Writing for Video Games

A 10-module online course that will teach you how to write scripts for webisodes, mobisodes, video, computer and social networking games.

Learn how to plot, structure a script, write authentic dialogue and develop characters, among other skills. Tutor Edwin McRae will provide support and expert feedback on your writing in 20 writing assignments. The aim is to produce at least one full spec script by the end of the course.

Course details:
- 10 modules;
- course can be completed at own pace within 12 months;
- start at any time - applications all year round via our website;

Student must complete:
- complete 20 writing exercises for assessment and feedback and produce one full spec. script.

Admission requirements:
- basic writing skills are essential;
- computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required;
- no previous tertiary qualification required.

Course Curriculum
Module 1 - Short is the New Epic
An overview of the media platforms now available for short form storytelling.
Online Interactive Videos
Video Games
Projects that cross the boundaries - online/offline/interactive

Module 2 - Boiling it down
Looking at the limitations and considerations of short form and small screen storytelling, and suggesting how Big Ideas can be reduced down to effective and 'doable' digital media stories.

Module 3 - Gone in 60 Seconds
You've only got your audience's attention for one minute. How do you make those 60 seconds really count?
Clear turning points
Transforming exposition into ammunition
Hooks and cliff-hangers
Emotion roller coaster

Module 4 - NPC's are Real People Too!
Learning how to develop effective video game characters.
Information delivery

Module 5 - The Story Glyph
Creating narrative assets within your Game World that can be used to inform and instruct your player, building your story piece by piece.
Flavour Text
Visual Features

Module 6 - World Building: Part 1
Fiction Engineers build worlds that players can explore and lose themselves in. Living, breathing worlds rich with context, logic, meaning, history and wonder.
Place Names
Greater Contexts
Contemporary Situations

Module 7 - World Building: Part 2
Fiction Engineers are just like Doctor Frankenstein. Yes, we create monsters!

In this module you'll learn the key four steps in the creation of MOBs, your Mobiles (Monsters or Beasts) that will populate your world and act as the antagonists to your protagonist.

Module 8 - Horns of the Dilema
Much of a player's game experience involves the decisions they are required to make throughout the story. Here's were you'll learn how to design dilemmas that really give your players something to think about!

Module 9 - Storytelling Through Game Mechanics
There's only one narrative technique that's truly unique to video games. The Game Mechanic. In this module you'll learn how game mechanics can be tailored to provide the backbone of your video game storytelling.

Module 10 - Putting it all Together
There is no straightforward path into the world of Game Writing. More often than not, your career will be launched from a self-directed project. Here's where we take all the knowledge you've procured so far and compile it into a project brief that you can go out and impressive those game producers with.

How does the course work?
Students will receive 10 modules with writing assignments at the end of each module.
At the end of each module, students will be required to complete one or two writing exercises. In total, the course includes 20 assignments of varying length and complexity, all of which count towards the final result of the student.
Once the writing assignment has been completed, and e-mailed to the lecturer, an assessment and feedback will be sent to the student, and the module will be considered complete.
Students can also participate in ongoing online discussions by posting comments about the materials covered in the course, as well as give feedback to students who have posted their pieces in the discussion forum.

Conditions of certification:
Students will receive an SA Writers' College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:
- students must have completed all 20 assignments;
- the course must have been completed within twelve months of registration;
- students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course.

Minimum estimated time commitment:
- reading time: 20 hours;
- writing time: 30 - 40 hours;
- research time: 5 - 10 hours.

Date: 23 January 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 8195.00

Date: 30 January 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 8195.00

Date: 31 January 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 8195.00

Date: 06 February 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 8195.00

Date: 20 February 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 8195.00

Date: 27 February 2015
Venue: Online correspondence course, Countrywide
Cost: R 8195.00

Contact: Koos Turenhout
Company name: SA Writers' College
Email address

SA Writers' College
Our courses offer one-to-one support, guidance and mentoring from experts every line of the way.