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What are your thoughts on Dan Houser's writing?


Journey_95

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As far as I know he has been the lead writer on every main GTA game so far and will write the next GTA's story as well.

 

What are your thoughts on the dude's writing? Is it good? What could be better?

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Dan Houser's writing is very good overall, except GTA V and TBoGT, which is very bad writing storyline. If GTA 6 is in development, He could writing the storyline better than sh*tty GTA V storyline.

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Dan Houser's writing is very good overall, except GTA V and TBoGT, which is very bad writing storyline. If GTA 6 is in development, He could writing the storyline better than sh*tty GTA V storyline.

I think V still had some good stuff in it, certainly better than TBOGT. And his writing was always inconsistent.see SA

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He's a talented writer. GTA IV has some of the best dialogue featured in any video game ever. He created so many memorable characters and such a rich lore and was able to seamlessly blend the main storyline with the two DLC expansion packs.

 

He dropped the ball when it came to V though, it was just too ridiculous and scatterbrained. I feel like V was written by multiple people. IV at least felt like someone's vision.

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He's a talented writer. GTA IV has some of the best dialogue featured in any video game ever. He created so many memorable characters and such a rich lore and was able to seamlessly blend the main storyline with the two DLC expansion packs.

 

He dropped the ball when it came to V though, it was just too ridiculous and scatterbrained. I feel like V was written by multiple people. IV at least felt like someone's vision.

IV and RDR are his masterpieces no doubt

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He's a talented writer. GTA IV has some of the best dialogue featured in any video game ever. He created so many memorable characters and such a rich lore and was able to seamlessly blend the main storyline with the two DLC expansion packs.

 

He dropped the ball when it came to V though, it was just too ridiculous and scatterbrained. I feel like V was written by multiple people. IV at least felt like someone's vision.

IV and V were both written by multiple people (same writing team).
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It's consistent overall. Most of his games have a predictable structure: protagonist gets betrayed/wronged by antagonist at the first stages of the game and then searches for vengeance.

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I'd say still better than most writers in video games these days.

Definitely. Even V with its flaws still has good dialogue and tells a solid story. Most writers in video games straight up don't even try in that regard and deliver generic half assed stories and characters, see most Ubisoft games as a good example.

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Dan Houser's writing is very good overall, except GTA V and TBoGT, which is very bad writing storyline. If GTA 6 is in development, He could writing the storyline better than sh*tty GTA V storyline.

Overall Housers work on GTA series is below average a Fifth Grader would have done

a better job hermano. He has been wasting his time on TBoGT plot ,GTAV as well as GTAIV

staring at the HD Universe saying it don't need a story let them burn their cash on me

when his entire contribution of a story is a montón de mierda !

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Dan Houser's writing is very good overall, except GTA V and TBoGT, which is very bad writing storyline. If GTA 6 is in development, He could writing the storyline better than sh*tty GTA V storyline.

Overall Housers work on GTA series is below average a Fifth Grader would have done

a better job hermano. He has been wasting his time on TBoGT plot ,GTAV as well as GTAIV

staring at the HD Universe saying it don't need a story let them burn their cash on me

when his entire contribution of a story is a montón de mierda !

 

 

What....?

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  • 8 months later...

RDR2 proves again that the dude (alongside with the other writers) can definitely deliver if they want to. Best writing yet overall, hope they put more effort into GTA VI's story and characters than they did for GTA V

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His writing shines in the more "serious" games. It just games like San Andreas, TBOGT and GTA V where it's not so good.

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I love to bash GTA V for its simply s*** writing, but the game overall had an obvious corporate influence (the ongoing state of Online proves this), that had to have had an effect on the creative side of the game. Who is writing the trash dialogue in Online anyway? 

 

Lamar’s VA screwing up would’ve messed up what might’ve fleshed out Franklin a bit more, and Benzies getting the sack, or taking a “sabatical” as they like to say, haha, both show V had a dodgy development. RDR2 didn’t take eight years to develop, it took eight years for Rockstar to get their s*** together after V and make a proper, finished game. 

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8 hours ago, Miamivicecity said:

His writing shines in the more "serious" games. It just games like San Andreas, TBOGT and GTA V where it's not so good.

 

I thought SA’s writing was quite good tbh. CJ for example is leagues ahead of Franklin aka “CJ 2.0” aka “obligatory black guy” aka “we need a gangster to win back the whiny SA fanboys”, in terms of depth. 

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On 11/29/2018 at 12:45 PM, Cheatz/Trickz said:

 

I thought SA’s writing was quite good tbh. CJ for example is leagues ahead of Franklin aka “CJ 2.0” aka “obligatory black guy” aka “we need a gangster to win back the whiny SA fanboys”, in terms of depth. 

True but Franklin never gets nearly as much focus as CJ so it's not a fair comparison. I think Michael is far more compelling than CJ ever was, the latter was inconsistent and all over the place after the LS arc. Hell the story in general turns into a trainwreck. Overall I don't think SA's writing was better than V and both are easily beaten by GTA IV and the RDR series

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On 11/29/2018 at 6:02 AM, mde2 said:

Story?

 

Lamar's voice actor alleges that he was supposed to do more Lamar missions for Franklin if he didn't get arrested during the development of V or something to that effect 

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6 hours ago, Journey_95 said:

True but Franklin never gets nearly as much focus as CJ so it's not a fair comparison. I think Michael is far more compelling than CJ ever was, the latter was inconsistent and all over the place after the LS arc. Hell the story in general turns into a trainwreck. Overall I don't think SA's writing was better than V and both are easily beaten by GTA IV and the RDR series

Yep, true, but I was leaning more on the basic premise of their existence, i.e CJ is a former hoodlum returning home after a tragedy to find his friends in pieces and seeks to redeem himself out of guilt. Franklin’s premise boils down to “I want moar money”. Sure, he’s got his crazy friend holding him back, but there’s no guilt or respect driving him, he has next to no emotional ties to anything he does. His motivations make sense and they suit the game but not as a main role, they don’t allow him much scope or give him any redeemable qualities. 

 

The story of SA loses steam after LS, true, but characters like Woozie and Ceasar and their friendships with CJ were written in a way that seemed genuine. It’s one of the highlights of the game. V doesn’t have anything like this, Michael’s family is too “obligatory” to affect me, if you know what I mean. 

 

When I think of the writing I think more about how all the parts fit together and even though V has some amazing dialogue especially where Michael is concerned, it doesn’t all fit together as well as SA’s does. That’s why V’s story is an over the top, melodramatic unstructured mess, while SA’s is over the top and melodramatic. 

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I can't speak for Dan Houser's individual efforts as a writer but I do find Rockstar's reliance on the "tortured protagonist" to be growing stale since the jump from the 3D era to HD.  it worked for LA Noire because the genre demands it, Max Payne 3 being dark was a foregone conclusion and GTA IV was great because it felt different, but I fear Rockstar are going to write themselves into a corner and only create edge lord characters; Michael came across like he ripped his backstory straight from B-movies, Franklin watched too much of The Wire and Trevor was a straight up B-movie character.

 

 

one of the more interesting GTA storylines, to me, was Vice City Stories.  Vic was the closest thing we've had to an everyman protagonist; no deep and traumatic past, just a guy who through a series of sh*tty circumstances has found himself having to resort to crime to aid his idiot brother.  I like to think that Rockstar's writing team could create something to that standard again.

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