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 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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    Ep 19: Josh Scherr & Sarah Elmaleh

    Uncharted 4 spoilers abound as we've got Josh and Sarah in to talk performance, can you know too much about a character, the writing process at Naughty Dog, what you accomplish in level dialogue vs cutscene dialogue, why there isn’t an open world Uncharted, was Sam ever Samantha, structure, taking the time to develop characters in-game and spend time with them, where do you start when creating mysteries/puzzles, serious pirate history, making the main character an asshole, ghost pirates, and can you enjoy the games you’ve worked on.

    Again, SPOILERS FOR UNCHARTED 4 IN THIS EPISODE.

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    Ep 18: Laura E. Hall & Ian Thomas

    The wait is over! Laura and Ian join us this week to talk about moment-driven story design, designing escape rooms and narrative live action experiences, relying on people's subconscious' to do the heavy lifting, Punchdrunk's immersive theatre, environmental storytelling, breaking games, how to write for experiences where you can't control what the player will do, puzzle design, VR shorthands, and much more!

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    Ep 17: Jolie Menzel & Teddy Diefenbach

    Talking all about design this week with Jolie and Teddy! We also chat about the story and lack of text in Hyper Light Drifter, games being different based on what department heads the studio, breaking design down into systems/levels/narratives, narrative puzzle design, iteration, having intimate conversations with developers by playing their game, giving players choice when they don’t expect it, the balance of showing how much a game is listening to players, subtlety in design, storytelling through level design, games withholding their payoffs for too long, and the need to not be precious with your work.

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