GAME WRITER HUSTLE: The Writing Test
Competition is fierce. Top videogame studios know there's a TON of talent out there vying for that dream game writer gig. (or, in these troubled times, ANY decent work) The solution? A little bit of controversial 'free labour' known as...the WRITING TEST. Now, I've been a game writer and interactive narrative guy since 1997. That's 23 YEARS. Let that sink in for a minute. And even with that slew of storytelling experience, heaps of professional accolades, high-level game writer recommendations, and some acclaimed self-created indie projects? I still get asked, more often than not these days, to 'audition'. Seriously. ..
How Dungeons & Dragons Revealed My True Character
The roots of capital-c Creativity run deep. Mine grew wild and tangled 'til squeezing tight at the sound of rolling dice. Role-playing. Escapism. Fantasy.Call it what you want, son. The rest of us called it...D&D. Dungeons & Dragons pushed my burgeoning imagination in strange and exciting new directions. But, as this story (embedded above and transcribed below) will show, it also taught me something essential about myself...
GAME WRITING: A Short Exercise In Suspense ('Homecoming')
A potential client recently offered an intriguing challenge — write a short story in five parts with the following limitations: three sections of prose under 200 words in 2nd person narrative style, and two sections of TEXT MESSAGE dialogue with 8 lines or less in each. Use a female protagonist, and craft the tale from one of the following genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Comedy, Horror, or Suspense.
COVENTRY: A World-Building and Branching Narrative Exercise (GAMES)
Building a world affords a certain creative freedom. You aren't forced to work within established boundaries or strict IP limitations. You can let the imagination run a little wild. You have a chance to throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks. And, quite often, you can incorporate factual research into the world building of a fictional space. Which means you might even learn a thing or two in the process.
WRITING PROMPT: Questionable 'CHOICES'
Over the past year, I've been approached more and more about writing for 'branching narrative' games. Usually it's an established property, with the team leader keen for a different take on the material (which tends to translate as 'Characters and dialogue with more edge, please.') Hmmm...I think I can do that ;-)
GAME WRITING: 'Kardashian' Game Meets the Music Industry
In this opening scene for a yet-to-be-announced mobile game (along the lines of the *shudder* blockbuster Kim Kardashian: Hollywood) we meet a wide-eyed musical wannabe. She's fresh off the bus from somewhere in small-town USA, after the fates smiled upon her with a prime busking spot in LA...
QUICK HITS: Podcast News, OZ Chat, Travel Talk, and MORE!!!
With spring in full swing, it's high time (pun intended) to catch everyone up on the fresh goodies as well as some of the irresistible munchies I've got baking in the ol' brain oven. And if you've been stalking the Twitter and FB feeds, then you know what's gotta drop first, right? THERE'S A SWANKY NEW PODCAST COMING TO TOWN...
LESS IS MORE (A SHORT STORY STUDY)
I'm not big on resolutions — probably due to a crippling fear of commitment, let's be real — but I can't help but feel that 2017 is fertile ground for taking steps to improve my craft. And after reviewing a schwack (technical term) of past projects, I think I've zeroed in on an area that could use an upgrade...
REIGNS: 7 Reasons Why It Works
I have a new obsession. By focusing on a dirt-simple style and interface, a slow-burn narrative with deceptive depth, clever mechanics, and intuitive design, REIGNS is a game that dares to be different. In my opinion, all of these risks have added up to an interactive narrative triumph. And in this piece, I'm going to try and understand why...
IRON MAIDEN: Excerpt!!!
Working hand in devil-horned hand with the digital alchemists at Roadhouse Interactive and the heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN (!!!) I combed through decades of the band's lore, lyrics, and imagery to forge the high-concept story pitch and full-blown narrative treatment for this genre-busting and acclaimed action-RPG for iOS and Android...