Games People Write: Narrative Design and Screenwriting for Games
In recent years, video games have exploded as a potent and pioneering new medium for storytelling. In this course, we will examine the role of the narrative designer/writer within the video-game industry—from concept and pitch all the way through the process of development, examining and imagining the varieties of ways in which games can tell stories and exploring the relationships between different kinds of interactivity and narrative strategies (e.g., how writing for an open-world, role-playing game might differ from writing for a side-scrolling platformer). We will write several projects that address the demands and opportunities presented by a variety of game genres and conventions, from open-world or “sandbox” games (e.g. Fallout, Skyrim) to “on-rails” linear plots (Deus Ex, Uncharted), “experimental” games (Passage), social games, and mobile games. In addition to creative writing projects, coursework and conference will be devoted to the close analysis of selected video-game narratives. And yes, you will be required to play games.