Self-Help Books from Cengage Learning PTR

Character Development and Storytelling for Games

Character Development and Storytelling for Games

ISBN 13: 9781592003532

ISBN 10: 1592003532

Author: Lee Sheldon

Pages: 488

Published: 06/15/2004

Print Book Price: $39.95 Add to cart

Companion downloads

This is a book of ideas and of choices. Knowing which choices to make is not teachable. It's part of that creative instinct we call talent whose secret voice guides us every time we sit down at the keyboard. All stories are not identical. They are shaped by all those unique facets of the human beings who write them. All any writer can do when he wants to share his knowledge with others is be as open and giving as possible; and hope others can learn from that. You hold in your hands most of what I know about writing for games and much of what I believe and practice no matter what kind of writing I'm doing. It is meant to inform, to instruct, and maybe even inspire. It is as much about game design as it is writing for games. The two are virtually inseparable. The book itself has been designed as a quest. We are all of us on a journey toward a destination for which there is no single road. --Lee Sheldon, Author
  • Written in an easy-to-read style for casual readers but still full of detail.
  • The first book of its kind to deal specifically with writing for games.
  • The author has long been a successful Hollywood writer/producer.
  • Companion website available here:
Author Bio
Lee Sheldon
Lee Sheldon is Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has written and designed more than two dozen commercial and applied video games and MMOs. His most recent book from Course Technology PTR is The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game. Lee began his academic career at Indiana University, where he instituted the practice of designing classes as multiplayer games, and wrote and designed the alternate reality games in the Skeleton Chase series. Most recently, Lee was lead writer/designer on three games based on Agatha Christie novels, lead writer on Star Trek: Infinite Space, and lead writer on Zynga's Facebook game Indiana Jones Adventure World and an upcoming Kinect game for Harmonix. He is head of the team that is building the Emergent Reality Lab at Rensselaer, a mixed reality space for research and education; lead writer and design consultant on a game teaching math; and lead writer/designer of games teaching Chinese and business ethics. Before his career in video games, Lee wrote and produced over 200 popular television shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation and Charlie's Angels.
cover image - Character Development and Storytelling for Games
Table of Contents

Part I: Background
1. Myths and Equations
2. The Story Remains the Same

Part II: Creating Characters
3. Respecting Characters
4. Character Roles
5. Character Traits
6. Character Encounters

Part III: Telling a Story
7. Once Upon a Time
8. Respecting Story
9. Bringing the Story to Life
10. Charting New Territory
11. Story Chiropractics
12. Editing
13. The Roots of New Storytelling
14. Modular Storytelling

Part IV: Games People Play
15. Game Types
16. Game Genres
17. Console Games
18. Bringing Virtual Worlds to Life
19. Enabling a Story in Virtual Worlds

Part V: Reflections
20. The Responsible Writer

Part VI: Appendices
Appendix A: Opinionated Bibliography
Appendix B: Developer Primer on Building Writing Teams