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Thread: Who wrote the scripts of SC/BW?

  1. #1

    Default Who wrote the scripts of SC/BW?

    Chris Metzen is credited as "Senior Designer and Story", but I guess it's not rocket science to realize that there must have been ghost-writers or simply uncredited people. Of course there is a chance that he put out his best possible effort back in the day and stopped caring later, but let's assume it wasn't the case and the great scripts were written by others.

    Does anyone know who they are? I couldn't find any information so far. Thanks so much.


    ~RS

  2. #2

    Default Re: Who wrote the scripts of SC/BW?

    Check IMDB.

    SCII has an experienced former Bioware writer as lead writer for WoL... so, what's your point again?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Who wrote the scripts of SC/BW?

    Louis,

    I still haven't found the names, but thanks for the IMDB suggestion - I hadn't looked at it before reading your post.

    I do hope the former BioWare writer comes through better in the expansions. I have hopes for his skills, but it's ironic indeed that such incomparable script resulted even with him around.

  4. #4
    Gradius's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Who wrote the scripts of SC/BW?

    Metzen said in an interview with us that BW was written by both him and a guy named James Phinney.
    Last edited by Gradius; 11-29-2010 at 03:37 PM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5

    Default Re: Who wrote the scripts of SC/BW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Check IMDB.

    SCII has an experienced former Bioware writer as lead writer for WoL... so, what's your point again?
    What about "He sucks at writing StarCraft"? Or at least "botched this attempt of his at doing so"?

    But honestly, what parts of WoL would you consider well written?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Who wrote the scripts of SC/BW?

    Mar Sara, and most of the Terran cinematics. Protoss were mainly mediocre to acceptable other than In Utter Darkness which had atmosphere and a pretty good Artanis cameo. Too much of the dialogue was filler or one liners which probably has something to do with the fact that there was less than a year between ME2 and WoL (Lead writer worked on ME2) and the apparant rewrites which is evident in that other alternate piercing the shroud mission.

    Don't ask me what the story team were doing in the years before the former Bioware writer joined the team.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Who wrote the scripts of SC/BW?

    The only scenes that stand out for me as being really good are the conversation between Matt and Tychus about Kerrigan, the aftermath cinematic to the breach into New Folsom and (funnily enough) Raynor's farewell to Hanson after the New Haven mission. All small, poignant character moments, which are really quite wonderfully written and acted. Almost everything involving politics, high drama, larger than life characters, prophecies, Protoss, Hybrids and Xel'Naga (in short, the overall framework of the plot and the StarCraft universe), is done VERY clumsily with promising and exciting ideas and scenes botched by terrible dialogue. I agree that "In Utter Darkness" is a terrific mission, but it's undermined by heavy handed "oh, if we only spared Kerrigan" monologues. The only good dramatic dialogue happens during Zeratul's confrontation with Kerrigan, but it's quickly offset by everything in the next three missions (we have waited ten years for the Hybrids and when one appears it inexplicably has a name and repeats stock corny villain threats like a broken tape, the only creepy or shocking thing about it is that the writers apparently thought it to be a good reveal).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Who wrote the scripts of SC/BW?

    The only scenes that stand out for me as being really good are the conversation between Matt and Tychus about Kerrigan, the aftermath cinematic to the breach into New Folsom and (funnily enough) Raynor's farewell to Hanson after the New Haven mission.
    And the one where he puts a bullet in Hansons head. That one scene shows exactly where Jim stands on the issue of infestation, and based on that I'm quite sure that Jim had every intention of killing Kerrigan until Valerian and Zeratul intervened.

    I agree that "In Utter Darkness" is a terrific mission, but it's undermined by heavy handed "oh, if we only spared Kerrigan" monologues.
    It should have been rewritten? What else should they say for such incredibly ironic and tragic death scenes?

    we have waited ten years for the Hybrids and when one appears it inexplicably has a name and repeats stock corny villain threats like a broken tape, the only creepy or shocking thing about it is that the writers apparently thought it to be a good reveal).
    People keep telling me that Arcturus wasn't good in WoL for some reason. I think he needed more lines, but what little he did say wasn't bad so much as it felt incomplete, the propaganda lines on Mar Sara been the main offenders. He did a rather piss poor job at holding his temper in the aftermath of the attack on Korhal too, but anger management has always been his achillies heel, so I don't have a problem with it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Who wrote the scripts of SC/BW?

    Found him! Gradius, his name is spelled Phinney - with the "Ph"...please edit the spelling of his name on the site when you get a chance. Thanks.

    Interesting observations:

    1. Phinney started at Blizzard before it became Blizzard - when it was Chaos Studios - in 1994 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_Studios, and then joined the team who left to create ArenaNet - http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/James_Phinney

    2. He wrote the story and dialogue for the RTS game Sacrifise which had gotten amazing reviews for it - story/humor/character was specifically praised: http://pc.ign.com/articles/164/164060p1.html

    Although we obviously don't know what exactly happened when he dealt with SC along with Metzen (there are many unknown facts and I may be wrong), but judging from the WOL plot, I think it's safe to make the bald assumption that "a guy named Phinney" was the primary writing force behind the SC and BW scripts we've all come to love so much!!

    He must have had some aspiration to join ArenaNet or there was a break between him and Metzen, (that would be better answered in an interview) but if what I'm assuming is accurate, it's a shame he's not working on SC2
    Last edited by RussianSpy27; 12-01-2010 at 11:34 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Who wrote the scripts of SC/BW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    People keep telling me that Arcturus wasn't good in WoL for some reason. I think he needed more lines, but what little he did say wasn't bad so much as it felt incomplete, the propaganda lines on Mar Sara been the main offenders. He did a rather piss poor job at holding his temper in the aftermath of the attack on Korhal too, but anger management has always been his achillies heel, so I don't have a problem with it.
    There was absolutely nothing wrong with the writing for Arcturus. In fact, it was much more interesting than what they did with him in Brood War; it was simply, as you say, not enough.

    The concern with criticising "the writing" is that it's a pretty vague concept that includes a lot of different things. For example, taken by themselves, I loved a LOT of the between-missions interactions between characters, ie. Raynor and Tychus, Raynor and Matt, Raynor and Swann, Raynor and Tosh. Really great stuff, lots of humor, some conflict, some foreshadowing. The Matt/Tychus cinematic is good, good stuff, as are quite a few other talkies (Dangerous Game). The only reason Hearts and Minds isn't amazing is that we're supposed to be satisfied with it as a resolution to a plot-arc that went nowhere. If it had simply served as an intermediary, I really think more people would be inclined to enjoy it, because the conversation between Raynor and Matt is very character-heavy and very interesting, let alone the great Mengsk scene that prompts it.

    The problem here arises when we stop looking at those scenes in a vaccuum and examine them in the context of the campaign at large (which is still governed by this mystical "writing"). While both are super important to making a campaign enjoyable, I think that the former is actually more key because of how subtle it is. I think the general plot structure is easier to master, once Blizzard figures out that it needs mastering. So I think it's not unreasonable to expect HOTS to be much better.

    That's the good news. The bad news is LOTV is about the Protoss, so I don't know if it's reasonable to expect anything other than a bunch of Elf-wannabes in space talking about mystical Prophecies.
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