Every once in a while I end up reading a book that should be read by almost everyone that I know – whether they actually need to or not. Video Game Storytelling: What Every Developer Needs to Know About Narrative Techniques (published by Watson-Guptill) is one of those books. [It] is a great resource not only for budding writers, but it should also serve as a very important reference for everyone who holds a position in the ever-expanding videogame industry.
– Toronto Thumbs
[This] book piqued our interest to an exceptional degree. ’Video Game Storytelling: What Every Developer Needs To Know About Narrative Techniques’ is perfect for anyone who is a Developer, wants to get into game development, anyone who is a fiction writer, or anyone who wants to have a greater understanding and appreciation of the fictional game worlds we so much enjoy.
– Digital Mayhem Radio
I found it to be both interesting and entertaining, using real-life examples taken from very popular movies and games that most people will be readily familiar with. I feel that Evan Skolnick has a lot to share and I really wish I had the opportunity to attend one of his talks. I would recommend Video Game Storytelling to anyone involved in the game development process – or anyone hoping to get into game development.
– Game Vortex
If you’re the kind of gamer who likes to peek behind the curtain of video game development – and you don’t mind picking up a book once in a while – I recommend the new Video Game Storytelling by industry veteran Evan Skolnick. The book is aimed primarily at game developers, but it’s fascinating stuff for anyone interested in games as a storytelling medium.
– News & Observer
Skolnick broke down the basic structure of video game storytelling into various parts that highlighted the importance of each and how they could be applied to video games. There’s a lot of information that’s covered, but presented straight-forwardly with plenty of examples of how it was all used previously. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I recommend it to anyone who wants to read it.
— Our Thoughts Precisely
The reader is also introduced to the term ludology, or the study of games. Taken from the Latin verb ludere ‘to play’ it is used and expanded on to introduce even the more erudite terminology of, “ludonarrative harmony/dissonance.” Simply put, it describes how story can make or break the player’s gaming experience. It is worth buying the book just to read how Skolnick defines this with concrete examples from past and existing games.
Part I - Basic Training
1. Conflict: The Fuel of Story
2. The Three-Act Structure
3. The Monomyth
4. Characters and Arcs
Part II – In the Trenches
8. Team Leadership
9. Overall Game Design
10. Game Character Development
11. Level and Mission Development
13. Engineering the Story
15. Quality Assurance (QA)
Afterword Return with the Elixir
Appendix I Sample Character Description Document
Appendix II Sample Environment Description Document