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Narrative News July 2023: Jobs, Events, and Portfolio Tips!
What to look out for this month in the world of game writing.
Happy long weekend for us North Americans to start out the most summer-y of months! If it’s all a little too sticky and hot out there for you, then this month’s newsletter comes at the perfect time — there are plenty of competitions, jams, and other online resources to peruse while drinking an iced tea in a suitably air-conditioned coffee shop or living room.
Conferences and Talks
Develop Brighton 2023 features a few narrative-focused talks including “How to Build an Approachable and Story-focused Game in the Complex Genre of Tactics” by Joel Beardshaw of ustwo games.
Jams and Competitions
IFComp 2023 registration begins July 1st — this means you can register your intent to enter, but your submissions won’t be due until Sept. 28th. Related: this is the comp’s 28th year! It’s an institution at this point.
Get your intent to enter IntroComp registered by June 30th if you want to compete to win some cash prizes and gain some eyes on your work! Submissions are due July 31st and voting closes August 31st.
ParserComp voting begins July 1st and runs throughout the month — try some parser games out!
You can play Neo-Twiny Jam games starting July 1st — these are all interactive fiction games under 500 words!
News + Resources
Above: some of the smartest people in narrative design talk about how to make player choices have lasting impacts through systems-based writing. So much to learn from here.
This is a fantastic read on how to make mechanics tell the story in a game. Highly recommend!
Shout out to Dames Making Games in Toronto — they host lots of cool stuff and provide many free resources, and they just got a new space at 675 King Street West. To keep up with them, join their discord.
Another huge shout out to Dan Cox — he has a YouTube channel full of no-nonsense tutorials about almost all the platforms a narrative-focused game designer might be interested in learning, from Twine to Ink.
Localization Editor II at the Pokemon Company International (there are a few more like this if you browse its site!)
Above is a non-exhaustive list, but I’ve made sure to weed out the ones that look scammy — please feel free to reach out if you have opportunities at your studio/company that I should mention!
Tips: Portfolio Creation
My number one best tip for making a great portfolio is following this in-depth tutorial put out by Sweet Baby. But if you want my concise bullet points on the most important things to remember when making a portfolio — look no further!
What should be in your portfolio depends on the job/internship you’re going for. Prepare to have multiple versions of your portfolio.
Big AAA studio making an RPG — barks, quest design document, lore document or prose.
Mobile studio making a cozy game — character dialogue, visual novel screenshots, planning documents
Include (concise) planning documents. Employers don’t just want to see your work they want to see how you work — extra points for tidy organization.
Keep it short and easy-to-view. Employers don’t have time to look through a lot of dense info. I suggest using your top three samples, and making those samples very visually appealing (screenshots, videos, etc.)
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