When Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart released last year on PlayStation 5, the game introduced players to Rivet, a new Lombax character. Creating a new video game hero takes a lot of creative effort, and there are tough decisions that have to be made. During a speech at GDC, Insomniac Games lead designer Mark Stuart discussed Rivet's creation, but it seems Stuart may have left out a number of key details. Today, lead writer Sam Maggs addressed Stuart's comments, noting how she not only came up with the name "Rivet," (when others were pushing for "Ratchette"), but she also helped steer the character's design away from a number of unfortunate tropes.
"LET'S NOT EVEN MENTION the FIGHTS I had to get into and the EMAILS I had to send explaining why we should take the BOOBS and MAKEUP off Rivet," Maggs wrote on Twitter.
When Activision released Spyro Reignited Trilogy in 2018, the company overhauled the design of the kangaroo character Sheila from Spyro: Year of the Dragon. The original design looked like a fairly normal kangaroo, while the redesign added a red wig, eyeliner, and a small waistline. These design elements resulted in a lot of ridicule online, and Maggs says she specifically pointed to one particular Tweet as a perfect example of what should not be done with Rivet.
Unfortunately, Maggs is not credited as one of the writers on Rift Apart, despite her notable contributions to the game. Many game developers are not credited if they leave before a game's release, or unless they spend a certain amount of time working on the title. It's an unfortunate industry practice, and it happens all too often. Maggs says she spent about a year and a half working on the title, and former Insomniac Games developer Sol Brennan stated that Rift Apart's narrative was a "mess" before Maggs came on and fixed things.
When Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart released last year, the game received strong critical acclaim, and Rivet was clearly one of the game's biggest highlights. It's unfortunate that Maggs' contributions have not gotten the proper credit, but hopefully she will be able to draw attention to the greater issue for the industry as a whole. Maggs is no longer with Insomniac Games, but she continues to serve as a writer in the video game industry on titles such as Call of Duty: Vanguard and Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.
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