Script Lock

Script Lock

Writers Max and Nick Folkman sit down with other writers and developers for an informal discussion about storytelling in video games.

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    Ep 29: Kim Belair & Harrison G. Pink

    Kim and Harrison are here to talk about whether modern games leave enough to the player’s imagination, introducing a New Game Minus feature, if you have a lot of money, you can’t afford faith (from a corporate level), the weirdness of Earthbound, feeling obligated to share lore because you have it instead of holding it back, studios valuing plot logic over emotional logic between characters, open world design problems, giving players more verbs, being able to ask for help more in games, making choices explicit to players, too many twists, and the need for lower stakes.

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    Ep 28: Josh Mosqueira & Darby McDevitt

    Josh and Darby call in to discuss tabletop gaming, the benefits of an english degree, being a game director at Blizzard, the business realities of game development, the relationship between narrative design and game design, the importance of the player's story, the problem with plot in video games and how to deal with it, the storytelling of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, whether games will ever be remembered for their stories, bad writing, working with established franchises, dealing with the expectations of players, and much more!

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    Ep 27: Sean Vanaman & Jesse Stern

    We've got Sean and Jesse in to talk about joining the industry with no preconceived notions, the importance of having somebody with strong storytelling sensibilities in a senior leadership role, how building scenes first and then finding a writer NEVER works, generating trust with your team, trusting the process, the skills you improve over making games, staying usefully ignorant of the process, the hardest scene to write in games being two people talking to each other, maintaining a professional curiosity, when is the right time to share ideas with your team, the problem of people mortgaging fun and entertainment for subtlety, and Sean’s experience working on Mickey Epic.

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    Ep 26: Aleissia Laidacker & Rob Morgan

    Straight outta GDC, Aleissia and Rob join us to discuss augmented and mixed reality experiences, interactive immersive theater, how to get players to not break experiences, whether AI is the future for making games accessible or not, Sleep No More (as always), should players be aware of a narrative changing around them, managing the user experience, having stories where the player isn't the hero, participation through implication as a storytelling conceit, using AI tracking and Machine Learning to help systemic games, attuning players to treat the world around them as if it's not devoid of social consequences, the player's self-importance about their own experience, advancements in systemic design, our collective excitement at the prospect of a wrestling game using the nemesis system, parallels between wrestling and storytelling, how do you make a believable NPC, and sooooo much more!

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    Ep 25: Émilie Poissenot & Brie Code

    We're starting 2017 off right with our guests Émilie and Brie! Topics include making games with people who don't like video games, modular narratives, integrating positive psychology into game design, story emerging from systems, the storytelling challenges of being free to play, updating a game every three weeks and the challenges therein, emotional triggers that create engagement, player ownership in games, the importance of giving space to the audience, and games as a personal growth tool.

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    Ep 24: Emily Garrison & Julie Marchiori

    It's our last episode of the year! Emily Garrison and Julie Marchiori drop in to talk about using agency to empower players to build their own stories, gameplay verbs, the narrative potential of systems, environmental storytelling, level design, the research phase, design processes, subtext in games, the importance of downtime with your characters and why it's difficult for studios, minority content, examining the choices of players, and a heck of a lot more!

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    Ep 23: Tim Schafer & Jake Elliott & Cara Ellison

    We are JAM-PACKED with storymakin' knowledge as we talk with Tim, Jake, and SURPRISE RETURN GUEST Cara about using Twine as a design tool, knowing the implementation of your writing, working the fat off your prose style, the hero’s journey being just one bag of tricks that works, the differing emotional states between pitching and working, thinking of structure like Brutalist architecture, the most over utilized/underutilized tools in the storytelling toolbox, the importance of having/not having voice over, fatigue from world-ending stakes, internal writing rules, deciding to use/not use puzzles in adventure games, and whether there’s too much pressure on conclusions.

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    Ep 22: Mel MacCoubrey & Ann Lemay

    Mel MacCoubrey and Ann Lemay are here to talk about whether going to university is necessary for becoming a game writer, being a salesperson to other departments, Ubisoft internships, the length of game stories, being a narrative director, one thing they wish all departments knew about narrative to start with, dealing with players who don't care about story, how narrative is everything, the possibility of AAA studios making smaller open world games, being scientifically accurate in Mass Effect and historically accurate in Assassin's Creed, coming onto a franchise that has already started, fan fiction, how to acknowledge every possible action of the player without diluting the story you want to tell, whether we should be concerned about side content overshadowing the main narrative, the hardest and easiest characters to write, the importance of communication, and jeez, so much more!

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    Ep 21: Rayna Anderson & Alexis Kennedy

    This week we've got Rayna and Alexis talking about the Beast ARG, not underestimating your audience, small teams vs big teams, pruning your ideas through technical constraints, why game writing should be more like short stories, bloat in modern game writing, trusting the players more, how to get lots of words in a game trailer, game rhythms, owing players closure, and more!

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    Ep 20: Thomas Grip & JT Petty

    Thomas and JT join us to discuss the Four Layers of Narrative Design, mistaking plot for story, how controllers affect the narrative, goals of storytelling, VR skepticism, the relation between narrative systems and emotional impact, Silent Hill, what a lack of combat can do for you, the lessons developers can learn from horror, and much more!

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