Horizon Zero Dawn‘s writing team earned a Writers Guild Award nomination! The announcement marks my second nomination; the first was for THE WITCHER. HZD has made quite a splash, winning Best Narrative at the Golden Joystick Awards and the Golden Calf at the Netherlands Film Festival, among others. Horizon joins nominees from such projects as HANDMAID’S TALE, GLOW, and GET OUT. Read on to see all the Videogame Writing nominees!
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, External Writers Anna Megill, Hazel Monforton; Lead Narrative Designer Sachka Duval; Arkane Studios-Bethesda Softworks
Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow, Written by Cas Ruffin, Patric M. Verrone; TinyCo
Horizon Zero Dawn, Narrative Director John Gonzalez; Lead Writer Benjamin McCaw; Writing by Ben Schroder, Anne Toole; Additional Writing by Dee Warrick, Meg Jayanth; Guerrilla Games
Madden NFL 18: Longshot, Written by Michael Young, Adrian Todd Zuniga; Story by Michael Young; Tiburon/Electronic Arts
For a full list of nominees and other awards info, check out the list here.
Game writing has been top of mind this week, as I spoke about fitting writers into the game development process first at WePlay China, and later today at Gamacon in Mexico. If you happen to be in Mexicali today, November 2nd, I’ll be speaking at 2pm, along with other such luminaries:
If you’re not able to make either presentation, check out one of my exquisite, awe-inspiring slides from WePlay in Shanghai.
You don’t need to see what I look like. Unless you do. I was also honored to present the award for Narrative Excellence at WePlay:
The award went to Detention, which I haven’t played yet, but it looks awesome.
Hope to see you in Mexicali, or at the next conference!
Comic-con International starts today, and tomorrow I’ll join a panel of video game writers to discuss video game writing. If you’re at SDCC, you’ll want to check this panel out!
Writing for the Computer Gaming Industry
Thursday July 20, 2017 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Some of the most talented storytellers today create worlds for the computer gaming industry. This panel of industry vets share insights gleaned from creating some of the best reviewed narrative-driven titles in gaming history. The panel includes Neal Hallford (Lily Bard Online), Anne Toole (Horizon Zero Dawn), John Zuur Platten (Ingress), Kimberly Unger (Dexter: Slice), and Erin Knowles, moderated by Jana Hallford (Swords & Circuitry: A Designer’s Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games).
See you in San Diego!
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:
Dancing with a Watcher
Me with Hermen, el-presidente
It’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!
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!
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.
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!