The Art of Writing for Video Games Price: $749
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The Art of Writing for Video Games

Flint and JZP are the writers of established franchises like G.I. Joe, Transformers, Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park, Uncharted, Dead to Rights, Diablo 3, Ingress, Avatar, Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, and many more. These industry legends - with 30+ years of experience creating remarkable video games, comics, and movies - will teach you what it takes to thrive as a writer.

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The Art of Writing for Video Games

A 7-week program with live discussions, real-life projects, and teamwork that will take you from inspiration to creating scripts and characters for the professional game industry


If you want to launch a career in writing for video games or other media, this course is for you.

Week by week, you’ll learn the essentials of video game writing, and apply the principles in developing your own video game from idea to pitch.

You’ll come out of The Art of Writing for Video Games with a polished design doc for your very own game, which can serve as a work sample you can submit for game writing jobs, or to sell your game to studios. They’ll also teach you how to transform video game stories into successful franchises

You’ll gain tons of practical knowledge and insights on how to navigate the video game industry, from two of the most successful writers of the century. This course is the essential accelerator for your video game writing career.


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Previous Cohort
Cohort Name Class Period Registration Deadline
#3 Chaotic Good
May 13, 23 - Jun 24, 23 Saturday, May 13 - 2023 at 03:00 PM UTC
Class is closed to new registrations
  • Cohort Name
    #3 Chaotic Good
  • Class Period
    May 13, 23 - Jun 24, 23
  • Registration Deadline
    Saturday, May 13 - 2023 at 03:00 PM UTC
Class is closed to new registrations
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Previous Cohort
Cohort Name Class Period Registration Deadline
#2 Neutral Good
Oct 22, 22 - Dec 03, 22 Saturday, Oct 29 - 2022 at 05:00 PM UTC
Class is closed to new registrations
  • Cohort Name
    #2 Neutral Good
  • Class Period
    Oct 22, 22 - Dec 03, 22
  • Registration Deadline
    Saturday, Oct 29 - 2022 at 05:00 PM UTC
Class is closed to new registrations
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Program Structure

Typical week in the cohort

Communication and networking are core components of the ClasspertX course experience. In this course, you will be part of a global learning community. In order to accommodate all participants, we have designed much of the course experience to take place asynchronously, with a synchronous class session that occurs weekly.

Async Sessions on Discord
  • Reading from the book
    Includes a free copy of the book

    This course is centered around The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design which will be used as a supplementary material for the classes

  • Videos
  • Quizzes
  • Exercises
  • Students will be prompted to submit questions during the week, and the instructor should choose questions to answer for students during the weekly session
Illustration of people using Discord
Sync Sessions on Zoom
  • Q&A with the instructor
  • Additional demos / examples of key topics
  • Group practice - students break out to work on an exercise
  • Group discussion
Sync sessions on Zoom

Syllabus

Kickoff
  • Welcome to the Course
  • Goals of the Course and the Project (brief)
  • Meet Your Instructors
  • Course Logistics (LMS, Discord, etc.)
  • What We’ll Cover
Week 1 - Creating a Narrative
  • What is Narrative (Story) within the context of games and why does it matter
  • World, Character, Tone, and Theme
  • Strategies that allow you to outline a story quickly
  • Writing strategies
  • The bad idea and how to build on it
  • The Writing Process
Week 2 - Characters
  • The various type of game characters - PC, NPCs, Ambient Characters, Cannon Fodder
  • Character Alignments
  • 3rd person (tethered) vs. 1st person vs. Cinematic Camera
  • Character Archetypes
  • Matching characters to core gameplay mechanics
  • Character Template and how to use it
Week 3 - Worlds
  • Paracosms and how they are created
  • Famous fictional worlds and why they work
  • Creating backstories for your worlds - myths, systems, societies, religions, languages, etc.
  • Reality vs. Hyper-Reality (comic worlds that layer over real ones - Gotham, John Wick)
  • Exploration vs. Linear reveals for your world(s)
Week 4 - Transmedia - the Narrative Landscape
  • Why you should be developing IPs rather than one-off ideas
  • Envisioning your IP across multiple media
  • Creating complementary expressions of a single idea
  • Budgetary considerations when you think big
  • Laying the groundwork for a franchise
  • Improving your chances by providing the vision
Week 5 - The High-Level Design Document and Pitching
  • What should be included
  • Pitching your idea - 3 main points
  • Examples and discussion of what works and what doesn’t
  • Including visuals
  • Punching up the text and presentation
  • What’s next - building your portfolio
  • Career considerations
  • The future and how “you” fit into it
Week 6 - Platforms
  • A look at the various platforms for games: Apps, Consoles, PC, AR/VR/ARGs, Social Media games - FB, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok
  • How platforms affect both the narrative content and the story-telling strategy
Week 7 - Project Submission
  • Complete your game design document
  • Pitch your game concept to Flint, JZP and friends
Project Preview

Project

Create and Pitch your Game Concept To The Class

  • Create a ~15-page design document similar to Lobo - The Game
  • Pitch your game concept to the class
  • Receive high level feedback from Flint Dille and JZP, fellow creatives and invited guests
  • End up with a final polished version of your design document, one you can submit to a potential employer or buyer
Check out a few of our students' projects
A thumbnail photo for the Fish Upon a Star project

Fish Upon a Star

A relaxing pixel-based RPG
by Jaron Johnson

Fish Upon A Star is a casual single-player life sim RPG. The player is a space explorer who finds themselves marooned on this inhabited planet. The player must try and gather up the missing pieces of their ship in order to escape.

Demo Session
A thumbnail photo for the Undeceived project

Undeceived

Nothing is as it seems
by Nick Solari

When his sister becomes “marked” by a demon-wound that only a banished order of knight-priests can heal, a backwater courier must deliver their last holy relic in order to prove their legitimacy and ensure his family’s survival. On a perilous journey across what remains of the Protectorate, Brennan of Aldo finds himself up against more than just abominable demons and ravenous mobs when he discovers his sister has embraced the newfound powers of her corrupted form.

Demo Session
A thumbnail photo for the Grayveil Home project

Grayveil Home

A JRPG with active battles
by Terry Tibke

Grayveil Home is a lovecraftian mix of supernatural elements and 1920’s prohibition era, in an Action-JRPG shell. Players will love selecting the right orphans to take in their party, and exploring the relationships between these diverse characters brought to life through voice lines that steer directionality and navigation in a natural way.

Demo Session

What you'll learn

  • Creating a Narrative for your Game
  • Creating Compelling Characters
  • World Building for Games
  • Various Types of Storytelling
  • Exploring Different Platforms for Games
  • Transmedia: The Expansion of the Game IP (creating franchises)
  • Creating Compelling Stories for Role-playing Games

Who this course is for

We do expect attendees to interact with other students on their exercises as one of our goals is to teach creative networking and teamwork.

Flint Dille

Who this course is for

Target Audience
  • Professional and aspiring writers looking to develop stories in the context of games
  • Game designers and Indie game developers wanting to work amazing stories into their games
  • Game enthusiasts who are curious about learning how to create narratives in games
Prerequisites
  • Willingness to become a professional writer
  • Genuine interest in games and game stories
  • A desire to entertain through story and games

Your Instructors

Flint Dille
Flint Dille

Flint Dille is the most produced game writer globally, with over 14 Gold and platinum games, including: Uncharted, Riddick, Diablo, and Ingress. Many of his scripts received critical acclaim and have withstood the test of time, as evidenced by ongoing franchise opportunities. He was creative lead at Niantic from 2012-2020, creators of Ingress and Pokemon Go. He is currently Narrative Lead at Deviation Games.

You definitely don't need a degree to start a career as a game writer. I've been lucky to have met and worked with Gary Gygax, who has no degree, he created Dungeons and Dragons. I've done tons of stuff with Frank Miller, who also has no degree, and also created all these comics. Joe Ruby created Scooby-Doo and didn't have a degree either. The truth is: In 2023, it helps to have a degree but it doesn't hurt not to have it.
Career Highlights
  • Writer for remarkable video games including Ghostbusters (2009), The Chronicles of Riddick (2009), Transformers (2007), Superman Returns (2006), and Fantastic Four (2007)
  • Writer for Steven Spielberg’s movies: Fievel Goes West (1991) and Tiny Toons (1992)
  • Story editor for TV series including G.I. Joe (55 episodes), The Transformers (30 episodes), and Ingress (11 episodes)
  • Together with Gary Gygax (the creator of Dungeons & Dragons), Flint Dille created the interactive gamebook series, Sagard the Barbarian
  • Lead creative at Niantic Labs, creators of Ingress and Pokemon GO
John Zuur Platten
John Zuur Platten

John is a writer and designer who has shipped over 80 games. With over 30 years of experience in the business, John has written for established franchises such as Jurassic World, Ghostbusters, The Fast and the Furious, and The Chronicles of Riddick. He was a lead creative at Niantic Labs, creators of Ingress and Pokemon GO. John has also written feature films, comics, television and streaming content.

The script is perhaps the most important thing in a game. People will remember characters and stories, but they won't remember the game engine and what technology it was made on.
Career Highlights
  • Writer for remarkable video games including Jurassic World Evolution (2018), Apache Air Assault (2010), Ghostbusters (2009), The Chronicles of Riddick (2009), Transformers (2007), and Tom Cat Alley (1994)
  • Story writer for the TV series Harry and the Hendersons (1993)
  • Lead creative at Niantic Labs, creators of Ingress and Pokemon GO
Relevant Publications in the Field
The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design
View More
324 ratings
Mr. Blurg

I bought this book and have enjoyed it immensely. Both the authors provided much more than I was hoping for. They are seasoned game writers/designers who have worked on many games you know and are still working on games. The book breaks down not only how to write for games, but what that entails, including hardships you will find along the way (both with writing and people).

Joseph Velikovsky

This book is the best I’ve ever read on Game Writing and Design (and I’ve read a lot, and taught Game Writing and Design a lot, and written a million-seller game) If anyone here is keen on taking a crack at either adapting your film project to a game or writing an original IP game, I would seriously read this book first.

Meet our alumni
Suzanne Warr's photo
Suzanne Warr The Art of Writing for Video Games - Cohort 2

I would say I felt my return on the investment was about 500 fold what I expected. Honestly, the class really just blew me out of the water with how helpful it was and how much I learned. And the cherry on top is this awesome cohort!

Sarah Chernik The Art of Writing for Video Games - Cohort 1

I found that not only was I learning from the author's themselves, I was learning from the other students with everyone's different backgrounds.

We literally had students from all over the world. It really gave a lot of insights into different ways to be creative different kinds of games that you could make.

Jaron Johnson's photo
Jaron Johnson The Art of Writing for Video Games - Cohort 2

My name is Jaron, and I'm a creative director for a tabletop design company. I'm a project manager by day and a tabletop game designer by night, which provides me some really handy skills for a hopeful career in video game design!

When I saw this course, I wanted to learn from folks who were already in the industry about what it was like behind closed doors. I was hoping to pick up some helpful templates and learn what structures and systems people are using in the industry, so I could apply them to my own workflow.

That's exactly what I got from the course! I learned a lot about worldbuilding from the ground up; characters, levels, cinematics, all contributing to a central game narrative. Picking up systems for developing interesting and engaging characters and cutscenes are going to help me put it all together in the end.

Learning directly from the author was definitely helpful. A lot of what we learned was content that we could not have possibly picked up from the book alone. I loved hearing both Flint and JZP riff off of one another during the course, and getting feedback directly from Flint in our feedback sessions was very helpful to know if I was on the right track or not.

If you're a person who wants to take your game narrative skills to the next level, who wants to learn some systems that are really used in the industry, and to walk away with helpful templates and new connections with like-minded people, this course is absolutely for you!

Leonardo Sewald The Art of Writing for Video Games - Cohort 2

As someone with a business-oriented background coming from outside the games industry, I thought the course not only helped me hone my creative writing skills but it also gave me valuable insight about what goes on inside the industry. The staff are knowledgeable and experienced, and the interactions with everyone else during the course make for amazing networking opportunities. All in all, it's a great experience, one that I'd definitely recommend, either for experienced writers as well as for aspiring industry professionals.

Noel Simsiman's photo
Noel Simsiman The Art of Writing for Video Games - Cohort 2

My name is Noel, and I'm currently a Software Project Manager at Full Sail University. As a former Producer working with different indie studio teams, I want to understand how various team members work.

I decided to try The Art of Writing for Video Games because I wanted to understand better the challenges that narrative designers and writers face when developing a game. Not only did I better understand their challenges, but I also developed a creative process helping me develop my ideas.

Since completing the program, I refined a previous game idea using my creative process and am looking forward to further developing it. In this course, the instructors teach practical concepts to strengthen my game development career and create real-world scenarios to apply the concepts learned. I learned a lot in this course without having a background in creative writing.

I recommend this course to anyone willing to learn how to develop their creative process and cultivate game ideas that anyone could pitch to studios worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I get my employer to pay for the program?

    An investment in knowledge always pays the best return for your company. It’s a tiny investment compared to what you could potentially bring in terms of innovation to your workplace.

    Many companies offer reimbursement for courses related to your job. Ask your employer about tuition benefits. Even if there is no specific tuition assistance, many companies allocate money toward professional development. Managers may have money earmarked for industry conferences and many have not considered applying it toward continuing education.

    Approach asking for tuition assistance like you would a formal negotiation. Go into the discussion with clearly outlined and rehearsed messages about what you hope to gain and emphasize how it will benefit your boss and organization.

  • What is the time commitment for this course?

    This course requires 6-8 hours/week of work. Self-paced activities such as homework assignments, readings, and watching video lectures exist to help you build up knowledge until you’re able to demonstrate, through your project, that you’ve achieved the learning outcomes of the program. Although important, homework assignments won’t be graded by the instructional team. The only gradable unit in this program will be your project, which is a prerequisite for certificate emission

  • What are the dynamics of this program?

    Our programs follow the Flipped Learning Methodology, which involves both self-paced study and live instructor-led sessions. During the week, you’ll be expected to engage in activities like watching lectures, completing readings, and working on exercises and your project. The week ends with a Zoom session where the instructional staff will review what has been learned, organize class discussions, answer student questions, and give feedback on your project.

  • How do refunds work?

    If the course does not meet your expectations, you can ask for a full refund before the beginning of week 3. No questions asked!

  • Is attending the live sessions required?

    Attending live sessions is not required, but is highly recommended. This is the chance to network with your peers and the instructional team and get your questions directly answered by the instructor.

    If you can’t attend a live session, you can watch recordings later or get your questions answered on our community channels.

  • How are certificates issued? Will I be evaluated?

    In order to earn a certificate, you’ll need to submit a project and get a passing grade. The instructional team will provide comprehensive feedback on your project, highlighting the strong points, areas for improvement, and helpful tips on how it could be successful outside of the class.

  • Will this course run again in the future?

    Cohort-style classes are to some extent very similar to traditional classroom environments which makes them largely dependent on the instructor’s schedule. While we always hope there’ll be a next cohort, there’s no guarantee that the instructor will be available for the next one. If you’re busy right now, but really interested in taking this course, we advise you to sign up now and ask for a refund if you can’t commit to the program after week 3.

  • What determines the price of the course?

    Our programs require significant time from a number of professionals including mentors, the instructor, and organization staff. It is not a canned lecture course but an educational opportunity tailored to your needs and interests.

  • Do I retain access to all class materials after the class is over?

    Yes, you get lifetime access to all class materials and the community after the class is over. Additionally, new content that is added to future cohorts will be made available to yours too.

Join the waitlist and get notified about the next cohort

The Perfect Game Pitch Framework

Use the One-Page Framework Writers, Designers and Creatives are Using to Transform Their Ideas into Games Producers Love