The Wheeler Centre
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Let the Games Begin: Storytelling Extended
Something surprising has been happening in screenwriting courses around the world. Though they remain popular as ever, very few students are writing traditional screenplays. Instead, they’re writing for web, for interactives – and very often, for video games.
The core elements of storytelling are there in spades; games demand tightly constructed worlds rich with theme, character, plot, dialogue and implication. And for gamers, whose actions influence the storylines and outcomes of these worlds, connection to story is key. The expectation for most modern games is that the narrative will be appropriately complex; in some cases, they’re backed up by literally thousands of pages of lore.
In this talk, we look at the ways writers can seize on the creative and collaborative potential of games. Can great games rival great works of literature?
Presented in partnership with Victorian College of the Arts.
Leena van Deventer is a writer, game developer, and educator from Melbourne. In 2013 she co-founded WiDGET, a support group for women and non-binary game developers with over 800 members. In 2016 she co-authored Game Changers: From Minecraft to Misogyny, the fight for the future of videogames for Affirm Press with Dr. Dan Golding.
Game designer and writer Trent Kusters is the founder of game development collective League of Geeks, responsible for digital roleplaying strategy board game and international success story Armello. He is also the chair of Freeplay – Australia’s largest and longest running independent games festival – and a lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts. Frequently named one of the games industry’s top young achievers, Trent is the chair of RMIT’s Program Advisory Committee, industry advisor to DiGRA Australia and the Australian Writers Guild, and frequently speaks and consults on development and design.
Brooke Maggs is a freelance writer, narrative designer and producer working with The Voxel Agents on The Gardens Between, an adventure puzzle game with no text or speech. She is the narrative designer on Earthlight, a virtual reality game about the wonders and perils of space by Opaque Media Group. She has taught games studies, user experience design and cultural studies at a tertiary level for over seven years.
James Coquillat is a writer and games developer from Melbourne. He has written for League of Geeks and is a contributor to Cracked.