Learn how to create compelling game storylines.
Four experienced narrative designers from different genres of game development have banded together to create this all-inclusive guide on what it's like to work as a writer and narrative designer in the videogame industry. From concept to final testing, The Game Narrative Toolbox walks readers through what role a narrative designer plays on a development team and what the requirements are at every stage of development. Drawing on real experiences, authors Tobias Heussner, Toiya Finley, Ann Lemay, and Jennifer Hepler provide invaluable advice for writing compelling player-centered stories and effective dialogue trees in order to help readers make the switch from prose- or screen- writing to interactive. Accompanying every chapter are exercises that allow the reader to develop their own documentation, outlines, and game-dialogue samples for use in applying for industry jobs or developing independent projects.
This first installment of Focal Press's Game Design Workshops series is a must-have for individuals looking to create captivating storylines for games.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: What is Narrative Design?
Chapter 2: The Concept
Chapter 3: Worldbuilding
Chapter 4: Characters
Chapter 5: Story
Chapter 6: Implementation and Production
Chapter 7: Dialogue
Chapter 8: Cutscenes and Cinematics
Chapter 9: Troubleshooting
Tobias Heussner is an experienced Game Content / Narrative Designer who started developing games in high school. He has worked on more than 18 published titles ranging from AAA PC games to handheld console games and Free2Play browser games. His areas of expertise include Game Content Design, Game Narrative Design/Writing, Game System Design and Game Production.
Toiya Kristen Finley has 20 years of experience as a writer and editor in several media. In games, she has worked as a game designer, narrative designer, and game writer (or some combination of the three) on several indie, social, and mobile games for children and general audiences, including Academagia: The Making of Mages and Fat Chicken. With Tobias Heussner, she co-founded the Game Writing Tutorial at GDC Online and served as an instructor.
Jennifer Brandes Hepler got her start in tabletop game development, working for well-known properties such as Shadowrun and Paranoia before detouring to Hollywood to work on CBS Television’s The Agency. She then spent eight years as a senior writer and narrative designer at Bioware, on the Dragon Age franchise and Star Wars: The Old Republic. She is now lead writer on Game of Thrones: Ascent.
Ann Lemay joined the video-game industry in 1997. Over the years she’s worked as a game designer, narrative designer, and writer on a wide range of projects. In 2010 she joined BioWare Montréal, where she wrote for Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect 3: Omega, contributed to Dragon Age: Inquisition, and is now working full-time on the next Mass Effect title.
"The Game Narrative Toolbox is a great starting point for anyone thinking about writing for games. I went on writing for games course last year and this is the perfect complement for that. It’s pitched at people with a basic knowledge of storytelling in games, rather than complete novices or kids.
If you’re at home, working on a game in something like Twine, then this book will be a great companion. It also offers sound advice for anyone looking to shift their career in the industry towards writing and storytelling, by laying out the role of a narrative designer in relation to the other parts of the team. The writing is clear, informative and easygoing, so it’s an interesting read, even if you’re not working on a branching story tree for your own personal open world magnum opus." - Game Industry News