ECGC 2019 Sessions

APRIL 16TH – 18TH, 2019

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Summit: Narrative Tutorial

April 16, 2019 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Room: 302B

Hosted by Toiya Kristen Finley, Patrick Coursey, Anna Megill, C.J. Kershner

Summit Description:

Cutscenes, lore writing, character sheets, dialogue, creature descriptions . . . Narrative designers can be responsible for any number of narrative design and writing tasks. You might work on one or a number of them. At the Narrative Tutorial 2019, we’ll look at three narrative design roles, what will be expected of you, and how to write documentation for your team.

During our workshop exercises, we’ll work on a hypothetical game. Sessions build on one another. By the end of the tutorial, you’ll have part of a bible, item descriptions, character bios, and a cutscene for your game!

Lore and Worldbuilding (9:00 a.m.–10:20 a.m.)

Ever wonder how to write those fascinating passages you find in books or on computers in a game world? Excerpts on history, poetry, biographies, letters, etc. make up some of a game’s lore. If you want your players to discover great lore, you need great worldbuilding first.

In this session, C. J. Kershner will walk you through the differences in developing worldbuilding for the team and for players. Then you’ll develop your own lore, add it to a section of a game bible, and write item descriptions based on your worldbuilding.

Character Design (10:30 a.m.–11:50 a.m.)

Good, memorable characters have well-defined motivations, unique ways of speaking, and personalities we love (or love to hate!). A distinct look doesn’t hurt, either.

In this session, Toiya Kristen Finley will discuss creating three-dimensional characters with clear motivations. You’ll write your own character bios, focusing on important information for artists, animators, and sound designers. Incorporate aspects of your worldbuilding into your characters’ designs.

Lunch (11:50 a.m.–1:00 p.m.)

Cutscenes (1:00 p.m.–2:20 p.m.)

Cutscenes are great ways to advance the plot and reveal character development and motivations. The best cutscenes add to the players’ enjoyment of the game, and they don’t feel like they’re interfering with gameplay.

In our final workshop, Anna Megill will share techniques for effective cutscenes and show you proper scriptwriting format. Your cutscenes will feature the characters and lore you worked on earlier in the day.

AUA: Ask Us Anything (2:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.)

In our last session of the day, Patrick Coursey, Toiya Kristen Finley, C. J. Kershner, and Anna Megill give you the chance to ask us anything about game writing and narrative design. Have specific questions about what we covered in the sessions? Are you working on a portfolio? Are you working with writers and want to know how to better help them? AUA!


April 16, 2019
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Toiya Kristen Finley