Writing for video games
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW441
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
You will learn about the various elements writers must consider when creating a narrative for a video game. This will range from getting to grips with interactive dialogue, exploring the ways environments and objects can tell stories and the role of player and non-player characters. By drawing on these skills you will create your own video game narrative design.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Video game genres and narrative approaches
- How to tell stories through systems
- The player’s journey
- Environmental storytelling
- How characters drive story
- Interactive dialogue.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Demonstrate knowledge of what narrative design is, and how it fits within a wider design team.
- Tell a story using interactive techniques, from branching dialogue to environmental design.
- Plot out a story arc using player and non-player characters.
- Grasp the various audiences for video games and potential routes to publication.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and is open to all.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Learners will be taught through a mix of group work, the sharing of multi-media resources containing insider information, class discussion, writing prompts and formal instruction from the tutor.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day, regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no other costs, but you will need paper and pen/pencil and/or digital equivalents.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
If you are interested in learning more about the wider design of video games, you may want to consider Game Design: A detailed introduction, or Introduction to Unity.
City Lit offer a range of creative writing courses at differing levels. Browse the writing section of our website to find the perfect course for you.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
Thomas McMullan is a writer, narrative designer and journalist. He has worked with games studios in London, Amsterdam and Los Angeles, including Roll7, Niantic, Punchdrunk and The Chinese Room. His debut novel, The Last Good Man, was published by Bloomsbury in 2020, and his work has appeared in the Guardian, The Observer, Times Literary Supplement, Frieze and BBC News. @thomas_mac
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.