully she'll be able to actually do what she's good at with this one.

#14 Posted by Packie (255 posts) -

She did create an interesting world in Mirror's Edge but the story itself was nothing to write home about... I don't really care since it's also one of my favorite damn games ever made! Looking forward to her work on Tomb Raider.

#15 Posted by Gordo789 (358 posts) -

Mirror's Edge and Heavenly sword are both games I thought had great characters but absolutely atrocious stories. I hope the story and characters can meet half way in TR.

#16 Posted by adam1808 (1496 posts) -

@Tidel: There is only one Pratchett. And Tell-Tale need to get him for a Discworld adventure game before he loses his marbles.

#17 Posted by Owlright (117 posts) -

Based on what she's worked on previously, she's a good world builder and a good character creator, but her plots aren't that great. It'll be interesting to see how that translates when she's writing for something where the world and the character already exists.

#18 Posted by geirr (2573 posts) -

First time I'm actually looking forward to a game in this series.

#19 Posted by StriderNo9 (1092 posts) -

That's great for the franchise. :)

#20 Posted by CornBREDX (5285 posts) -

Hahahaha 
 
That's fucking hilarious. 
 
If I was with Eidos I wouldn't have said anything either. Makes a lot of people look like idiots looking for something to crusade (which is all I saw in the whole controversy thing), and this is just perfect. 
 
Thumbs up to Eidos. That's great.

#21 Posted by Hailinel (24794 posts) -

Where is your sexism now, internet crusaders?

#22 Posted by crithon (3238 posts) -

sigh, the ever increasing list of writers who want to get attention in video games. When in reality most of these games are driven by big set pieces and if the writer isn't creative director they just ad a few extra lines during recording and then slap on a fancy title. Real writing in real games get added in last minute.

#23 Posted by Animasta (14691 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

Where is your sexism now, internet crusaders?

this doesn't make those comments by that exec producer any less terrible asshole

#24 Posted by believer258 (11907 posts) -

@Vodun said:

@Animasta said:

Mirror's edge huh?

Well you don't get a free pass just because you wrote a good female protagonist once, obviously, but I'm still mildly interested in what the game actually is (as I have always been)

edit; I just realized that they should have announced it when the whole shitshow was going down

She gets a free pass because she's the friggen daughter of Terry friggen Pratchett!

Really? I didn't know this Pratchett was related to the Pratchett.

Still, she could be the daughter of Tolkien and it wouldn't earn her a free pass from me.

#25 Posted by Baal_Sagoth (1260 posts) -

Excellent, I really fucking love Overlord and the writing definitely was one of the strong points of that game to me. All things considered that reboot keeps looking pretty great. I hope it is as good as the last three TR games and maybe even more than that.

#26 Posted by billyhoush (1192 posts) -

What a misogynistic bitch!

#27 Posted by s10129107 (1183 posts) -

changes nothing

#28 Edited by jackDanger (7 posts) -

Oh I get it, the rape stuff is ok now, there's a woman working on it! Also I'm not racist, I have black friends.

#29 Posted by Vortextk (419 posts) -

"Knowing a woman was chiefly involved in setting the tone and establishing the context of this new game, one that finds Lara Croft put in harrowing, formative situations, would have framed the conversation differently."
 
Would it? Should it? And why? If it's wrong it's wrong, whether it came from Hitler or Ghandi. Vice versa in that context. Is it the company's fault for not producing her earlier, or every other person's fault for going fucking crazy over some perceived sexism or whatever they had problems with? Is it suddenly not sexist just because a woman is behind it? Meh in any case all around, still interested in the game, still don't care about the meta commentary on it.

#30 Posted by stinky (1548 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@Vodun said:

@Animasta said:

Mirror's edge huh?

Well you don't get a free pass just because you wrote a good female protagonist once, obviously, but I'm still mildly interested in what the game actually is (as I have always been)

edit; I just realized that they should have announced it when the whole shitshow was going down

She gets a free pass because she's the friggen daughter of Terry friggen Pratchett!

Really? I didn't know this Pratchett was related to the Pratchett.

Still, she could be the daughter of Tolkien and it wouldn't earn her a free pass from me.

we all know how well Tolkien's son books were received.

#31 Posted by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

#32 Posted by DeF (4887 posts) -

@s10129107 said:

changes nothing

what's it supposed to "change"?

they're slowing revealing people behind the project. first was the voice actress, now it's the writer who happens to have some game stories under her belt that critics and fans liked a lot (among them myself). no reason to turn this into another negative thing for no good reason.

she wrote the story in cool games with interesting stories, she wrote the story for this game. that's all there is to this.

#33 Posted by Frootsnax (73 posts) -

It would be really interesting to hear her opinion on the game, and it's controversial sequences.

#34 Posted by wewantsthering (1567 posts) -

@fluxbit said:

Maybe they didn't trot her out because they, and she, are better than that.

If they were beyond that, why did they wait until a big event trot her out? Because they're not better than that. Haha. It shouldn't be a bullet-point that a woman was a lead in something. It should be normal by now.

#35 Posted by Toug (315 posts) -

@jackDanger said:

Oh I get it, the rape stuff is ok now, there's a woman working on it! Also I'm not racist, I have black friends.

^^ This. Yeah.

#36 Posted by Bravestar (381 posts) -

@jackDanger said:

Oh I get it, the rape stuff is ok now, there's a woman working on it! Also I'm not racist, I have black friends.

we need a like button

#37 Posted by OneManX (1693 posts) -

@Vortextk said:

"Knowing a woman was chiefly involved in setting the tone and establishing the context of this new game, one that finds Lara Croft put in harrowing, formative situations, would have framed the conversation differently." Would it? Should it? And why? If it's wrong it's wrong, whether it came from Hitler or Ghandi. Vice versa in that context. Is it the company's fault for not producing her earlier, or every other person's fault for going fucking crazy over some perceived sexism or whatever they had problems with? Is it suddenly not sexist just because a woman is behind it? Meh in any case all around, still interested in the game, still don't care about the meta commentary on it.

I think a lot of people jumped on it, b/c it was men talking about a female character and what she had to go through. It makes more sense for a woman to right a good coming of age type story starring a female, than a male. Iguess is what the quote was going for. I dunno, I found all the "outrage" about the whole demo dumb to begin with.

#38 Posted by leejunfan83 (966 posts) -

@Toug said:

@jackDanger said:

Oh I get it, the rape stuff is ok now, there's a woman working on it! Also I'm not racist, I have black friends.

^^ This. Yeah.

#39 Posted by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

Hahaha, the white knights got played hard. Now will you stop overreacting?

Although the "you want to protect her" comment still remains a little odd.

#40 Posted by dr_mantas (1883 posts) -

Good.

I was already eager for the Tomb Raider reboot, and this just adds to my interest.

#41 Posted by KawaiiInbou (38 posts) -

@Hailinel: It's still right there. Duh.

#42 Posted by blacklab (1553 posts) -

@jackDanger said:

Oh I get it, the rape stuff is ok now, there's a woman working on it! Also I'm not racist, I have black friends.

You're not off the hook until you pick up some Hispanics, Asians, Continental Indians, Native Americans, Aleutians, and Australian Aboriginals. Some LBGT folk would help as well.

#43 Posted by KawaiiInbou (38 posts) -

@leejunfan83 said:

@Toug said:

@jackDanger said:

Oh I get it, the rape stuff is ok now, there's a woman working on it! Also I'm not racist, I have black friends.

^^ This. Yeah.

#44 Posted by HubrisRanger (489 posts) -

@wewantsthering said:

@fluxbit said:

Maybe they didn't trot her out because they, and she, are better than that.

If they were beyond that, why did they wait until a big event trot her out? Because they're not better than that. Haha. It shouldn't be a bullet-point that a woman was a lead in something. It should be normal by now.

"Should" and reality are rarely in alignment in this regard. Yes, this "reveal" was fueled by PR concerns, but we should applaud more women being in high level creative positions in video games, especially for games in franchises with a long history of...questionable gender politics.

This is the part that a lot of people seem to gloss over: the gender of the author does matter because it fundamentally changes the perspective of the narrative. Look up the concept of masculine/feminine gaze and you have a whole load of things to consider.

Of course it matters how seriously Ms. Pratchett is involved in the shaping of the games narrative of course, and the infamous comments from Rosenberg shouldn't be excused just because they have a woman as one of their creative leads. There are still a lot of questions about why playing Lara is a protective experience for the (mostly) male audience as opposed to becoming her. The question of if suggested sexual assault is appropriate or not remains to be seen within the context of the game, but those questions exist for all media.

#45 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3301 posts) -
@Vortextk said:
"Knowing a woman was chiefly involved in setting the tone and establishing the context of this new game, one that finds Lara Croft put in harrowing, formative situations, would have framed the conversation differently."  Would it? Should it? And why? If it's wrong it's wrong, whether it came from Hitler or Ghandi. Vice versa in that context. Is it the company's fault for not producing her earlier, or every other person's fault for going fucking crazy over some perceived sexism or whatever they had problems with? Is it suddenly not sexist just because a woman is behind it? Meh in any case all around, still interested in the game, still don't care about the meta commentary on it.
I think Patrick's asking why they waited until now if they're concerned about their interests as a company. Because regardless of whether it was deserved, if Eidos or Crystal Dynamics had announced earlier that she was writing for them, plenty of people would have let them off the hook.
#46 Posted by GunstarRed (5185 posts) -

This is actually pretty cool, I loved the storytelling in Heavenly Sword.

Online
#47 Posted by jaks (244 posts) -

What an amazing coincidence that she's been secretly working on this game for 2 years just a month after the game was universally lambasted for being misogynist jerkoff material? SURPRIZE GAMERZ! It was written by a bitch this whole time!

Let's all create a list of other games with secret head writers and designers:

1.

#48 Posted by Pop (2633 posts) -

lol, them announcing this just feels weird it's like they knew they did something wrong and now they're saying "no no no! we have a girl here she said it's ok".

I personally don't think anything they've shown of this game is wrong or too much, and that scene is so fucking mild compared to shit you see in movies these days, people blew it out of proportion "omg he put his hand on her hip........and he kneed him in the balls! RAPE! RAPE!".

#49 Posted by BBQBram (2236 posts) -

I still don't know what the issue with this game was. Because it depicted attempted rape? Please.

#50 Posted by ManMadeGod (1561 posts) -

@OneManX said:

@Vortextk said:

"Knowing a woman was chiefly involved in setting the tone and establishing the context of this new game, one that finds Lara Croft put in harrowing, formative situations, would have framed the conversation differently." Would it? Should it? And why? If it's wrong it's wrong, whether it came from Hitler or Ghandi. Vice versa in that context. Is it the company's fault for not producing her earlier, or every other person's fault for going fucking crazy over some perceived sexism or whatever they had problems with? Is it suddenly not sexist just because a woman is behind it? Meh in any case all around, still interested in the game, still don't care about the meta commentary on it.

I think a lot of people jumped on it, b/c it was men talking about a female character and what she had to go through. It makes more sense for a woman to right a good coming of age type story starring a female, than a male. Iguess is what the quote was going for. I dunno, I found all the "outrage" about the whole demo dumb to begin with.

Funny that most of the white knights were in fact men. Nerdy gamer men to be more specific. You had gaming dudes criticizing (and acting offended at) other gaming dudes for making a game about a women in with they perceived was sexist. The entire thing was laughable. Thankfully everyone seems to have moved on.

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