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Narrative News August 2023: Jobs, Events, and Opportunities!
What to look out for this month in the world of game writing.
Hello fellow narrative designers!
As the Barbenheimer craze sweeps the Internet, there’s plenty going on in the world of game writing, from interesting jams to new job postings.
[Full disclosure: that non-sequitur was brought to you by my need to insert a screenshot of Detective Barbie.]
Anyway, let’s dig in!
Conferences and Talks
Montreal-based Pixelle is hosting a workshop that “will challenge widespread representations and constructions of Indigeneity.”
Jams and Competitions
An online game jam focused on visual novels and story-based games. Starts July 1st, ends August 31st.
An interesting onsite event that takes place 9/18-9/11 in NYC. Full-motion video games tend to be quite narrative-driven (think HerStory, pictured above), so could be a good event to check out if you’re in the city!
Registration is still open, but closes at the end of the month.
Voting is open and closes at the end of the month.
News and Resources
A lot of very talented narrative designers have been putting out a lot of very good resource roundups and advice posts, so let’s round up those roundups!
Level Mapping Example by Kelly Bender (great follow on LinkedIn)
Here is an example of a first draft (very) Level Slice of a first-level layout of an unannounced Platform-Shooting game.
In the Level Slice, you should lay out the order and approximate length of the key Gameplay Sequences:
- Cut Scenes
As well as where and when Rewards/Treasure Boxes, Hidden Features, and Large Drops of In-Game Shards/Gems/Cards will be found.
- Gameplay Sequence Sections should be clearly labeled/color coordinated and numbered to ensure clearer communication with your teams.
*Note: None of this is industry standard and many games/studios/teams don't do this or require this. But, I tend to do this so I can clearly see the flow, breakdowns, lengths, and order of a level's key points (I also map them out in map form as well).
Narrative Design Tips by Konrad Hughes (aka Kaptain Viciorious Grimoire)
Tackles some early career questions like “Are narrative design courses worth taking?” and how to craft your first portfolio.
Also takes on the question of how to get your foot in the door — very comprehensive!
Game Writing/Narrative Design Resources by Raymond Vermeulen
Extremely practical list of resources that includes info on formatting for game scripts.
And now it’s time for…
Watch of the week! In case you haven’t seen it, this is the episode of the Double Fine Psychonauts 2 doc where they brainstorm and work on story!
Montreal-based Pixelle’s game incubator is open for applications from August 1st to September 3rd.
Senior Narrative Designer at Gravity Well
Freelance Game Writer at iThrive
Gameplay Writer at Squanch Games
Open World Narrative Designer at Tequila Works
Going forward, I thought it might be interesting to create a limited-membership book club that focuses on narrative design texts. We’d discuss monthly and also have guests to discuss the topic at hand. Let me know below if that sounds of interest!
That’s it for this month!
As always, if you know of anything I’ve missed, please comment on this post and share with your fellow game-y writer-y folks.
See you in September!
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