Writing for video games can include everything
from coming up with an original story to figuring out twenty
different versions of "I've been shot!" It's a demanding
task, combining elements of roleplaying writing, scriptwriting,
and imitating the Voynich Manuscript. I've been lucky enough
to work on titles ranging from Rainbow Six 3
to Outland, and each time the experience is
different; different games demand different approaches,
content, and levels of input. The only constant is that you're
trying to make your writing one part of a cohesive game experience
for the player part of making sure the player has fun.
Please bear in mind that I can't tell you everything that
I'm working on, or even what I'm doing sometimes on projects
that have been announced. I will, however, provide updates
as soon as I can on projects that are newly released from
under their veil of secrecy. And yes, that means there are
things I'm working on - lots of things I'm working on - that
either I can't officially claim a credit on, or which can't
be talked about...yet.
Video Game News:
- Splinter Cell: Blacklist comes out August 20th!
- Feedback on the Game Writers' Round Tables at GDC this year was great! Thanks to everyone who participated, and I swear, I'll have the notes to you soon.
- Congratulations to the newest members of the Board of the IGDA Game Writers' SIG: Toiya Finley, Matt Forbeck and Tobias Heussner.
- Huge thanks to all of the wonderful speakers we had at our inaugural writing track at ECGC this year! Tracy Seamster, Mur Lafferty, Steve Long, Jeremy Bernstein, Alex Kain, Matt Forbeck, Jonathon Myers and Jay Posey, thank you! You knocked it out of the park.
- It's looking like I'll be showing up at NanoCon again this year. Second time's the charm!
Video Game Credits (Partial):
Writing About Game Writing
The second book from the SIG, Professional
Techniques for Video Game Writing, is now out. Edited
Despain, it's available online and at better bookstores
everywhere. My contribution was a chapter on script doctoring.
You can read one
of the more glowing reviews here. The third book
in the sequence, Writing For Video Game Genres: From FPS
to RPG, is now
available for pre-order.
As part of the initiatives for the IGDA
Game Writers' Special Interest Group, I'm one of the co-authors
of a book on video game writing published by Charles River
Media. The book, entitled Game
Writing: Narrative Skills for Video Games, features
authors including James
Swallow, Andrew S. Walsh (X3: Reunion),
Adams, Rhianna Pratchett (Tomb Raider),
Ed Kuehnel (Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude) and
The Game Narrative Summit
The Game Narrative Summit, the premier conference for videogame writing, has successfully transitioned from Austin to the main GDC conference in San Francisco. This year's conference was the most successful yet, with talks from luminaries like Corey May, Warren Spector, Jesse Schell, Susan O'Connor and many more. I am proud to be a member of the Advisory Board for the summit, and particularly proud to be closely involved in our student narrative competition
2013 marked the first year of a writers' track at the East Coast Game Conference in Raleigh. I responsible for putting together the programming, which covered two days' worth of sessions. It was a successful launch, thanks to some wonderful speakers, and I look forward to next year.
I spoke at E3 2006
as part of a panel on "Perfecting the mix of story, character
development, and interactivity" with such notables as
David Jaffe (God of War), Marc Laidlaw (Half-Life
and Half-Life 2) and David Cage (Indigo Prophecy).
You can read Gamasutra's take on the talk here.
2013 marked the seventh year for the Game Writers' Roundtable at GDC. For the first time, sessions were broken out by level of expertise, and the results were hugely successful. Big thanks to everyone who attended and participated!And I promise, I will get those notes out to you.
For several years, I had the honor of
serving as one of the executives of the IGDA's Game Writers
Special Interest Group. The group functions to serve as a
resource for video game writers, and to promote the craft
of game writing. You can find more, including the group's
white paper on the basics of game writing, on the SIG's
website and the well-received and Frontline-nominated
Writing: Narrative Skills for Video Games. While
I'm no longer one of the executives, I continue to support
and participate in the group as it moves forward.
In 2006, I was one of the attendees
of the initial Project
Horseshoe, a small conference on game design hosted
by the legendary Fat
Man deepinthehearta Texas. (Scorpions, no. Drunk
squirrels, yes. It was Texas.) I spent the conference working
as part of a small team tackling issues of the legitimacy
of games as media form, and deeply enjoyed the experience.
Being in a room with that many big brains, many of whom were
responsible for games I've known, loved, and spent countless
hours on over the years, was one of the highlights of my career
in games thus far.
And to prove I was there, here's
a picture of me playing "Hey, That's My Fish!"
Needless to say, I went back
in 2007 and 2008, though the incriminating photos
have yet to surface. I think.
Speaking At Conferences
In addition to the aforementioned conferences, I have also had the privilege of speaking at Game Forum Germany, STAGConf, NanoCon, Came Connect Europe, the Oxford Literary Festival, and several other conferences and universities. It is always a pleasure and an honor to be asked, and I look forward to additional opportunities.