November 2, 2012

Podcast Features a Conversation with Tomb Raider Writer Rhianna Pratchett

The most recent Crystal Habit Podcast has been out for about a week, but thanks to Hurricane Sandy, Halloween, and a little laziness on my part, I've just recently had a chance to listen. I'm so glad I did.

Rhianna Pratchett
Tomb Raider Lead Writer
Rhianna Pratchett
The podcast, hosted as usual by our Community Manager, Meagan Marie, features a nearly hour-long interview with Tomb Raider's Lead Writer, Rhianna Pratchett, in which she discusses her role in re-imagining one of the most iconic characters in gaming, reveals some interesting details about the new Lara, gives advice to aspiring game writers, and tells what she'd like to bring with her into the afterlife. . . and more, if you can believe it.

Download the audio here: Crystal Habit Podcast #15 (MP3).
Get the written transcript here: Crystal Habit Podcast #15 (text).

Past editions of the Crystal Habit, featuring Meagan and other members of the dev team, can be found on the Official Tomb Raider Blog and iTunes.

Read more about Pratchett on her web site,

UPDATE: Eurogamer has also just published this interview: Rewriting Tomb Raider: Rhianna Pratchett on the rape controversy, giving Lara a new voice and why it's time for games to grow up.


  1. I love your website, it helps me with the Tomb Raider Games!

  2. What were the high lights of the interview? Could you give me like one or two things she may have said about the new game/herself that made you glad you listened to the Podcast?

  3. I thought the whole thing was worth listening to (or reading if you prefer text). As someone who also studied journalism but ended up taking a different path, I was interested to hear about her background and how she came to write for games. I find the stuff in all these podcasts about the process of making games—whether it's writing, art, technology, or whatever—quite fascinating. I don't think it's something I'd necessarily want to do myself, but I like having a window into that world. Rhianna described quite a bit about what it's like to write for games, what she does, how her job interrelates with those of other developers and performers, etc.

    As far as the nitty gritty about Lara and Tomb Raider, I guess the highlights for me were the parts where she refuted some of the careless catchphrases that have been thrown around in the course of promoting the game so far. Particularly the idea of “breaking Lara down” in order to build her up. Rhianna said,

    “I know that some people have felt that we’re...taking a strong character and sort of breaking her down through the events that happen. But that’s really not the case. What we’re doing is taking her back to a time when she didn’t have the answers to everything. She didn’t have the guns and the gadgets to deal with every situation. She was seeing everything with fresh eyes and she didn’t know she was capable of doing these things. So she’s on that mission of self-discovery.” etc.

    There's a lot more there but you can read/listen if you're interested. The upshot is that Lara will most certainly emerge as an action heroine by the end of the game, and, as players, we'll have the opportunity to experience is that journey.

    She also talks about Lara's new backstory a bit, about the notion of Lara as an aristocrat and what that means in the 21st century. As an American, with limited knowledge of these things, and having friends who are understandably concerned the changes in Lara's character, I found this very interesting.

    She also answered a forum member's question about what she'd want to have buried with her to take into the afterlife. ;)

    It's almost an hour long, but if you understand English well enough to listen, rather than read, I'd suggest putting it on while doing something dull like housecleaning or whatever. I like to listen while I drive, and I found it entertaining and informative.

  4. Thank you Stella for telling me your opinion on the podcast. It was a fun interview to listen to. :)It's going to be new and interesting having Rihanna for the writer.