Video Game Writing, 2nd Edition
From Macro to Micro
This insightful four part book explores the challenging and evolving world of the game writer. Part I provides a fascinating overview of the history of game writing, following its humble roots in the 60s to today’s AAA titles. Part II asks and answers the key question: What do game writers do and how do they do it? Especially useful reading for novice game writers, the book covers a broad range of topics including contracts, NDAs, creative collaboration, narrative design, editing, adaptations, and environmental storytelling. Part III, of particular value for more advanced students of writing, addresses deeper theoretical questions increasingly relevant in today’s game titles, including: Why have story at all? What is plot and how does it work? How best can a writer use agency? Finally, Part IV presents readers with hard-earned nuggets of wisdom from today’s game writers working in America, Europe, and Japan. Packed with practical samples, case studies, and exercises, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the world of games writing. Features +Covers history of games writing, narrative design, storytelling, plot, contracts, and packed with practical samples, case studies, and exercises +Presents readers with opinions and suggestions from today’s game writers who are working in the US, Europe, and Japan +Includes a broad range of topics e.g., creative collaboration, editing, adaptations, and environmental storytelling Brief Table of Contents 1: A Brief History of Game Stories. 2: Decoding and Devising the Brief. 3: NDAs and Contracts. 4: Collaboration: Team Us. 5: Narrative Design. 6: Outlines and Treatments. 7: Character Documents. 8: Environmental Storytelling. 9: Writing Scripts. 10: Editing. 11: Consultancy. 12: Adaptations. 13: Other Roles of the Games Writer. 14: Why Have Stories At All? 15: What Is Plot and How Does It Work? 16: Other Resources for Writers. 17: Marrying Design and Story: Driver 76 Case Study. 18: Storyloading. 19: Shifting Agency. 20: Time Gates and Act Stimulants. 21: Aristotle, Games Writing, and Games. 22: Choice or Enlightenment? 23: The Future of Games Writing. 24: What’s It Like Being a Games Writer? Appendices. A Few of the Game Titles Discussed! Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Borderlands 2 The Walking Dead L.A. Noire Grand Theft Auto V Mass Effect 3 The Stanley Parable The Last of Us Alien Isolation The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Life is Strange Until Dawn Quantum Break BioShock World of Warcraft Eve Online Tales of Monkey Island Elite Half Life Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Metal Gear Solid Mass Effect Portal Portal 2 Alan Wake Silent Hill Broken Sword Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune About the Authors Maurice Suckling and Marek Walton have, between them, worked on over 45 games, for almost every major Western publisher. The last 18 years have seen one or both of them work as writers on titles such as Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Mafia III, Fable Legends, Civilization 6, Killing Floor 2, Wonderbook: Book of Spells, Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, Driver: Parallel Lines, XCOM, Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing, Driver 76, Planet 51, BattleForge, Don King Presents Prizefighter, Unsolved Crimes, Virtua Tennis 4, and James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes.