Video Game Writing

Since 2014 I’ve worked as a writer and narrative designer at Stardock, where I have written for a number of games:

Star Control: Origins (2018) – Lead Writer

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Star Control: Origins is a space based adventure game in which the player explores the galaxy, meeting a broad range of unique and humorous aliens, and solving their problems. Or as is so often the case in these circumstances, shooting them instead.

As lead writer I was involved in every step of the development of the narrative, including writing story outlines, character bibles, dialog trees, captain’s logs, item descriptions, and barks. I worked closely with the voice over team, including the director and talent, and sat in on all VO recording sessions to provide context, direction, and on-the-fly rewrites. I was also the primary scripter for the game, using an internal scripting language to sequence all the timed and narrative events that occur. And finally, throughout the development cycle I did a bit of gameplay and tool code (C++), primarily across the code/scripting interface.

It was a lot of work is what I’m saying.

Praise for Star Control: Origins:

Zero Punctuation – “the main reason to buy [Star Control: Origins] is for the writing.” “[The dialog] does the rare thing of being funny without seeing like it’s trying too hard.”

Gaming Trend – ” Interacting with these races is easily one of the highlights of the game.”

Destructoid – “The real star here is the dialogue.” “The writing is superbly silly, the voice acting excellent for the most part, and this is where the charm resides in the game for me, and what made me want to keep playing.”

IGN – “The absurdist and occasionally laugh-out-loud humor of Star Control: Origins’ dialogue is its greatest asset.”

PC Gamer: “The real jewel of Star Control: Origins is the writing. There’s snappy dialog everywhere, and each alien species is fantastically detailed and fleshed out as a distinct personality.”

Sorcerer King (2015) – Lead Writer

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Sorcerer King is a fun and humorous variant of the 4X genre in which the player controls a lone, weak faction sent out to retake the world from the all powerful (and fairly evil) Sorcerer King. I was initially brought in to write small sidequests, in which the player visits Inns and Spooky Caves and whatnot and gets loot. This soon expanded into a larger role in which I wrote almost all of the dialog and text in the game, including branching interactions with the Sorcerer King, other factions, and a short campaign.

Praise for Sorcerer King:

GameSpot – “Sorcerer King is one of those rare, genuinely funny games.” “[Vignettes] are expertly written and packed with cute twists or hilarious tongue-in-cheek dialogue.”

Rock Paper Shotgun – “Negotiations with [the other factions] showcase the smart writing, which is witty and light…”

Game Watcher – “The quest writing is actually charming and witty, poking fun at familiar fantasy

Galactic Civilizations 3 (2015)

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Galactic Civilization 3 is the latest in Stardock’s well known space based 4X series. I provided a significant amount of writing for the technology tree descriptions, ship names, random events, and diplomatic dialog options. I did much the same for various DLC packs and expansions, including Galactic Civilization 3: Crusade (2017)

The Political Machine 2016 (2016)

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The Political Machine 2016 is the latest in Stardock’s presidential campaign politics simulator. I wrote most of the random events, interview questions, and policy item descriptions.

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