Patrick Coursey

Lead Writer and Narrative Designer for Playcorp Studios

Patrick Coursey is a writer and narrative designer with experience on indie, mobile, and augmented reality games. He’s currently the Lead Writer and Narrative Designer for Melbourne-based Playcorp Studios on their unannounced flagship adventure game. Previously, he served as writer for Blindflug Studios’ award-winning game Cloud Chasers and its sequel, Airheart. In addition to working on his next game, Patrick enjoys guiding new writers into the games industry. He’s given talks on the practice of game writing at the Baltimore Writers’ Conference and moderated a panel on Breaking into Games at Gameacon. While pursuing his Master’s degree at Georgia Tech, he led a team of student designers in the creation of a three-day alternate reality game performed at DragonCon in 2013. He likes to claim that his writing career began at the age of 6, when he wrote Super Mario fan-fiction hoping to convince his parents to buy an NES. Since this gambit resulted in acquiring the requested console, he considers it his first paid gig.

Panel Description:

Panel: Game Writing With Existing Licenses (with Heidi McDonald)
Sometimes when you work in game writing, you get to make up your own characters because you are working on a studio-owned IP. Often, though, you are tasked with writing for a world with canon that already exists, which presents its own specific set of challenges. Heidi McDonald moderates a panel of industry all-star narrative designers with experience in game writing using existing licenses. There will also be a Q&A period for other writers about writing with existing licenses. Sample questions for panelists: –The balance between fan service, game writing conventions, and the existing material. –How to keep stories and characters original yet within established constraints. –Working with clients who have oversight, or content bibles.

Panel Description:

Bounce That Game: Why Festival Judges Disqualify Your Work (with Heidi McDonald)
This panel came out of a drunken Facebook exchange that Ian Schreiber and Heidi McDonald had while judging games for IndieCade earlier this year. We each judge several game festivals a year and we have seen several common mistakes that indie devs make, when submitting their games to festivals…reasons that cause us judges to Bounce Their Games. We decided that a fun way to present this would be a live game show format, called Bounce That Game, with buzzers we bring with us. During the “game show,” three of us (the “contestants”) communicate a list of DO’s and DON’Ts to help indie makers create work that will please professional festival judges, or at least keep us from sticking forks through our eyes. A bonus round will ensue, where we include tips for festival organizers. At the end of the hour, a winner will be declared: THE AUDIENCE! Because now they know how specifically they are more likely to have their work progress in festival competitions, and not piss off the judges.