This insightful, revised book explores the challenging and evolving world of the games writer. Part I provides a fascinating overview of the history of games writing following its humble roots in the '60s to today’s triple-A titles; Part II asks and answers the key question: what does a games writer do and how do they do it? Especially useful reading for novice game writers, its chapters cover 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 games 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 the US, 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.
- Covers history of games writing, narrative design, storytelling, plot, contracts, and packed with practical samples, case studies, and exercises
- Mentions games such as 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, and more.
Table of Contents
Part I Games Writing in Context 22
Chapter 1 A Brief History of Game Stories
Part II What Do Games Writers Do? And How Do They Do It?
Chapter 2 Decoding And Devising the Brief
Chapter 3 NDAs & Contracts
Chapter 4 Collaboration: Team Us
Chapter 5 Narrative Design
Chapter 6 Outlines & Treatments
Chapter 7 Character Documents
Chapter 8 Environmental Storytelling
Chapter 9 Writing Scripts
Chapter 10 Editing
Chapter 11 Consultancy
Chapter 12 Adaptations: Turning Other Things Into Games
Chapter 13 Other Roles of the Games Writer
Part III Beyond the Basics
Chapter 14 Why Have Stories At All?
Chapter 15 What is Plot and How does it Work?
Chapter 16 Other Resources for Writers: More Than Movies
Chapter 17 Marrying Design And Story: Driver 76 Case Study
Chapter 18 Storyloading
Chapter 19 Shifting Agency
Chapter 20 Time Gates and Act Stimulants
Chapter 21 Aristotle, Games Writing, and Games
Chapter 22 Choice or Enlightenment?
Chapter 23 The Future of Games Writing
Part IV What’s It Like Being a Games Writer?
Chapter 24 What’s It Like Being a Games Writer?
Appendix A: Rating Systems
Appendix B: Sample Non-Disclosure Agreement
Appendix C: Sample Writing Services Contract
Appendix D: Selected Exercise Solutions (Chapter 10)