Script Lock

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Happy New Year one and all! To celebrate yet another new beginning, we've brought back old guests Greg (Creative Director of Supergiant Games, and writer of Bastion, Transistor, Pyre, and Hades) and Kate (Narrative designer on Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, all of its DLC, the Outer Worlds, and was a narrative co-lead on The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon) to chat with us about working from home during COVID, work/life balance, Early Access, the keys to writing memorable shopkeepers, the beauty of em dashes, themes that they gravitate towards, working with ensemble casts, what kept them up at night the most on the last game they worked on, murder hobos, games being adapted into film/TV, collaborating with other disciplines more closely, and more, more, more!Our Guests on the InternetGreg's TwitterKate's Twitter and InstagramStuff We Talked AboutHadesThe Outer Worlds (and its DLC: Peril on Gorgon)PyreTransistorBastionResident Evil 4 (specifically this guy)UltimaNetflix's Castlevania showAnnihilation (book and movie)InsideHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiElric of MelniboneBig Dead Place by Nicholas JohnsonStories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (specifically the story: The Tower of Babylon)Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang (specifically the story: The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate)Our theme music was created by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Are those sleigh bells in the air? NO, IT'S A NEW EPISODE OF SCRIPT LOCK! After trudging through the hellacious year that was 2020, we're back with Cissy (actress whose voice you may have heard in such games as The Walking Dead, Life is Strange, Firewatch - for which she won a BAFTA - Horizon: Zero Dawn, and most recently Half-Life: Alyx and Call of the Sea) and Erika (actress, host, and producer whom you may have heard in such games as Dream Daddy, Destiny, 2, Fallout 76, Fortnite, Marvel's Avengers, and Cyberpunk 2077) to talk whether you need to live in Hollywood to be a VO actor, being recast, voice matching, auditions, secrecy around characters you’re auditioning for, the luxury of getting scripts before a session, how they like to receive direction, best and worst pieces of direction, vocal health and more!Our Guests on the InternetCissy Twitter and InstagramErika Twitter and InstagramStuff We Talked AboutFinal Fantasy 7 Remake's Voice Cast Got Their Scripts As They Were RecordingOur theme music was created by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Hope you're all staying safe out there! This month's fantastic episode has Rex (co-founder and creative director of Foam Sword Ltd, which recently released its first game Knights and Bikes. He was also the creative lead of Tearaway, a production designer on LittleBigPlanet 1 and 2, and the senior graphic designer on The Movies) and Daniel (composer of such games as The Movies, LittleBigPlanet 1 & 2, Knights and Bikes, and has also composed for film & TV on titles including The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Steve Jobs, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and more) joining us to talk about running into Peter Molyneux in the toilet at a conference in Spain, Guildford being the Hollywood of the games industry, whether their collaborative process has changed over the years, how early they started working together on Knights and Bikes, what they wanted to accomplish with the music, throwing stuff away, if people undervalue the storytelling potential of music in games, memorable pieces of nonverbal storytelling, the best and worst they've ever been treated on a job, not knowing what you're doing, and a whole lot more!Our Guests on the InternetRex's Twitter, and here's the official site for Knights and BikesDaniel's TwitterStuff We Talked AboutPopulous II: Trials of the Olympian GodsI Wanna Ride My Bike (From the Videogame 'Knights And Bikes') by the Daniel Pemberton TV OrchestraWe Are the Best!Daniel Pemberton InterviewControlOnce Upon a Time in the WestSpider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseOur theme music was created by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Podcasting safely from home, we're back with Alix (actor in such games as Assasin’s Creed: Origins, Dragon Age Inquisition, Origins, and Awakenings, Mass Effect 3, The Last Story, Deponia I, II, and II) and Erin (actor in games like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Tales from the Borderlands, Oxenfree, Firewatch, 2064: Read Only Memories, Afterparty, and the upcoming Wolf Among Us 2) to talk about working during a pandemic, where do they start when creating a character, how to support a fellow actor well, rehearsals, the audition process, receiving direction, what makes a good/bad director, trusting your actors, the best/worst direction they’ve ever gotten, intimacy on the motion capture stage, having more morally gray female characters, whether AAA games should keep learning from Hollywood, and more!Our Guests on the InternetAlix's Twitter and InstagramErin's Twitter and InstagramStuff We Talked AboutTales from the BorderlandsDragon Age: InquisitionVermintideOzarkPortrait of a Lady on FireA Taxi Driver Our theme music was created by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Today we've got Jo (writer of games and short stories, and has written on Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and is currently at EA working on an unannounced project) and Paula (writing lead and story editor on Neo Cab. She's also adapted Let’s Play from Webtoon into an animated series and has had her fiction and essays featured in outlets like Salon, the Austin Film Festival, and more) talking with us about masters degrees, delivering criticism, the most helpful piece of feedback they've ever received, how they like to collaborate with others, things they've appreciated in games that might go generally unnoticed, keeping track of branching stories and how to maintain consistency and pacing, when to stop writing, parody games, writing tests that best represent their skills, whether games are too focused on learning from Hollywood blockbusters, the last story that surprised them, and more!Our Guests on the InternetJo's TwitterPaula's Twitter and WebsiteStuff We Talked AboutStar Wars: The Old RepublicNeo CabDoom (2016)Portal 2TacomaThe Pomodoro TechniqueStar Wars Jedi: Fallen OrderDance Dance RevolutionPortrait of a Lady on FireThe Dark Crystal: Age of ResistanceOur theme music was created by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Happy New Year! This month we've got Duncan (writer on Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, Neo Cab, In the Valley of Gods, and the co-creator and writer of the Something True podcast) and Jon (writer, narrative designer and co-founder of Inkle, and has worked on games including 80 Days, Sorcery!, Heaven’s Vault, and Over the Alps) in to talk about being a writer without a writing degree, blank canvas vs well-defined main characters, research, hot air balloons, Lovecraft forums, when to stop researching, underappreciated game moments, player agency, the sweet spot between satisfying and frustrating, the role of writers in pre-production, and more. Our Guests on the InternetDuncan's Website and Twitter.Jon's Twitter, Inkle's Website and Twitter.Stuff We Talked AboutIdle ThumbsCentralia, PALeliana's Song DLCRameses by Stephen BondSpider and Web by Andrew PlotkinPystOur theme music was created by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Happy holidays everyone! To close out the year we've got Walt (writer and creative director at New Game Plus, and has worked on games such as The Darkness, Bioshock 1 and 2, Spec Ops: The Line, and Star Wars Battlefront 2, and he’s also the author of the book Significant Zero: Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art & Soul in Games) and Mary (currently writes at Insomniac Games, and has also written for Certain Affinity, Techland on Dying Light 2, and Telltale on the final season of The Walking Dead and Batman: The Enemy Within) joining us to talk Narrative QA, their most important collaborators, narrative band-aid experiences, storytelling that they appreciate in other games that may go unnoticed by players, making "good" and "bad" choices, emotion-oriented goals, violence-based games, not giving your characters more story than they can handle, narrative pet peeves, things they've learned by slipping up, overwriting, digital media shelf life, what game project(s) they wish they'd been a part of, how important costume design is to their writing process, writing tests, and a thing or two more that you'll just have to find out for yourself!Our Guests on the InternetWalt's Twitter, Instagram. and check out Significant Zero: Heroes, Villains, and the Fight for Art and Soul in Video GamesMary's Twitter, and check out Read Only memories #1Stuff We Talked AboutSpec Ops: The LineHellblade: Senua's SacrificeWe Are Not Heroes: Contextualizing Violence Through Narrative GDC Talk by Walt WilliamsThe Walking Dead: The Final SeasonDisco ElysiumWhen the Streaming Platform Dies, What Happens to its Shows?What Remains of Edith FinchSpider-ManNight in the WoodsStar Wars Battlefront IIAlso Max and I worked on Neo Cab and Man of Medan, two great games that came out this year, and they're totally worth checking out!Our theme music was created by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
We're back again this month with Heli (theatre and performance costume designer, most recently a costume and character designer for Remedy’s Control and the upcoming Crossfire 2. Also worked on Mirages for Kroma Productions, and EGO CURE for Aalto University)and Claire (currently an art director at Valve, previously an artist and associate production designer for Microsoft Studios on a ton of Kinect games, Fable Legends, Sunset Overdrive, Powerstar Golf, and more. Also the production designer for Westworld VR) to talk about why costume design as a specialized role isn’t more common in games, the narrative features of costume design, differences with fashion design, research, building costumes for worlds less-based in reality, the problem of flowing clothes, working with the non-monetary budgets of video games (memory, processing power, etc), not holding back on your first draft, their most important collaborators, iteration, pitching ideas that may be too “out there,” the hardest costume they’ve designed (that they can talk about), knowing when something’s done, how non-costume designers can learn more about costume design, mundane costume design, work/life balance, and how can writers make costume designers’ lives easier.Our guests on the InternetClaire’s Twitter and Website.Heli’s Website and Artstation.Stuff We Talked AboutMarvelous DesignerLA NoireThe Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette WolffUncharted: The Lost LegacyBayonettaOur theme music was created by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Apologies to all for the slight delay, but the wait has TOTALLY been worth it because today we've got Nicole (Senior Narrative Designer at Crystal Dynamics, and before that a Creative Director on the unreleased The Wolf Among Us: Season 2, and a writer on season 2 of Minecraft: Story Mode, Guardians of the Galaxy, Batman, The Walking Dead: Michonne, Game of Thrones: Season 1, and The Wolf Among Us: Season 1) and Megan (Senior Narrative Designer Team Lead and Senior Writer on the recently-released Outer Worlds by Obsidian Entertainment, and before that she was a Senior Writer on Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire and Tyranny, and a Senior Game Designer and Content Zone Lead on Wildstar for Carbine Studios) joining us to talk writing/design tests, whether narrative design and game writing should be separate jobs, the hardest things to write and design, writers' rooms, rewriting processes, where they start with constructing branching narratives, what they look for in endings as creators and whether it's different than what they look for as consumers, meaningful choices, storytelling trends they'd like to see more of, NPCs, major influences, and a great deal more!Our guests on the InternetNicole's Twitter.Megan's Twitter, Website, and check out House of Ash and Brimstone (Gatewalkers Book 1)!Stuff We Talked AboutThe Wolf Among UsBioshockAnita Blake: Vampire Hunter by Laurell K. HamiltonSabriel by Garth NixUntitled Goose GameThe Walking Dead Season 1The Outer WorldsMore than Quest Givers: Why Good Characters Matter Konsoll 2019 Talk by Molly Maloney and Eric StirpePyreGod of WarTransistorBrave Fencer MusashiApex LegendsDota 2The Snow Queen by Hans Christian AndersenThe Twelve Dancing Princesses by the Brothers GrimmLuigi's Mansion 3Brothers - A Tale of Two SonsSchitt's CreekSpinning Silver by Naomi NovikOur theme music was composed by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
We've got Kelsey (game writer and narrative designer on Outer Wilds with Mobius Digital, along with Stormland for Insomniac, and wrote the unreleased Tales from the Minus Lab for USC’s Interactive Media & Games Division) and Olivia (script writer and narrative designer at Ubisoft Montreal on Far Cry 5 and Far Cry: New Dawn, and previously a scriptwriter at Ubisoft Quebec on Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and its DLC) in this month to talk about the hardest parts of working with nonlinear storytelling, stress, taking feedback, nonlinear murder mysteries, quantifying values that are hard to quantify, assuming that players are smart, tracking all the permutations in branching narratives, player assumptions when it comes to knowledge of the story and vice versa, letting players pull in information instead of pushing it on them, what makes a good opening and ending, DnD, and more.Our Guests on the InternetKelsey's Twitter and Website.Olivia's Twitter.Stuff We Talked AboutOuter WildsTwineGDC 2019: Technical Tools for Authoring Branching Dialogue by Carrie Patel and SzymczykSteven UniverseOverqualified by Joey ComeauOur theme music was composed by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita. 
Calling in from the far reaches of Los Angeles AND Toronto, Kait (currently the Team Lead Narrative Designer on Watch Dogs: Legion at Ubisoft Toronto, and formerly the Lead Writer on A Mortician’s Tale for Laundry Bear Games. She’s also written the book Ain’t No Place for a Hero: Borderlands, and is the co-director of Dames Making Games) and Sam (currently a Senior Writer at Insomniac Games, where she recently worked on the Turf Wars DLC for Marvel’s Spider-Man, and formerly an Associate Writer at Bioware on Anthem. She’s also an author of books like Girl Squads and Wonder Women, and has written for comics like Captain Marvel, Star Trek, and Jem & the Holograms) join us to talk writing tests, how to give good feedback, important soft skills to have, writing processes and "muses," staying organized, things that tap and sap their creativity, what makes a good video game opening/ending, NPCs, storytelling quagmires, diverse dev teams, whether there's anything in their work that takes forever that people wouldn't expect, work/life balances, what they're consuming that isn't video games, why writing WWE fanfiction can be helpful for your game writing, major influences, and MOREEEEE! Our Guests on the Internet Kait's Twitter and Instagram, and you should follow all of the rad Watch Dogs: Legion writers and narrative designers on twitter! Sam's Twitter, Instagram, and Website, and you should check out Captain Marvel and preorder The Unstoppable Wasp. Also you should follow all of the good folks at Insomniac Games on twitter! Stuff We Talked AboutASMR Hair Treatment | Mic ON Brush | Oils & Crinkle CapWhat Makes a Good Video Game Ending? by Kait TremblayMass Effect 2BorderlandsPortal 2God of WarUncharted 2: Among ThievesBioshockHellbladeObservationDames Making GamesThe 18-month fence hop, the six-day chair, and why video games are so hard to make by Blake HesterChernobylFleabagThe Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine WeissStargate SG-1 Cleopatra 2525 FarscapeAndromedaseaquest DSVStar Trek: Voyager Our theme music was composed by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
It's localization month, baby, and we've got Lola (producer at SEGA where she’s worked on Sonic Mania, and Sonic Mania Plus. She’s also a gaming consultant and has previously worked in development support at Kojima Productions LA on Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain, PR at Square Enix on games including Sleeping Dogs, Final Fantasy 13, and Kingdom Hearts, and has also worked in localization and QA at Activision Blizzard) and Scott (Localization Producer at SEGA of America, where he just finished working on Judgement, and before that worked on Yakuza Kiwami 2 and Yakuza 6. Was also an Associate Producer on Yakuza 0, a Senior Copyrighter and Associate Product Manager at Square Enix, a Product Manager at Level 5, and Project Lead and Editor at ATLUS) in to talk about why localization is not another word for translation, balancing standards/concepts that exist in one culture that don’t really exist in the other, mahjong, localizing tropes and archetypes that have no analogue in Western media, tone shifting differences in the East vs West, deviating from the script, the difference between a good localization and a great one, dialects, lip flaps, why your localization team should be integrated early in the process, work/life balance, and using editors in addition to translators. Our Guests on the Internet Lola's Twitter Scott's Twitter Stuff We Talked AboutThe bizarre, true story of Metal Gear Solid's English translation by Jeremy BlausteinThe Yakuza seriesJudgment Our theme music was composed by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
And when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer. SPIKES FOOTBALL That's right! We made it to FIFTY episodes, and to help celebrate such a monumental achievement in podcasting, we snuck a couple of past guests in through the back door for a victory lap. Which guests, you ask? How about takes a somewhat deep breath, Carrie Patel, Tyler J. Hutchison, Laura Michet, Richard Lemarchand, Sarah Elmaleh, Jon Paquette, Brendon Chung, Cat Manning, Kate Dollarhyde, Eric Stirpe, Janina Gavankar, Ben Esposito, Claire Hummel, Graham Reznick, Ryan Benno, AND Molly Maloney? So what, you say? Well, what if I told you we talked with them about the main things students should know about interactive storytelling, how it's OK to be silly, storytelling confessions, extreme programming, whether game stories can be apolitical, what the differences between a good collaborator and a great one are (and how to work with a bad one), favorite underappreciated bits in games, anything they'd do differently with their past work, things you might not need to worry about with your storytelling, major influences, the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen, auteurism in games, the greatness of Yakuza 0, stuff they've worked on that they wish people appreciated more, and so! Much! More! I mean, do you see how long this episode is?! ROUND ONE Our guests on the Internet Laura's Twitter and Website, and you should check out Pathologic 2 Carrie's Twitter, and you should check out The Outer Worlds Tyler's Twitter Richard's Twitter and Website Stuff We Talked AboutEp 45: Molly Maloney & Eric Stirpe Mass Effect 2 Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton The Doves Type® Revival Doom (2016) Mario is Missing! The Trust Equation ROUND TWO (begins at 49:35) Our guests on the Internet Sarah's Twitter, and you should check out Afterparty and GamDev.World Jon's Twitter Brendon's Twitter, Website, and you should check out Skin Deep Cat's Twitter, Website, and you should check out Pathologic 2 Stuff We Talked About The Sims 2 Alien: Isolation The Curse of Monkey Island Oxenfree Super Mario Odyssey Civilization VI Ico The menu from Medal of Honor (1999) Honeysuckle by Cat Manning Collaborative Approaches to Getting Great VO Performances (if you have GDC vault access, you can find it there!) Where the Water Tastes Like Wine ROUND THREE (begins at 1:42:12) Our guests on the Internet Eric's Twitter Janina's Twitter, and you should check out Stucco Kate's Twitter Ben's Twitter, Website, and you should check out Donut County Stuff We Talked About Joanna Newsom mewithoutYou Samuel R. Delany Jeff VanderMeer The Secret of Monkey Island Van Cliburn Portal 2 The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen ROUND FOUR (begins at 2:36:27) Our guests on the Internet Ryan's Twitter, and you should check out The Environment Art Podcast Claire's Twitter, Website, and you should check out In the Valley of the Gods Molly's Twitter, and you should check out Yakuza 0 and Return of the Obra Dinn Graham's Twitter, and you should check out Deadwax and Visitations with Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah Stuff We Talked About Red Dead Redemption 2 Yakuza 0 Undertale Firewatch Mother 3 The Walking Dead Season 1 Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Until Dawn Westworld VR Experience Our theme music was composed by Isabella Ness, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
We're all avoiding our deadlines to bring you this episode with Olivia (writer, narrative designer, and editor and currently works at Failbetter Games where she’s worked on Fallen London, Sunless Sea, Sunless Sea: Zubmariner, and Sunless Skies. She’s also worked on Lethophobia, The Mystery of Kalkomey Isle, Cheaper Than Therapy, and Where the Water Tastes Like Wine) and Jessica (former Lead Writer at Telltale Games where she worked on Batman, The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Wolf Among Us: Season 2, and since then has written for WB Games San Francisco, and is currently working with Bad Robot Studios and Google Stadia), who are here to talk about writing meaningful choices, their personal favorite choices in games, what makes a good NPC, what takes you out of a game’s story, storytelling quagmires, getting through rewrite fatigue, when do you know you’re done with a script (apart from deadlines), maintaining a healthy work/life balance, time management, and what’s inspiring them outside of games. Our Guests on the Internet Olivia's Twitter. Jessica's Twitter. Stuff We Talked About Heaven’s Vault Gris Transistor A Burglar’s Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh The Chrestomanci Series by Diana Wynne Jones Alice Diamond and the Forty Elephants by Brian McDonald The Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita
NARRATIVE DESIGN! WHAT IS IT? Today we're super lucky to have Rosa (narrative designer at Criterion Games, previously an audio designer there, and her credits include Battlefield 1, Star Wars Battlefront: Rogue One X-Wing VR Mission, Star Wars Battlefront 2, and Battlefield 5's Firestorm mode) and Ben (writer at Insomniac Games, where he worked on last year's Spider-Man, and he's also a writer and director of film and TV) joining us to answer answer one of the most perplexing questions of our times, plus chat about going from audio to narrative design, building narrative teams, enthusiasm being undervalued, how to sustain yourself through dark periods, how to nail the voices of established characters/IPs, the greatness of Yuri Lowenthal, methods for getting the best possible performances from your actors, whether directing has impacted their storytelling processes, storytelling quagmires they've found themselves in, how do you know when you're done with something (especially when you don't have a deadline), do they feel obligated to play other games to stay up to date with the state of storytelling, games that impressed them recently, stuff that takes them out of a game's story, things they want changed in game development, and one or two more things! Our Guests on the Internet Rosa's Twitter. Ben's Twitter. Stuff We Talked About Writing and Narrative Design: A Relationship by Eric Stirpe and Molly Maloney Return of the Obra Dinn Brawl Stars Mortal Kombat 11 Spider-Man Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-wing VR Mission God of War Detroit: Become Human Another Case Solved Guildmaster Story Alto's Odyssey Celeste Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
This episode is NSFW as we've got Kim (studio manager at Defiant Development, where she’s worked on Hand of Fate, Hand of Fate 2, and Ski Safari: Adventure time. Also the co-founder of Blushbox Collective, a group of game developers exploring and promoting love and sexuality in video games, and the Heartbeat conference and game jam) and Kate (currently the narrative director at KO_OP and writer of the sex games column for Kotaku, previously a games journalist, video producer, on-camera host, scriptwriter, streamer, and community manager at companies ranging from Gamespot to Xbox) in to talk about sex, intimacy, and how they're used in game stories. Other topics include why it’s important to talk about sex now, becoming a stronger communicator, sexual values being good life values, exploring taboo subjects in games, how sex is portrayed in indie games vs big budget games, wanting better consensual content, the lack of funding for intimate interactive experiences, whether there are any aspects of relationships that are hard to translate to gameplay, VR porn, win states in sex games, how to make interactive relationships engaging, and the sexiest games. Our Guests on the Internet Kim's Twitter and Blush Box's website. Kate's Twitter and column. Stuff We Talked About Lyst Summit Heartbeat Symposium Ladykiller in a Bind Cibele Dragon Age: Inquisition Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator One Night Stand Mirror Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Awards season has ARRIVED, and to mark the occasion we've invited two writers representing two of the games nominated by the WGA this year for Best Game Writing : Jon Paquette (Lead Writer on Marvel’s Spider-Man, Sunset Overdrive, and Resistance 3, and formerly a Creative Director at EA, writer on Medal of Honor, and Medal of Honor: Airborne, and QA Lead on Jurassic Park: Trespasser) and returning guest Mel MacCoubrey (Narrative Director on Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, and formerly the Assistant Director of Narrative Design on Assassin's Creed Syndicate, scriptwriter on Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry, and scriptwriting intern on Far Cry 4)! Incredible topics discussed include Jurassic Park Trespasser, writing internships at Ubisoft and Insomniac, whether the core pillars of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey and Spider-Man stayed consistent throughout development, scoping challenges, game length, making big changes to the story once you have a playable build, preventing problems before they happen, always putting your best ideas forward, hardest part about writing for an open world, the worst professional advice they've ever gotten, maintaining a healthy work/life balance, underrated people working with game narratives, the value of voice actors, if there's anything they would change about game development, AAA games that don't have combat as main mechanic, the importance of Farming Simulator 19 as an esport, and moreeeeeeeeee. Our Guests on the Internet Jon's Twitter. Mel's Twitter. Stuff We Talked About Jurassic Park Trespasser What Remains of Edith Finch Florence Brie Code Return of the Obra Dinn Gris Inside Farming Simular 19 Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
It's 2019 and we've got Molly (Lead Narrative Designer at Bad Robot Games, and previously Lead Gameplay Designer at Telltale on Guardians fo the Galaxy, Minecraft: Story Mode, Walking Dead: Season 3, Tales from the Borderlands) and Eric (Writer on Fortnite, interactive consultant for Eko, and previously a staff writer for Netflix's Trash Truck, and a writer at Telltale on Walking Dead: Season 2, Tales from the Borderlands, Minecraft: Story Mode seasons 1 & 2, and Batman: The Telltale Series) here to talk about how choose your own adventure is the dominant influence on interactive narrative at the moment, choice timers, the marriage of writing and narrative design, working relationships, players forgiving bad writing more than bad narrative design, what made Telltale work, finishing a project and feeling like you just spent a lot of time making an asset for somebody else, Bandersnatch (SPOILERS), the problem of having “good” and “bad” endings in branching narratives, fail states, making people feel like their choices matter, obfuscating branches from players, and what makes a good choice. Our Guests on the Internet Molly's Twitter. Eric's Twitter. Stuff We Talked About Writing and Narrative Design: A Relationship by Eric Stirpe and Molly Maloney Still The Smartest Guy On The Hill 30 Years After Sex, Lies & Videotape: Steven Soderbergh Unravels Hollywood Chaos by Mike Fleming Jr. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters Until Dawn Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Happy holidays! We're sneaking in right before Christmas to give all of you the very special gift of Rhianna Pratchett (game writer, narrative designer, comic book writer, and former journalist. She's written on such titles as Heavenly Sword, the Overlord series, Mirror's Edge, the Mirror’s Edge comic series, the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, the sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider, and the Tomb Raider: The Beginning comic series) AND Jill Murray (Lead Writer and Narrative Designer for AAA games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Assassin's Creed Liberation, and AC Freedom Cry, winner of the WGA award for game writing in 2013, and previously published two YA novels with Random House of Canada. She is currently the Narrative Director for an unannounced indie project, as well as working on Boyfriend Dungeon with Kitfox Games, and writing an episode of Later Daters for Bloom Digital) AND Cara Ellison (former games journalist and current game writer, narrative designer, and screenwriter. She served as a narrative consultant on Dishonored 2, produced and designed the TV show Last Commanders for CBBC, and is currently a narrative designer on Media Molecule's Dreams, and Void Bastards by BlueManchu Games), who've joined us to talk prime writing hours, freelancing advice, how to network (and how NOT to), game writing agents, negotiating for yourself, being a narrative paramedic, red flags to watch out for on potential jobs, what they wish more people knew about the kind of work they do, skills to have that are unique for working in AAA, how to handle when people are constantly telling you that your work isn't good, being aware of studio politics, writing mistakes/failures that they've learned from, the state of the industry, worldbuilding, and a few other things that you'll just have to find out yourself! Our Guests on the Internet Rhianna's Twitter and Website. Jill's Twitter, Website, and Instagram. Cara's Twitter, Facebook, and Website. Stuff We Talked About Kitfox Games Writing for Videogames - Writers' Guild of Great Britain Game Workers Unite UK Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
We've got another art-focused episode for you this month as we're joined by Ryan (environment artist on Hunted: The Demon's Forge, The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead, Sunset Overdrive, Ratchet and Clank, and the senior environment artist on Marvel's Spider-Man. He's also one of the hosts of the Environment Art Podcast) and Ellen (currently a lighting artist at Supermassive Games, previously a 3D artist at Sony’s London Studio, a 3D Environment Artist at Little Wolf Studio Ltd, and a VR developer at Yelo Architects) to talk about whether degrees are necessary anymore to find work, where do you start when making an environment, style guides, navigating creative disagreements, environmental storytelling, the overabundance of sci-fi hallways, narrative/visual techniques that games still haven’t tried much, soft cardboard boxes, starting with the blank page, the difference between making a twentysomething-year-old’s apartment vs Peter Parker’s apartment, what can’t you tweak when you’re building an environment that everyone knows, breaking walls that were not meant to break, readability, accessibility, and know that not everything you make needs to be at 11. Our Guests on the Internet Ryan on Twitter. Ellen on Twitter. Stuff We Talked About Artstation Marvel's Spider-Man Hunted: The Demon's Forge Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
We're taking a big ol' swan dive into character design and concept art on this week's episode, and so we're SUPER lucky to have Ashley (formerly a Concept Artist on The Last of Us: Left Behind, and since then she's worked on Uncharted 4: A Thief's End as Lead Character Concept Artist, as well as the upcoming The Last of Us Part II) and Claire (formerly an Artist and Associate Production Designer for Microsoft Studios, where she worked on a bunch of Kinect games, Fable Legends, Sunset Overdrive, Powerstar Golf, and more. She also was the Production Designer for Westworld VR, and currently works as the Art Director on In the Valley of Gods for Campo Santo/Valve) joining us to talk about the misconceptions around what a concept artist does, how they each approach character design, what they want from the writers/creative director when they're starting out with designing one, working for the project instead of yourself, how they know when they're done, the importance of taking breaks and having personal projects, how to achieve good storytelling and character work through costuming, how "real" you can push things before it becomes so novel for players that they're distracted by it, cloth sims: the final frontier of video game character design, making art for VR, major influences, how to create characters that are lifelike and not superficial, the secret to navigating creative disagreements successfully, the importance of failing and making mistakes, which game stories they've responded to recently, and MORE! Our Guests on the Internet Ashley on Twitter and Instagram. Claire on Twitter and her Website. Stuff We Talked About James Gurney In the Valley of the Gods Mary Zophres The Order: 1886 Isao Oishi Layers of Fear Hilda Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland Horizon Zero Dawn Night in the Woods Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Puns are OUTLAWED on this episode as we talk with Ben (Creator of Donut County, and also a game designer, level designer, sound designer, artist, programmer, writer, and more, with credits on Brooklyn Trash King, Bubsy3d: Bubsy Visits the James Turrell Retrospective, The Unfinished Swan, What Remains of Edith Finch, and Tattletail. Also a co-founder of Glitch City LA and Arcane Kids) and Andrew (pretty much the one-man developer behind Tunic, which he’s been working on full time since leaving Silverback Games in 2015) about skulls near toilets and environmental storytelling, designing a story where the player doesn't fully understand what's happening in the world, when to start thinking about theme, garbage chic, coming up with a game to match a specific feeling, freedom being a terrible thing for an artist, the emotional expense of investing yourself in someone else's project, the danger of snacks and working from home, when you know you’re done with something, games dictating their length, naming your game, keeping a good work/life balance when your boss is you, secrets decisions, and how to Twitter well. Our Guests on the Internet Andrew's Twitter and Tunic's Twitter. Ben's Twitter, Website, and Donut County's Twitter. Stuff We Talked About Emily Short's Blog Post About Donut County Donut County is a Game About Swallowing Los Angeles and Realizing You're an Asshole by Laura Hudson Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Freelancing! Blessing or curse? Today Laura (writer and editor of such games as Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, Frog Fractions 2, Swan Hill, You Got This, Brutadon!, The Brigand’s Story, and more, and is currently an editor at Riot Games.) and Cat (writer and narrative designer of video games and narrative fiction, who's worked on titles such as Invasion, Pathologic 2, What Isn't Saved (Will Be Lost), Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, and the forthcoming Leader of the Pack) join us to talk about that independent life with topics like how to find work, what to look for in contracts, rates, renegotiating, the importance of maintaining a social media presence, whether you should go to festivals, why you maybe shouldn't go to the Write Zone at GDC, and non-freelancer stuff like how to match another writer's voice, reflective choices and how to make strong ones, how to give a player the feeling that their decisions have an impact on a story (especially when the story isn't actually changing at all), writing mistakes, the importance of editing, getting feedback, and I dunno, a few more things. Our Guests on the Internet Laura's Twitter and Website Cat's Twitter and Website Stuff We Talked About The parser game scene from the Tom Hanks movie Big Slug-In-Hand Tavern Twitter Bot The Writers' Guild of Great Britain Videogames Guidelines DoContract Game Writers Facebook Group Where the Water Tastes Like Wine Successful Reflective Choices in Interactive Narrative by Cat Manning Planescape Torment With Those We Love Alive Invasion Sub-Q American Vandal Brendan Patrick Hennessy Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Summer is here and so is a new episode! Today we're talking with Marc (author, game writer, designer, and previously worked at Valve on Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 Episodes 1 & 2, and Dota) and Chris (narrative director at Failbetter Games, previously a staff writer and head writer, and has written on Fallen London, The Last Court, Sunless Skies, and Sunless Seas) about storytelling transmedia synergy in 1990s Japan, what makes a good narrative director, planning a career as a writer, core skills writers should have, getting into writing with a team too early in your career, keys to good worldbuilding, creating the illusion of depth, the poop caves of Nottingham, having end goals in mind as a team, trusting your teammates, avoiding your first thoughts in writing, how expectations of more dialogue can put the wrong weight on characters, big failures, changes in writing processes, and player literacy. Our Guests on the Internet Marc's Twitter and Website. Chris' Twitter. Stuff We Talked About Which Legend of Zelda Game Was Inspired By Twin Peaks? by Michael McWhertor Woodcutters from Fiery Ships Machine Cares The Clarion Workshop Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
Going from game journalism to game writing isn't something you see too often, but today Mitch Dyer (former editor at IGN, freelance writer for Gamespot, ArsTechnica, The Escapist, Gamesrader, and more, and current writer at EA Motive where he recently finished working on Star Wars Battlefront 2) and Demian Linn (former executive producer at Ziff Davis Media,, and GameVideos, co-founder of BitMob Media, and current game writer at Ubisoft San Francisco, where he just finished working on South Park: the Fractured But Whole) join us to talk about their experiences doing just that, as well freelance life, assumptions they had about game writing that ended up being incorrect, aspects of games we all wish fans and/or the media understood better, the biggest storytelling mistakes they've learned from, writing tests, how to stay objective about your writing, the approval process on big IPs, writing processes, toolsets, what takes them out of games, what to do when you're struggling with a writing problem, what's inspiring them lately, why comedy in video games is so hard to pull off, what they struggle most with with writing and how they conquer it, storytelling trends over the last decade, when we're going to see a AAA studio make a game with no combat, verbs they'd like to see more, and -- wow, this sentence is just going on forever, huh. Our Guests on the Internet Mitch's Twitter. Demian's Twitter. Stuff We Talked About Trey Parker and Matt Stone: 'This happened, and then this happened, and then this happens -- that’s not a movie, that’s not a story' Our theme music was composed by 2Mello, and our logo was created by Lily Nishita.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Max Folkman
Podcast Status
Oct 2nd, 2015
Latest Episode
Jun 15th, 2020
Release Period
2 per month
Avg. Episode Length
About 2 hours

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