Writers Cabal, Farewell

You may have noticed that for several months, Writers Cabal Blog was not updated.  In fact, in March 2009, we parted ways without deciding the fate of Writers Cabal Blog.

Because we still have our games, like Wizard 101, and books (Professional Techniques for Videogame Writing and Writing for Video Game Genres) out there, we have decided to keep the blog up and we may update it from time to time.

We hope that you have enjoyed our many posts on games and game writing.  Farewell 2009.

This post brought to you by Writers Cabal. We write games!

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Published in: on December 30, 2009 at 11:36 pm  Comments (7)  

Do we need a game vernacular?

Over the summer, I had the pleasure of participating in the Gamer Confab on Michael Abbott’s blog, The Brainy Gamer.  Along with Justin Keverne, who writes Groping the Elephant, and Roger Travis from Living Epic blog, we discussed social games, game vernacular, Denis Dyack, Wizard 101, game pricing, auteurs, narrative design, and game genres on this episode of The Brainy Gamer podcast.

http://cdn4.libsyn.com/brainygamer/bgpodcast25-03.mp3?nvb=20091218234701&nva=20091219235701&t=00b1916d3b75225a96e53

Posted by Sande for Writers Cabal.  We write games!

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Published in: on December 18, 2009 at 6:04 pm  Comments (1)  

Story in MMOs – Beckett Massive Online Gamer

Are writers the unsung heroes of MMOs? The Sept/Oct 2009 print edition of Beckett Massive Online Gamer features an article with a number of MMO writers, including two faces that you might know quite well. The article covers the frustrations of writing for MMOs and what the future has in store for story.  Why are we bringing it up so late?  We didn’t know about it until someone recognized our pictures!

This post brought to you by Writers Cabal, a game writing and design partnership.

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Published in: on December 8, 2009 at 11:34 am  Comments (1)  

Writing for Video Game Genres Book Review

If you haven’t yet picked up the IGDA Writers SIG book Writing for Video Game Genres and want to know the full scoop, check out this recent book review from Slashdot.

Here are some other editorial comments:

A must-have for the bookshelf of any game writer, no matter what genre they’re working in. It was equally fascinating and useful for me to read the chapters about genres I’m experienced in and the chapters about genres I’ve never worked in. –Steve Meretzky, VP of Game Design, You Plus

For those of us swimming in the murky waters of games storytelling and narrative design, Writing for Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG is not only a life raft, it’s one with a treasure trove on top. Seldom do we erstwhile swimmers get this lucky. Read, learn, and build the rafts of the future. –Rhianna Pratchett, Writer and co-narrative designer on Heavenly Sword, Mirror’s Edge, and Overlord

The Writer’s SIG has assembled an impressive group of experts who deliver spot-on advice for tackling gaming’s many genres. I wish I had read this 20 years ago. –Bob Bates, Veteran game designer, writer

You can purchase Writing for Video Game Genres from the publisher, AK Peters, or on Amazon.

This post brought to you by Writers Cabal, a game writing and design partnership.

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Published in: on November 25, 2009 at 9:25 am  Comments (2)  

Get Social, Get Writing, Get Educated

Since GDC09, we’ve been busy with appearances and projects.  Anne recently spoke at Digital L.A.‘s Games Go Social panel in May and discussed the social aspects of games and how successful social games, iPhone games, and casual MMOs are bringing games to the mainstream.  Meanwhile, I analyzed the current crop of social games and offered design ideals for the next generation of social games in an article for Gamasutra, called “The Social Game Boom.”

Next week, I’ll be at CMU for the 2009 Game Education Summit, on June 16-17, 2009.  I’ll be on a panel with noted game writers and academics Lee Sheldon, Richard Dansky, Drew Davidson, and Elisabeth Nonas addressing last year’s hullabaloo on how game writers don’t belong in the game industry.  We’ll also be discussing narrative design and writing for ARGs and non-AAA games.

Additionally, I’ll be co-presenting with Ricardo Rademacher, CEO of Futur-E-Scape, in a session entitled “Creativity, Constraints, and Compromises.” Ricardo Rademacher recently presented his educational theory of MMOGs at the Independent MMO Game Developers Conference in Las Vegas last April.  We’ll be discussing how his educational theory meshed with narrative design to develop a fantasy MMORPG that also teaches physics.  In fact, this game was a case study in our chapter for the book, Writing for Video Game Genres.

Next, I’ll be moderating a panel on educational MMOs and virtual worlds at State of Play VI, on June 19-20, 2009 at New York Law School.  In this panel discussion, leading researchers and creators of educational virtual worlds will discuss the challenges of aligning curriculum and learning with fun. A central theme to the discussion will be to try and establish some best practices for the integration of theory and curriculum into educational virtual worlds.

Attending any of these conferences?  Let me know!

Posted by Sande for Writers Cabal, a game writing and design partnership.

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Published in: on June 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm  Comments (1)  

Highlights from GDC 2009

Authors from Writing for Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG

Authors from Writing for Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG

If you were at the book signing for Writing For Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG at GDC 2009, thank you for coming!

As you can see from the photo, several of the authors were in attendance.  The interest was so high that the publishers even brought down the first IGDA Writers SIG book, Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing and sold those too.  In a rare instance, my co-author David Michael and I also signed our book, Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform.

For photo highlights, check out David Michael’s blog, Joe Indie.  (Quick, before he starts blogging about something else!)

I contributed to Edge Online‘s GDC 2009 coverage and will also be contributing session write-ups to GameDev‘s GDC 2009 coverage, including Patrick Redding’s talk on AI dialog systems.

In addition, I’m starting up my twitter channel, so if you would like to keep tabs on Game Design Aspect of the Month or my other blogs, please do visit or subscribe.

Posted by Sande for Writers Cabal, a game writing and design partnership.

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Published in: on April 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Book Signing at GDC 2009

If you’re headed to GDC next week, be sure to pick up the latest IGDA Writers SIG book, Writing for Video Game Genres: From FPS to RPG.  It’ll be on sale at the GDC bookstore as well as on AK Peters’ Web site, Amazon.com, Borders.com, and in most major bookstores.

Plus, a special “Meet the Authors” book signing event will take place on Thursday, March 26, 2009 from 5:30p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center, 747 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94103, at the IGDA booth in the lobby outside of the exhibit hall.  We’ll be there and so will other game writers like Haris Orkin, Richard Dansky, Evan Skolnick, and John Feil.

Let us know if you can make it and we’ll say hello!

This post brought to you by Writers Cabal, a game writing and design partnership.

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Published in: on March 19, 2009 at 1:53 am  Comments (2)  

Five for Writing Interview

Short post, short interview up on Richard Dansky‘s personal site, Snowbird Gothic.

Each week, he gives five questions to writers of all kinds: game writers, comic book writers, novelists, etc.  This week, it’s me.

Also, if you’d like to vote on Game Design Aspect of the Month’s next topic, please go here.

Posted by Sande for Writers Cabal, a game writing and design partnership.

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Published in: on March 16, 2009 at 8:34 am  Leave a Comment