Writing comics: Star Wars Adventures #11 out today!

I return to the Stars Wars universe with an adventure on board Jabba’s sail barge. Star Wars Adventures #11 from IDW is out today! This Tales of Villainy issue features Jabba at his worst (or best?). With art by the endlessly talented Nick Brokenshire, our story follows Ree-Yees in search of Jabba’s pet Buboicullaar (which I will now never forget how to spell). “Done Dirty” joins another story by Cavan Scott, Manuel Bracchi, and Bracardi Curry, in which Rogue Squadron tangles with the Empire. We not only got to share an issue, but our letterer, Johanna Nattalie, as well!

If you’re looking for all ages adventure, look no further than Star Wars Adventures #11! If you pick it up at your friendly local comic book shop, let me know what you think — and which cover you got!

Star Wars Adventures #11 Cover B

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Speaking on working with writers

Level UpTomorrow’s the day (or the morning, or evening, depending on where you are) I’ll be speaking virtually at Level Up Conference 2021 about fitting writers into the game development process. The conference features a bunch of awesome speakers on game design, production and management, and business and marketing. It also participates in the Nordic Games Discovery Contest. Much fun and knowledges will be had by all.

FITTING WRITERS INTO THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

When: 22/09/2021 from 5 pm to 6 pm CEST (8am Pacific time, September 22nd)

Game developers are sometimes left scratching their heads on how to incorporate writers into the game development process. This talk will take attendees through the stages of development to identify how a writer can integrate with the team and add value to the game, whether it be narrative-driven or narrative-light.

Perhaps I’ll see you tomorrow?

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Devcom panel on the characters we need right now

devcom logoIt’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a devcom panel! I’ll be speaking today about writing characters and narrative in games at the devcom Developer Conference (sic). It’s been awhile since I had the opportunity to speak at devcom in person, so it’ll be great to return virtually along with a host of other great speakers. If you’ll be attending, let me know!

Panel: The Stories & Characters We Need Right Now

When: Monday, August 23, 2021, 11:00am PST
Where: Online! Purple Stage at devcom
Narrative and character design have evolved massively in recent years. But while the importance of well-designed and inclusive stories and characters has taken a solid step forward, there’s still a long way to go. This conversation will explore the recent evolution of storytelling and take a look at what the future holds. Join Writers Guild Award-winning writer Anne Toole (Horizon: Zero Dawn, Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut, AC Origins), writer & actress Ashly Burch (Aloy/Horizon: Zero Dawn, Tiny Tina/Borderlands, Chloe/Life is Strange), DONTNOD Montréal’s Lead Narrative Designer Macha Lopez (Life is Strange 2, Tell Me Why), Carlos Rocha Silva (Cris Tales), plus another special guest in this mega panel, hosted by John Gaudiosi.

“See” you soon!

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Writing for Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut – live today!

Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut' is the definitive way to playToday’s the day! Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut is now available for your enjoyment on PS4/5. Luxuriate in the beauty of feudal Japan while fighting against a Mongol invasion. I had the extreme pleasure of being one of the writers on this expansion, which takes Jin on a journey to the nearby island of Iki to pet all the cats face the truth about his father. Explore the nooks and crannies of the island to find hidden lore, treasure, and of course, stories. I had a blast working on it, and hope you have a blast playing it. With scenery as exquisite as the first — if not more so on PS5 — you’ll hardly be disappointed. Plus you get to pet cats, deer, and more!

Here’s a review that happens to highlight part of what I worked on, but be forewarned there be spoilers: Ghost of Tsushima: Iki Island just solidified Jin as one of PlayStation’s greatest heroes

And here’s the launch trailer!

And here’s where you pet kitties:

Enjoy, and if you have any awesome photos, please share!

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Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #1 out today!

The next Horizon Zero Dawn comic book arc begins today with Horizon Zero Dawn Liberation #1! Join Aloy and Erend as they hunt down a criminal with ties to Erend’s sister, Ersa. If you’ve played the Horizon Zero Dawn video game, you’ll hear new tales only previously hinted at. If you haven’t played yet, you’ll get a chance to learn about the world so many players have enjoyed. What have you got to lose? With five awesome covers, you’re sure to find one you like. Or all. I’m thinking all.

I enjoyed this opportunity to write and develop the story with Ben McCaw and the Guerrilla team. Our new artist, Elmer Damaso (Robotech), brought it all to life, with a host of other amazing artists adding their magic to the covers.

Artist: Elmer Damaso
Cover Artists: Peach Momoko (CVR A), Game Art (CVR B), Harvey Tolibao (CVR C), Ann Maulina (CVR D), Adrian Wilkins (CVR E), Blank Sketch (CVR F), Momoko Virgin Cover (CVR G)

A cover for Horizon Zero Dawn Liberation #1

Hunt down your copy of Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #1 at your local comic book shop, or on your digital device.

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Talking video games at Comic-con 2021!

Comic-Con@HomeEvery year, we make the pilgrimage down to San Diego. Okay, every year, we gather in spirit if not in flesh to celebrate the popular arts for Comic-con International. This year is no different. The Narrative Design for the Computer Gaming Industry panel kicks off tomorrow for Comic-con@Home with an awesome line-up of game writers, plus me. Come one, come all — no lines to get in and no camping out required!

Narrative Design for the Computer Gaming Industry

When: July 25, 2021, 11am PST
Where: Online!

Computer games have become the dominant narrative art form of the 21st century, and studies show that this trend will likely accelerate in the decades to come. With games like The Witcher and The Last of Us increasingly being adapted into other mediums, the writers behind these worlds are paving the way for the future universes of pop culture. Learn what it takes to become a narrative designer from Anne Toole (Horizon Zero Dawn), John Zuur Platten (Jurassic World Evolution 2), Leanne TaylorGiles (Broken Roads), Lauren Stone (Tom Clancy’s The Division), and Neal Hallford (Dungeon Siege) in a panel moderated by Jana Hallford (Swords & Circuitry: A Designer’s Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games).

Look forward to “seeing” you!

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ICYMI: Writing comics and transmedia

Curious about comics navigating the wild world of other media? If you missed our conversation about comics and transmedia at LockDownCon II — like I nearly did! — It’s not too late! You can still watch it online. This past Sunday, I joined a fine assemblage of creators in comics and other media to discuss the state of comics and carrying IP and storytelling across platforms. Feel free to take a gander!

Across the Line Comics in a Transmedia World panel details

“Across the Line: Comics In a Transmedia World”
Sunday, June 27th, first panel

Comics are everywhere these days, and they are increasingly the source material from which movies and television are drawing inspiration. The writers and artists behind some of the hottest mainstream and indie comics chime in with their thoughts about the pervasive influence of sequential storytelling and how it may, or may not, have altered the way they create their works.
Geoffrey Thorne (Green Lantern), Anne Toole (Horizon Zero Dawn), Nancy Holder (Mary Shelley Presents Tales of the Supernatural), Kayden Phoenix (A La Brava, Universe of Latina Superheroes)​, John Zuur Platten (St. Mercy)

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Speaking on Writing & Narrative Design Panel tomorrow!

The show must go on, virtually! I will be speaking on writing and narrative design for games tomorrow as part of the SGDA Summit 2021. The event runs today and tomorrow and features a lot of other great workshops and panels on art, design, production, and more. I will be speaking on a panel along with two other fantastic writers and narrative designers.

Writing & Narrative Design Panel
Where: Twitch
When: Sunday, May 30, 2021, 10am PDT
Who:
Tori Schafer, Senior Narrative & Content Designer at Proletariat Inc. (she/her)
Jay Turner, Senior Narrative Designer at Obsidian Entertainment (he/him)
Anne Toole, yup, that’s me!

Feel free to join us, or check out the other events going on this weekend!

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Out today! Women of Marvel #1

Women of Marvel #1 Peach Momoko coverWOMEN OF MARVEL #1 is out today, including a short story I wrote featuring Misty Knight! Artist Kei Zama and I followed Misty as she stumbled upon a mystery on an average Saturday morning in Harlem. In this 52-page extravaganza, we join a host of other creators to deliver 13 stories featuring some of the best characters Marvel has to offer. Here’s the blurb:

WHO RUN THE WORLD? YOU ALREADY KNOW. CELEBRATE THE WOMEN OF MARVEL WITH AN EXTRAVAGANZA OF EXTRAORDINARY TALENT! The future is female! Get in on the ground floor with this amazing assembly of writers and artists from all over entertainment. Comics legend Louise Simonson kicks things off with a must-read introduction! Nadia Shammas punches the glass ceiling with the Jade Giantess! Elsa Sjunneson grits her way to the front line with Captain Peggy Carter! Sophie Campbell goes feral with a bone-grinding Marrow story! Video game-and-comics writer Anne Toole (dat me!) makes her Marvel debut in a blaze of glory! Natasha Alterici of Heathen fame charges sword-first into the Marvel Universe! With astonishing art from new and established artists Kei Zama (TransformersDEATH’S HEAD), Eleonora Carlini (Go Go Power RangersBatgirl), Skylar Patridge (ResonantRelics of Youth), Joanna Estep (FANTASTIC FOURFraggle Rock) and more, you’re sure to come away powered up and ready to slay—in high heels and boots alike.

The comic boasts a number of alternate covers, including one from Peach Momoko (see above), who also did alternates for HORIZON ZERO DAWN. If you’re curious about WOMEN OF MARVEL #1, check out the motion comic trailer! Plus, get a preview of our story on the jump.

And here’s an art preview for Misty Knight in “A Saturday Morning in Harlem”

Misty Knight walks along Harlem streets and notices police outside a deli.

So hop on over to your LCBS (local comic book shop), pick up WOMEN OF MARVEL #1 today, and make yours Marvel!

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Writing for the Dishonored TRPG

Arkane’s DISHONORED the video game has become DISHONORED the tabletop roleplay game, published by Modiphius. The games, set in a steampunk-esque fictional world, follow outlaws who walk the line between noble hero and a type of sorcerer drawing dark powers from one known as the Outsider.

The DISHONORED Core Rulebook came out last year and features rules, setting information, and more for your roleplaying game pleasure. While many fantabulous writers and designers contributed to the 300-page book, I wrote the “Jewel of the South” chapter. In it, I described the history and challenges of Serkonos, the southernmost island of the Empire of the Isles. The eponymous “Jewel of the South,” the city of Karnaca, was the setting of DISHONORED 2. 

The tabletop game uses the 2d20 System. You can buy the DISHONORED Core Rulebook on Amazon or the DISHONORED pdf on DriveThruRPG. Even if you haven’t played the game, the core rulebook has plenty of information to not only get you started, but provide a deep into the world of DISHONORED. 

 

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