RMIT Games Talk - Storytelling as Shapeshifting Links

Banner design by Melbourne artist Marigold Bartlett

Banner design by Melbourne artist Marigold Bartlett

On Monday the 21st of August, I’ll be giving a free public lecture on my process as a narrative designer on The Gardens Between. Here is the Facebook event :)

I will focus particularly on why we went with a different plot to ‘The Quest’ and talk about the advantages of knowing different plots. I’ll also talk about why it became easy for us to throw out those storytelling questions writers feel pressured to answer up front: what do the characters want?

The Gardens Between by The Voxel Agents

The Gardens Between by The Voxel Agents

If you have seen my GCAP talk, Advocating for the Narrative, some of this will be familiar. This time, I’m going into more detail about the gameplay (it’s changed so much since GCAP!) and how we have paired it with the themes and tone of the story.

Why storytelling as shapeshifting? I think it’s a crucial skill as a writer for games but also, for creative people in general. The act of shapeshifting is a creative one. I am a writer, narrative designer, speaker, producer, advocate and a conduit; each time I changed my label, I learned something new.

Shapeshifting can feel strange and uncomfortable. New skills are gained in a different form, only to cast off that form in favour of a new one. You will make a game, and then, you will make a new one. Each project will ask you to change and grow. I’ll cover how I’ve grown with the development of The Gardens Between and give some practical tips on writing for games.

As a lead up to the talk, here is a list of links to set the tone!

My Introduction to narrative design article over at The Conversation: Explainer: the art of video games writing

For some lovely ambient music for your workday I recommend number three of The Gardens Between Ambient Trailers. This one is also my favourite colour palette. 

And Paperbark, a beautiful Australian game about a wombat and a hot, Australian summer.

You can play The Gardens Between at ACMI’s Code Breakers Exhibition on now until November 6th.


Brooke M