Storytelling for New Technologies and Platforms : A Writer’s Guide to Theme Parks, Virtual Reality, Board Games, Virtual Assistants, and More book cover
1st Edition

Storytelling for New Technologies and Platforms
A Writer’s Guide to Theme Parks, Virtual Reality, Board Games, Virtual Assistants, and More

Edited By

Ross Berger

ISBN 9780367693787
Published June 22, 2022 by CRC Press
158 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Want to know what it’s like to write for a theme park attraction? Or an interactive toy? Or a virtual reality game? Wait – those tell stories? And there are jobs for people who write them? Thanks to technology, interactive products and live experiences can now engage us with memorable characters and exciting adventures that were once destined only for the cinema.

Storytelling for New Technologies and Platforms: A Writer’s Guide to Theme Parks, Virtual Reality, Board Games, Virtual Assistants, and More is a handbook for writers, students, producers, teachers, scholars, career changers, early tech adopters, and just about anyone who loves story and technology. As a collection of articles from some of the best creative writers in their medium, this book will prepare content creators of tomorrow to tackle some of today's most exhilarating creative challenges found on a screen ... or off!

Key Features:

  • Expert advice from several industry professionals who have worked for some of the world’s biggest tech and interactive companies.
  • Best practices that not only guide writers on how to apply their craft to new fields, but also prepare them for the common ambiguity they will find in corporate and start-up environments.
  • Breakdown of platforms that shows how tech capabilities can fulfill content expectations and how content can fulfill tech expectations.
  • Basic storytelling mechanics customized to today’s popular technologies, live experiences, and traditional game platforms.

Table of Contents

Preface: Why this Book         
Why These Contributors Were Chosen      
Who This Book Is Meant For       
Friendly Disclaimer        

How This Book Is Organized        
Location: Shared vs. Exclusive       
Social Nature: Social vs. Autonomous      
Exclusive + Autonomous       
Exclusive + Interdependent
Shared + Autonomous        
Shared + Interdependent
Storytelling Factor        
A Final Note         

1: “Virtual Assistants and Storytelling” by Flint Dille and Zane Dille  
The Platform         
Propulsion Loops        
What’s Coming Next        
Virtual Virgil         

2: “Writing for Toys – Actually a Job” by Rob Auten    
How Toys Tell Stories        
Play is Personal         
Quick Qualifications        
Knowing the Audience        
Second Fiddler         
Providing Value         
Instructing Efficiently        
Every Player Matters        
Extending the Experience       
Leaving Room         

3: “Approaching Virtual Reality Storytelling” by Sarah Beaulieu   
Identify the Narrative Means       
Immersion Has Its Limits       
Users Are the Core of Any VR Experience     
A Ghost Story         
Know the Limits of Your Genre       
Environment as a Narrative Pillar      
Locomotion in VR        
Driving the User’s Gaze        
The Question of Interface and Transitions     
Direct Environment and Collective Experience     
Extend Your Writer’s Skills       

4: “Building Narrative in Mobile Games” by Bay Anapol   
Creating an Immersive World       
Teaming Up         
Problems & Solutions        
It’s a Small World, After All       
Future Thinking         
Getting the Job         
Most importantly, be flexible. Be understanding. Never stop learning.  
Ship it!          

5: “Storytelling and Board Games” by Maurice Suckling   
Story-making Games        
Tailored Storytelling Games       
Systemic Storytelling Games       
Other Games with Narrative Elements      
Systemic/Story-making Hybrids       
Systemic/Story-making/Tailored Hybrids     
Systemic/Other/Tailored Hybrids      
Further Discussion and Guidance for Writers     

6: “Storytelling in Hybrid Games” by James Laks    
Mechanics and Systems        
Game #1        
Game #2        
Game #3        

7: “The Shape of Story” by Matt Parker     
There’s a Job for That?        
The Design Process        
Working with Stakeholders       
Story Development        
The Attraction Experience       
The Approach        
The Queue        
The Preshow Experience      
The Ride Experience       
The Post-Show and Gift Shop      
The Future of Themed Entertainment      
Agency & Immersion       
Parting Thoughts        
Your Big Break        

8: “Red Flags” by Ross Berger       
Red Flag #1: One Size Fits All (Not Really)     
Cognitive Load        
Physical Limits of Technology      
Red Flag #2: Ignoring Consumer Expectations     
Red Flag #3: Focusing on the Holes in the Roof When the House is on Fire 
Red Flag #4: Cashing in the Chips Too Late     
Red Flag #5: No Vision        
Red Flag #6: Feeding the Beast Poorly      
Red Flag #7: Chemistry Fit … or Lack Thereof     
On That Note …         


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Ross Berger is a writer, narrative designer, and transmedia strategist based in Los Angeles. He is the author of Dramatic Storytelling & Narrative Design: A Writer’s Guide to Video Games & Transmedia (CRC Press, 2020), a "how to" for fledgling game writers and screenwriters. His screenwriting credits include: Law & Order and the Webby-Award winning LonelyGirl15. He also served as the supervising producer for the social media/television experience The Runner. Ross has also worked extensively in virtual reality as a writer for the Oculus Rift launch title Farlands and the award-winning thriller Eclipse: Edge of Light for the Google Daydream and Oculus Go. As a narrative designer in the video game industry, he has written AAA games for Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and many others. Ross is also the author of short stories including "Football with Leatherman" (2020) and "Evie A.I." (2021), both published by TulipTree Publishing in its Stories That Need to Be Told anthologies.

A graduate of Brandeis (BA, Philosophy) and Columbia (MFA, Playwriting) universities, Ross is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Television Academy.