Toiya Kristen Finley

Game Designer, Narrative Designer, Game Writer, and Editor

Nashville native Toiya Kristen Finley is a writer, editor, game designer, and narrative designer/game writer. She holds a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University. With nearly 70 published works, she has 20 years of experience writing in a range of genres, tones, styles, and voices. In 2011, she co-founded the Game Writing Tutorial at GDC Online with Tobias Heussner and served as an instructor in 2011 and 2012. In video games, she has worked as a game designer, narrative designer, game writer, and editor (or some combination of the four) on several unreleased and in-production indie, social, and mobile games for children and general audiences. She co-authored The Game Narrative Toolbox (Focal Press, 2015), a book on narrative design.

Finley is a member of the IGDA Game Writing Special Interest Group’s Executive Board and the Vice President of nonprofit Nashville Game Developers. Most recently, she edited and contributed to Narrative Tactics for Mobile and Social Games: Pocket-Sized Storytelling (CRC Press, 2018). Her current work includes writing and editing for various interactive fiction projects and narrative design and game design for Digital Myths, and she leads the Narrative Tutorial at East Coast Game Conference.

Sessions

Leaders: Toiya Kristen Finley

Ever been excited to apply for a game writing/narrative design job, but you had absolutely no idea what portfolio samples to send? Have you taken a writing test, only to never receive feedback, so you don’t know how to improve or be ready for the next test?

This year’s Game Narrative Tutorial is all about two things that frustrate even veteran writers: portfolios and writing tests! We’ll look at how to demystify job descriptions, what types of samples you should include in a portfolio, and what employers/clients are looking for in tests and portfolios.