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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart lead writer claims work has been "erased"

Follows GDC talk by Insomniac lead designer.

The lead writer on Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has claimed her work has been "erased" following a GDC talk by Insomniac lead designer Mark Stuart.

As reported yesterday, Stuart discussed the development of Rivet, including gameplay elements and the character's name.

However, lead writer Sam Maggs has responded to IGN's coverage stating "it's pretty upsetting and frankly offensive" that she wasn't included in Stuart's talk, adding "sucks to have my work erased".

Maggs, who has since left the studio, states she was not credited for her work in the game, but was included instead under "Special Thanks".

"This speaks to a broader issue of game devs being entirely erased from the narrative of their own work once they leave a studio," she said. "I'm not even credited as a writer on this game despite dedicating a year and a half of my life to it and creating Rivet's personality from scratch."

In a separate thread, Maggs details how the name Rivet came about. She began with three core concepts:

  • Should ideally also be named after a tool or mechanism
  • Should also be two syllables to evoke the similarity on speaking
  • Ideally should end with a hard sound

This led to her shortlist of names, including Hammer, Socket, and Gadget - the latter of which was already taken by other known characters.

Eventually the team settled on the name Rivet from her shortlist, a name that has since been attributed to Insomniac programmer David Kim.

"I just want to stress, as I did in my other thread, that none of this works without the team," said Maggs on Twitter. "I come up with these guidelines, we shoot around ideas that fit within that box, I assemble a short list, we vote on names - TOGETHER. This is how the best level design happens too!

"That's why being cut out of the conversation hurts so much. It's a team effort, but at the end of the day, as lead writer, naming her was my job and my responsibility - and I was brought on to this project specifically to be a voice for the players who needed a Rivet in their lives."

Maggs has given additional information on the character too, including that Rivet is canonically a lesbian, despite not having a relationship in the game.

Maggs also fought over the character's design, including removing makeup and breasts.

"At one point my CD yelled at me in front of the whole office because I kept saying 'Lombax Tiddies' very loudly in the office whenever anyone would bring up Rivet's design and it Made People Uncomfortable," she said.

She credits 3D character artist Xavier Coelho-Kostolny and senior technical artist Sol Brennan for ensuring Rivet "got jacked as hell".

When a fan questioned if there's canonical truth in Rivet being trans given she has a tail, Maggs responded that she loved the theory but hadn't initially thought of it.

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About the Author
Ed Nightingale avatar

Ed Nightingale

Deputy News Editor

Ed has an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.

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