Video Game Writing
From Macro to Micro
Edition: 2

Paperback: 978 1 68392 029 8 / $44.95
Published: January 2017  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 68392 324 4 / $124.95  
About Library E-Book

Published: January 2017  

E-Book: 978 1 68392 030 4 / $21.95
Published: December 2016  

Publisher: Mercury Learning & Information
394 pp., 7" x 9"
This insightful, revised book explores the challenging and evolving world of the games writer. Part I provides a fascinating overview of the history of games writing following its humble roots in the '60s to today’s triple-A titles; Part II asks and answers the key question: what does a games writer do and how do they do it? Especially useful reading for novice game writers, its chapters cover a broad range of topics including contracts, NDAs, creative collaboration, narrative design, editing, adaptations, and environmental storytelling. Part III, of particular value for more advanced students of writing, addresses deeper theoretical questions increasingly relevant in today’s games titles, including: "Why have story at all? What is plot and how does it work? How best can a writer use agency?" Finally, Part IV presents readers with hard-earned nuggets of wisdom from today’s game writers working in the US, Europe, and Japan. Packed with practical samples, case studies, and exercises, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the world of games writing.


• Covers history of games writing, narrative design, storytelling, plot, contracts, and packed with practical samples, case studies, and exercises

• Presents readers with opinions and suggestions from today’s game writers who are working in the US, Europe, and Japan

• Includes a broad range of topics e.g., creative collaboration, editing, adaptations, and environmental storytelling

• Mentions games such as Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Borderlands 2, The Walking Dead, L.A. Noire, Grand Theft Auto V, Mass Effect 3, The Stanley Parable, The Last of Us, Alien Isolation, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Life is Strange, Until Dawn, Quantum Break, BioShock, World of Warcraft, and more.

Table of Contents:
1: A Brief History of Game Stories.
2: Decoding and Devising the Brief.
3: NDAs and Contracts.
4: Collaboration: Team Us.
5: Narrative Design.
6: Outlines and Treatments.
7: Character Documents.
8: Environmental Storytelling.
9: Writing Scripts.
10: Editing.
11: Consultancy.
12: Adaptations.
13: Other Roles of the Games Writer.
14: Why Have Stories At All?
15: What Is Plot and How Does It Work?
16: Other Resources for Writers.
17: Marrying Design and Story: Driver 76 Case Study.
18: Storyloading.
19: Shifting Agency.
20: Time Gates and Act Stimulants.
21: Aristotle, Games Writing, and Games.
22: Choice or Enlightenment?
23: The Future of Games Writing.
24: What’s It Like Being a Games Writer?

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Reviews & Endorsements:
"The second updated edition of Video Game Writing: From Macro to Micro reviews the history of game writing from the 1960s to modern times and considers not only the evolution of specific games and styles, but the changes involved in programming them. Students involved in writing such games will find a solid foundation that covers everything from collaborative processes and the basics of design, plot, and editing to contracts, screenplay terminology, text types and game-oriented approaches, and more. From terminology to macro and micro concerns, this wide-ranging blend of history and how-to applications is especially recommended for beginners new to the gaming environment who want a quick understanding of options and challenges specific to the video game writer's environment."
- Midwest Book Review