Category Archives: Games

Writing on Horizon Zero Dawn

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Contributor copies!

Since Horizon Zero Dawn came out a month ago, it’s been a delight to see the reviews (89 on Metacritic!), the sales numbers (2.6 million units worldwide!), and most importantly, the posts and messages from people I know enjoying the game. One lesson I’ve learned? People, especially those in the game industry, actually read the credits!

I got the opportunity to write with and for a bunch of great writers on HZD, and I know the entire Guerrilla team worked hard on this game for years. If you haven’t picked it up yet, do. If you’ve already picked it up, let me know what you think.

Now for some bonus photos from the launch party:

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From Views to VR: Digital Story at the WGA

If you’re interested in webseries, VR, and all the glories that digital storytelling has in store, join me and other great panelists next week at the Writers Guild. I’ll be discussing writing for digital webseries like Emmy-winning LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES, writing for video games such as THE WITCHER, and writing for VR projects (project announcements forthcoming!). The event is open to all.

FROM VIEWS TO VR: CAREERS IN DIGITAL STORYTELLING

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Tue, August 16, 2016
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

WGA Headquarters, 7000 W 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048

The ever-expanding digital landscape has created more opportunities for writers than ever before. YouTube has grown into a platform for filmmakers, comedians, and brands to air self-produced webisodes and web series. The video game industry has embraced and incorporated more narrative and cinematic elements to games. And virtual and augmented reality is the next frontier waiting to be conquered and scripted.

This panel addresses the various paths to a career in storytelling within the digital space. From writing webisodes to VR simulations, our panelists share their experiences creating content for new and emerging mediums and what lessons they’ve learned in often unchartered territory.

Moderator: Richie Solomon
Speakers:
Anne Toole
Dean Orion
John Zuur Platten
Evette Vargas

All are welcome. Proceeds for the event go towards the Writers Guild Foundation to support the Foundation library and other programs. Click here for tickets!

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Filed under Announcements, Games, New Media, Transmedia, VR/AR

SDCC: Writing for the Computer Gaming Industry

It’s baaack! This year at Comic-con International in San Diego, we’ll be gathering together to discuss writing for gamez! Come join the usual suspects and some new faces as we discuss writing for games and answer all your burning questions.

Writing for the Computer Gaming Industry
Storytelling is entering a new golden age in the computer gaming industry. This panel of insiders share their experiences in creating some of the best-reviewed narrative-driven titles in gaming history. Neal Hallford (Betrayal at Krondor: Remastered),Chris Avellone (Divinity: Original Sin II), Anne Toole (Horizon Zero Dawn), John Zuur Platten (Ingress), Geoffrey Thorne (The Librarians), Jean Leggett (Betwixt), and Blair Leggett (StoryStylus) promise an entertaining and informative hour. Moderated by Jana Hallford (Swords & Circuitry: A Designer’s Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games).

When: Friday July 22, 2016 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Where: Room 9

Join us! You can add it to your schedule here.

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Speaking about Digital at Cannes 2016

image_en_3_5577052152a64I’m headed down to the Cannes Film Festival and Marché. I’ll be speaking at Cannes Digital, a Festival du film Merveilleux event, about writing interactive stories and how it differs (or doesn’t!) from writing linear tales. I just looked at the list of other speakers, and they’re kind of amazing. Here they are:

Digital Landscape at Cannes
WHEN: 2-4pm, Saturday, May 14th
WHERE: Hotel Eden, 133 Rue d’Antibes, Cannes
WHO:
Liz Rosenthal / Power to the Pixel
CEO

Kristen Konvitz / Indiegogo
Director of Film & Creative

Charlotte Hurni / Cinando ( Marche du Film / Festival de Cannes
Communication Coordinator )

Carole Joly / Cinando ( Marché du Film / Festival de Cannes )
Project manager

Gotham Chandna / Cloud 21
Social Media digital strategist

Yelena Rachitsky / Oculus Story Studio
Creative Producer – Head of Education

Anne Toole / Write Toole
Writers Guild nominee

If you’ll be there, it’s free to attend the panel, so why not come on by? RSVP here.

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Filed under Announcements, Film, Games, Transmedia, Writing

Worldbuilding at Dutch Comic-con!

I have modest ambitions this weekend. I’m going to teach how to build an entire world. A universe even. But I won’t be alone. I’ll be joined by several other writers with the equally modest goal of sharing how to create appealing worlds for the reader. If that’s not enough, I’ll also be speaking about the representation of women in games with several other writers of books, comics, and movies. If you’re interested in building worlds for your novel or game, or you’d like to hear about great representations of women in the media, come on down to Dutch Comic con this weekend!Dutch Comic-con

World Building
When: Saturday, March 26th, 3:45pm-4:45pm
Where: Jaarbeurs Utrecht, Speakers Corner, Hall 8 by the American Book Center
Who:
Brian McClellan
Chris Ryall (Editor-in-Chief, IDW)
Adrian Stone
Me!

Bechdel Test Anno 2016
When: Saturday, March 26th, 5-6pm
Where: Jaarbeurs Utrecht, Speakers Corner, Hall 8 by the American Book Center
Who:
Corinne Duyvis
Marieke Nijkamp
​​Tisa Pescar
Ann Vandermeer
Jeff Vandermeer
Me!

If you find yourself near Utrecht in the Netherlands this weekend, join all of us at Dutch Comic Con!

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Filed under Announcements, Comics, Games, Writing

Writing Great Video Games with Great Video Game Writers — at Comikaze

Comikaze is back at the LA Convention Center this weekend! If you want to learn about writing great video games, come on down for a panel with some awesome video game writers, and I’m not just talking about me 😉  The panel title is more than a prescription for creating great games — we’ll be discussing our own narrative toolbox. Join me, Chris Avellone, Haris Orkin, and Karen Strassman this Saturday to learn it all! Or as much as we can get through in an hour!

WRITING GREAT VIDEO GAMES with GREAT VIDEO GAME WRITERS
Saturday, October 31, 2015
2:30pm
Room: 518
The co-authors of SLAY THE DRAGON: WRITING GREAT VIDEO GAMES moderate a panel on video game writing with some of the best video game writers working today. Learn what goes into creating stories for games; what tricks and tools are in the video game writers’ toolbox. Hear how these game writers broke into a business and the need now for more narrative designers in this every growing world. Guests include: Anne Toole, The Witcher, Escape Dead Island;
 Haris Orkin, Dying Light, Call of Juarez;
 Karen Strassman, Til Morning’s Light, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm;
 Chris Avellone, Pillars of Eternity, Fallout: New Vegas.

See you on Saturday at:
Comikaze Expo 2015

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Come play in Steamscapes: Asia

Steamscapes: Asia coverIt’s here! If you like your Steampunk RPGs, but are a bit bored with 19th century Europe or North America, then take a peek at Steamscapes: Asia! This new setting explores Asia in the Steamscapes universe, using the Savage Worlds system. North America is still run by the British — but what does that mean for India, China and Burma? And why do I mention Burma, besides their being awesome? I wrote the background setting for Burma and an adventure that just might involve an automaton and an airship.

The book also includes new classes, new martial arts rules, and a bunch of new equipment. For more information on Steamscapes North America and Asia, visit the Steamscapes site!

You can enjoy the digital version of Steamscapes: Asia right now and get the print version in January. Can’t wait to hold it in my hands!

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