Throughout the Game Writing Academy program, most courses began by presenting a starting idea to establish a fiction. For the next few months, each assignment helped develop those ideas into a detailed world with an overall story. By the end of the course, I expanded on many areas to shape my fiction.
Based on feedback and new ideas, I altered characters, scenes and locations to achieve a refined vision. Some courses focused more on narrative structure, while other courses focused more on character development. Regardless of the focus, I learned how to create and format video game design documents. The iterative assignments of each course prepared me for the evolving process during video game development.
More details on the program: www.extendedlearning.ubc.ca/programs/game-writing-academy
Below I included some of my best work from the program.
I created a cyberpunk/science-fiction world for the World Building course because of the possibilities of a future city. Alessia, the owner of the Umbrella Forecast store, earns her pay by selling umbrellas in a city plagued by sporadic rain. She generates most of her revenue from selling umbrellas, but she also sells private information. The free, electronics charging station in her store banks private information of users. Alessia later sells to the information to agencies.
Connor Carter sucks at golf, and Brax – his demon infused rangefinder – loves to point it out. Brax then transports him to another realm where monsters roam the land. Armed with his set of golf clubs, Connor and the Brax navigate nine holes of demons.
9 Holes of Hell, an action game with an amateur golfer main character, uses a unique theme for each stage. For each hole, Connor imagines someone he hates to help his focus. In the demon realm, a demon version of his most hated people, guard these holes. For stage 3, a demon version of his cat, Lionel, waits for him in a stage full of cat towers, cat nip and laser pointers.
Unlike the other courses, the Writing Dialogue for Games course established a fiction for us. We developed a story about world destroyed by alien invaders. With the remaining countries joining together for a major defence, the armies planned to retake earth. For the characters I created, I wrote speech banks for in-game dialogue and actions like landed sniper shots.
For my superhero story, Clash of Kin, it follows a paternal brother and sister with elemental superpowers. Rene and Bauer’s narrow escape from death only put them in worse situations as they grew older. As 13-year-old paternal twins, they watched a building fire kill their parents. After surviving the disaster, the near-death experience awakened new superpowers of the element that almost killed them. The low fantasy, superhero story follows two siblings on a journey to fight each other and the people trying to control them. I wrote a scene of the two siblings meeting for the first time in a while.
For my Waterworld-like fiction, my “gamewall” outlines the overall structure of my video game vision. The story follows two adventures in a post-apocalyptic, flooded world. They search for a rumoured safe haven, only to discover that it’s a place they’d rather avoid. The mock gamewall taught me a lot about creating a large reference document for the development process. For the purpose of the assignment and with the short deadline, I limited the scope of my gamewall. It doesn’t feature the detail needed for a large-scale video game or a multi-million-dollar project, but it at least outlines my general idea.