March 26, 2008

CFP: The Future of Storytelling in Games, Austin GDC

by Andrew Stern · , 10:39 pm

From the CFP for The Future of Storytelling in Games, Austin GDC, September 15-17, 2008. Submissions are due April 14.

The theme for the Game Writing track is “The Future of Storytelling in Games.” This theme is a designing principle, applied to each day as follows:

  • The Future Is Now: A look at how this year’s crop of games is breaking the storytelling mold in games
  • The Future Is Coming: Revelations on the future of game writing from game projects currently in development
  • The Future Is Yours: A no-holds-barred look at what’s possible in the world of interactive storytelling

Please ensure that your submission relates to one of the specified sub-topics for Day 1, Day 2 or Day 3.

Wondering how these themes apply to session content? Here is some food for thought – use as inspiration, not as constraint!

  • Can you relay a compelling analysis (or reveal behind-the-scenes information) on a particular game (or set of games, or genre, or studio, or games from a particular region) released last year that demonstrates some breakthrough in the evolution of game writing and is exemplary for future games? Then you have a topic for day 1.
  • Are you working on a project that is pushing the boundaries of what is possible for interactive storytelling? Or do you have knowledge from another field (technology, design, film, literature, software, psychology, criminology, pharmacology) that can enable game developers to advance the art of gamewriting? Then you have a topic for Day 2.
  • Do you have any inside knowledge on some future development that may radically change the way we create/experience elements of writing – story, plot, circumstance, setting, motivation, character, dialog – in games? Or perhaps your work involves some type of forecasting, and you (or a co-presenter) have the depth of knowledge to apply that work to games? Or are you a specialist in some far-flung field (technology development, science fiction, biogenetics, teleportation that could, by some stretch of the imagination, forever change the way stories are told or played in interactive media? Then you have a topic for Day 3.

The advisory board would like to hear from game-savvy specialists of all types including game writers; writers and creatives in other fields who have specific knowledge and qualified opinions in this area; managers and producers in the publisher and developer communities; creators, designers, marketers, critics, journalists, technologists, pundits, futurists and fortune tellers anyone in the game industry, or even a broadly-related industry, with unique insight into our topic could be a qualified speaker for this year’s lineup.

Gear your submission to the audience for the Writing track, which will be a mix of up-and-coming and seasoned professional writers who are looking for inspiration from people with real experience in the field; and secondarily, experienced game developers and producers who need to understand more about emerging developments and new experiments in game writing, and gain better insight into how to write better games and/or produce stronger scripts for games.

The Writing track encourages presenters to plan beyond subject matter and give careful consideration to the style and format of your presentation. Feel free to think openly and experiment with your presentation structure and format. How can you make your presentation more engaging to your audience? What can make your session more entertaining and fun? PowerPoint is out, unless used for rich media – no bullet point slide presentations for this track, please.

This track is designed for intermediate-to-expert audiences; therefore “gamewriting 101” presentations and general-overview topics are not appropriate for this forum.

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