Games don't need to be epic to have a story. Even the smallest game usually has a narrative somewhere at its core: something to help get the player invested in the action and drive him or her from goal to goal. Stories can tie all the elements of the gameplay together to form a cohesive experience that feels like it has a purpose. In these ways, a game designer's role often shares many aspects with that of a writer.
Telling a Great Story
Being able to craft an engaging story for your games means knowing the fundamentals of creative writing and storytelling structure and technique. The Hero's Journey, classical story structure, adaptation... Just a few of the major concepts you need to know in order to create the best game story.
Cinematics and Machinima
Games aren't movies, but being able to tell an effective story using visuals is nonetheless an incredibly important skill for a game designer. During your year, you'll be immersed in machinima and learn how to apply 'film' cinematography techniques to games.
Storyboards are vital to the pre-production process. Not only do they help develop and refine an effective visual story, but they help communicate a designer's vision to everyone involved in a game's development. At VFS, you will learn key storyboarding principles, including labeling, shot selection, continuity, and visual storytelling.
Non-linear storytelling techniques are essential for the game designer, and interactive narrative on the whole is a unique medium. What do you do when the player doesn't take the path you expected? How does the story branch and what can the player choose? At VFS, you'll explore the form's possibilities and challenges – from side quests to NPCs.