Heather Albano

Freelance Narrative Designer and Game Writer

Heather Albano likes telling stories. She divides her time between writing traditional fiction and making games, and finds the line between the two growing fuzzier all the time.

On the game design side, she has co-authored five titles released by Choice of Games, including the award-winning Choice of Broadsides and Choice of Zombies. Her first solo ChoiceScript game, A Study In Steampunk, was released in 2016. She was lead writer on Mission One of the critically-acclaimed interactive radio drama Codename Cygnus, released by EarPlay and now available on the Amazon Alexa, and an early narrative designer on the forthcoming World War II leadership RPG Burden of Command. She is currently working as a narrative designer on Rochester Institute of Technology’s “Steampunk Rochester” augmented reality project. She has presented on game design at GDC, ECGC, the Boston Festival of Indie Games, and at MIT and RIT game design classes. See more at www.heatheralbano.com.

Summit Description:

Narrative Tutorial
(Speaking with Toiya Kristen Finley, and Beth Korth)

April 17TH, 2018
9:00am – 3:00pm

Branching narratives and player choices are hallmarks of engaging stories in games. Any game genre can use branching narrative, from AAA RPGs to indie roguelikes to visual novels on mobile. But designing and writing those narratives can be challenging. We want to give players great experiences they’ll want to replay, but we don’t want to go beyond our game’s scope or include so many choices and branches that we end up with an unwieldy mess. Additionally, we want player choices to feel truly consequential.

At this year’s Narrative Summit, join us as we explore:

  • best practices for plotting and outlining branching stories,
  • designing meaningful choices that are clear to the player,
  • creating consequences where the world reacts to those choices, and
  • best practices for scripting conditionals and variables.

Workshop exercises will follow each lecture. This summit is ideal for narrative designers, game writers, game designers, and anyone working on a game with branching narratives.

Panel Description:

Branching Stories: Paths to Being a Game Writer

Other Panelist:
Anna Megill
Mikko Rautalahti

There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about becoming a game writer, but what actually works? Three seasoned writers walk you through the steps with a series of microtalks. Heather Albano talks about personal paths into the industry. Anna Megill offers practical tips for applying for game writing jobs. Mikko Rautalahti gives the lowdown on what you need to know once you have the job. Get solid advice from industry professionals and secure your dream job.

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