Maybe you're struggling to break into the industry - you’re scouring job boards, taking writing tests, submitting applications - and not landing the gigs
You know that there’s so much to learn about writing for video games - and yet you don’t know how to get the training you need
You feel like your dream of writing for video games is far away and out of reach - you’re just spinning your wheels; you’re afraid you’re going to have to give up on your dreams of becoming a working game writer
And if you're a working game writer...
Maybe you're wondering how in the world you’re supposed to keep story development on track when the game seems to change on a daily basis
You’re spiraling at work, struggling to handle competing demands from different departments
You wish you had someone in your corner, someone who’s been in your shoes and can help you chart the right path forward
I know exactly what that feels like. Because that used to be me.
Hi. I'm Susan O'Connor. For years, I've worked with AAA studios on high-profile projects. But that's not where I began.
When I first started writing for games...
I struggled. A LOT.
I was new to the job, and I didn't really know what I was doing.
And I was the only writer on staff, so I couldn't find anyone at the studio to mentor or guide me along the way.
(They had hired me to solve problems, not ask questions!)
I didn't realize how hard it was to bring story and gameplay together
The issue was causing friction with the team. I started second-guessing everything I wrote. My confidence was shot, I was feeling stressed and insecure and wondering if I even had what it took to succeed at this.
I knew I needed to figure things out. So I read a lot of writing books and took a lot of writing classes.
They were good! But they were all geared towards screenwriters, or TV writers.
(At the time, there were no classes on how to write for games.)
Sometimes, those books and classes were lifesavers. Other times they did more harm than good.
Because it turns out that games aren’t movies. Who knew? (You knew.)
So the things I was learning from books were actually getting in the way and holding me back.
I ended up learning most things the hard way - through trial and error, making a lot of mistakes in front of colleagues and players alike. Yay? :/
Things only started to get better when I found other game writers. When I could talk shop with other creatives who were facing the same challenges I was, my skills improved dramatically.
Over time, things did get better. My confidence grew. I figured out how to deliver stories that players love. I felt good about the work I was doing. I started to feel like I was supporting the team, pulling my weight.
I went on to work on over 25 projects, including award-winning, bestselling titles in the BioShock, Far Cry, and Tomb Raider franchises. Titles in my portfolio have sold over 30 million copies and generated over $500 million in sales.
Over the years, I’ve taken all that experience and turned it into a set of best practices that I still use on projects to this day.
But I still think about how hard it was to learn this craft, and how it doesn’t have to be that way for other writers.
I still work in the games industry, as a story consultant. And I know from talking to creative leads and narrative directors that they have an incredibly hard time finding game-writing talent!
Yes, you read that right. Studios need writers who can write for games. It's a rare skill.
But it's one that can be taught.
And so, today:
You're Invited To Join The Narrative Department
The Game Writing Masterclass is a six-week online course designed to give you the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to grow your game-writing career.
Our alumni have gone on to become game writers or narrative designers at Obsidian, Cloud Chamber, ZeniMax, Jam City, Monumental, Deviation Games, and Undead Labs. And the list keeps growing.
Building your game writing career? Ready to do the work? This class can help you reach your goals.
Registration opens April 4th.
Registration closes April 8th, or once the class is full - whichever comes first.
Hannah used this masterclass to take charge of her career and build stronger working relationships with the rest of the team.
Cosette Gonzales, Game Writer, Cloud Chamber
After taking this masterclass, Cosette went on to take a new writing position at Cloud Chamber - working on the next BioShock!
Dan Stout, Novelist & Future Game Writer
Dan's a lifelong learner, always on the hunt for classes & resources to improve his craft. He said this game writing class was one of the absolute best he's experienced.
Darlene Barahona, Narrative Designer, Undead Labs
When it was time to apply for her dream job, Darlene turned to the other writers in The Narrative Department for support. They helped her polish her resume and encouraged her to go for it. She did, and guess what; she got the job. Go Darlene!
Jesse Calder, Game Writer/Narrative Designer, Independent
Jesse's a fiercely independent game developer who found his creative community inside The Narrative Department.
Pauline Marliere, Narrative Designer
Our students come from around the globe. Pauline joined us from Belgium! "You speed run the knowledge, you speed run the network, and speed run the friends."
Rachel Heleva, Assistant Producer, Maximum Games & Future Studio Head
Rachel had just graduated college - ONE WEEK before The Narrative Department began! Was now the right time for her?
Until now, the only way to get this kind of training from me was to either:
Enroll at UT Austin...
You could enroll at the University of Texas at Austin and wait a few semesters until a spot in my class opened up (yearly tuition: $10,826 for Texas residents, $38,435 for out-of-state students).
...or work at the right studio
The other option was to get a job at a game studio and then convince the executives to bring me in for one of my premium game-writing workshops, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Oof.
Who this class is for
If you've come this far, you probably already know if this course is right for you. These are the kinds of people who have had great success in this masterclass:
Writers early in their career who have a passion for storytelling and games and are looking for ways to bring them together into one dream job
Mid-career writers who are ready to transition into the world of video games
Game developers looking to move out of their current department (design, QA, etc) and into the narrative department
Working game writers who want to hone their skills and advance their careers
Creatives who love writing, love gaming, and want to - as one writer put it - “professionally craft narrative experiences for gamers on the most exciting storytelling front of my lifetime”
If you're committed to growing your game-writing skills and building your career - if you dream of creating work that will reach millions of people - this course can help you achieve your goals.
Who this class is not for
I care about serving the right people. And if someone isn't a good fit, I don't want them in this program. So instead of trying to convince you to sign up, I actually want to spell out some reasons why you might not want to join this program.
If you don't play games, this class is not for you. The writing exercises draw on your love and knowledge of your favorite games, which assumes that there are games that you already know and love.
If you aren't passionate about storytelling, this course is probably not for you. This class is designed for writers who love video games.
If you are still in college, please wait to take this course until you graduate. We do not accept college students in this course.
If this isn't a serious pursuit for you, this course may not be right for you. I'm invested in the success of my students, but I can't be more committed than you are.
If you can't afford it, please DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. I know what it's like to be stressed out, financially. I would not wish that pain on anyone. Investing in yourself is a good idea, but only if it's the right time.
If you don't like working with other people, well, you know what I'm going to say!
The community is the most important element of this class. The class environment can make or break the experience. My #1 goal is to make sure that we have a good cohort, full of kind-hearted people who are ready to help each other succeed. A rising tide does lift all boats.
When does class begin?
How long do I have to register?
How does the class work? What is the schedule?
Who teaches this class?
Can this class guarantee that I'll get a job in the games industry?
When can we access modules?
Who else is taking this class?
Will we be doing any actual writing in this course?
Do we receive a certificate after completing the course?
Will there be a way for students to communicate with each other during the course?
What will I need (desktop app, materials, etc.) to complete the assignments/tasks given?
Can we talk about the current project I’m working on at my game studio?
Can I fit this course into my schedule?
Is it OK if I miss a live session?
I stand by this course 100%. I know that if you engage with the material fully, and do the work, your skills as a game writer will grow by leaps and bounds. That’s my commitment to you.
If, at the end of the course, you still feel that you don’t have a strong foundation supporting you in your game-writing career, I’ll offer you three additional one-on-one coaching sessions- valued at $1500 - to help get you back on track.
In this course, I share the same material that’s worked for writing teams at major studios and publishers. I know it will work for you as well.
Registration is now open
Join our wait list, and you'll be the first to know when we open our doors.
Registration closes April 8th, or once the class is full - whichever comes first.