Tag Archives: game writing

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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Filed under Announcements, Games

So you want to be a game writer…

PAXIt’s that time again! Time for PAX, games, and fun. And if you’ve always wondered how to get into game writing, it’s time you find out how. Join me and other fine game writers at PAX Prime to get all your burning questions answered on how to be a game writer.

So, you want to be a game writer…
Many writers (and non-writers!) would love to contribute their storytelling skills to games. What types of writing jobs are out there? How can you get a job working at a studio or as a freelancer? Beyond storytelling, what should your samples showcase? Panel participants are veteran game writers who have worked on AAA, indie, and mobile titles. These freelancers and studio employees have the insights to help you pursue that game writing career!

Panelists:

Toiya Kristen Finley [Author / Game Designer, Schnoodle Media, LLC], Qais Fulton [Writer and Narrative Designer, Freelance], Anne Toole [Writer, The Write Toole], Bobby Stein [Lead Writer, ArenaNet], Tom Abernathy [Senior Writer (Contract), Massive Entertainment], Leah Miller [Content Designer, Carbine Studios]

See you there!

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A Serious Prize: Tunnel Tail Game Wins!

Woot! A game I wrote for earned a Silver Medal at the 2013 International Serious Play Awards!  Tunnel Tail follows a group of mice as they struggle to overthrow the dark forces ready to take down both the mice and human worlds.  Naturally a true story (kidding), Tunnel Tail is more than a fantasy adventure, it has a serious component: helping combat addiction.  It’s an award I’m actually pretty proud of, considering that other award a project of mine won.

Although I work primarily in entertainment, you may not know that I also have a Skills Certificate in Chemical Dependency.  Thus, working on the project provided the perfect storm of creativity and knowledge.  My contribution ended up being “so integral to the learning component,” said a producer on the title.

The game has also been rated highly by players, so it can’t be all bad 😉  Check out the game for free! on iOS or Android.

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Filed under Announcements, Games

Writing in Multiple Media at Captivate Conference!

If you think one size fits all when it comes to creating a story for a medium or platform, you’ll get a chance to learn how wrong, wrong, wrong you are this Sunday in Austin at the first annual Captivate Conference. When you’re not learning about leadership from Warren Spector, you can come on by to my presentation with the extremely original title “Writing for Multiple Media.” I’ll be exploring how the medium and the business model impacts the kind of story you can tell, whether it’s games, TV, film, or webseries.  Heck, I might even throw in comics and animation, why not?

Writing in Multiple Media
When: October 6, 2013, 3:30-4:15pm
Where: Palmer Center, Austin, TX
Story is king, but storytelling isn’t a one size fits all proposition. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of each medium, or you may alienate your buyers and your audience rather than engaging them.

Come on down! Bring your questions, bring your jeers, and then we’ll all go grab a beer!

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Filed under Announcements, Media, Transmedia

Podcasts galore! Writing for prose, writing for games

Curious about Clarion West?  Game writing?  Rabid wombats?  I could answer your questions on two of them, but now I don’t need to.  Two podcasts came out in March, one featuring an interview about my experience at Clarion West, a 6-week spec fiction writing workshop, and the second, an interview on game writing from a couple years ago.  Get your questions ready, listen, then come back.  Did I miss anything?  Any questions burning a hole in your brain?

Check out Get Published: Episode 78 – Anne Toole and Clarion West and also learn a few unorthodox writing tips.

Check out Power Button presents Kombo Breaker for some exciting game writing conversation! Hyperbole FTW!

And just so the wombats don’t feel left out…

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Filed under Announcements, Fiction, Games

Game Together or Die Alone

GDC Online is just around the corner, and I will be there speaking on a fabulous panel on writing stories in multiplayer games, including co-op, competitive, MMOs, and social games (of doom!).
 
Game Together or Die Alone: Writing Co-Operative Campaigns
Monday, October 10th, 2011 3:00- 4:00 Room 3

Co-op campaigns with strong story elements are more and more common. Creating a cohesive narrative for a game with drop in/drop out co-op can be uniquely challenging. A panel of experienced writers who have worked on a wide range of co-op games, spanning different genres and styles, will talk about how they met the challenge. Co-op campaigns discussed will include Marvel Ultimate Alliance Two, Guild Wars, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Red Alert 3, Call of Juarez: The Cartel, and Dead Island.

Takeaway: Attendees will learn how other writers have created narratives and characters for co-op games. They will learn the tricks, the tips, the pitfalls, the problems, and maybe even a few solutions.

Intended Audience: Game writers, narrative designers, producers, game designers, level designers, quest and mission designers. Anyone interested in crafting a narrative for a co-op campaign.

Come on down to enjoy the fabulous insights of fellow panelists and afterwards, let’s grab a beverage at the Ginger Man!

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Writers Cabal hits the A list!

This past weekend, I spoke at a day-long event about writing, story, and trends in the game industry.   I heard Dave Ellis, WGA Award winner for Dead Head Fred talk about how he was able to fight to keep a game story in one piece.  I wish more designers were willing to fight for quality in that way.  I also learned a lot about “fringe” game opportunities, such as a game crowds of people can play while waiting in line at Disney World. If you’ve been there and played it, let me know!

But enough about the panel, let’s get to the fame part.  In preparation for the event, a reporter from NBC came to interview the panelists, and we ended up in the nightly news.  Check out the video and see if you can pick me out (hint: I’m the only woman they interviewed):

Video Games To Incorporate A-List Storytellers

What do you think?  Did I represent our industry well?

Since the interview, one girl who went to high school with me for one year tracked me down on Facebook and wanted to make sure I was the same person she remembered.  Now I can die happy 😉

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Filed under Game Design, Game Industry, Writers Cabal, Writing