An Introduction to Game Writing book trailer

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written by Steve Ince
An Introduction to Game Writing – Q&A with author Steve Ince

To accompany the premiere of the book’s trailer, Steve answers some common questions about the book and the subject of game writing.

Game writing seems hard; will I be able to understand this book?

I’m very confident you will.  I’ve made sure that each part of the book is as clear as possible.

Even though the highest levels of game writing may seem like a difficult goal, you will have a chance of reaching those heights if you start in the right place.

An Introduction to Game Writing begins with the very basics of storytelling then leads you into creating interactive stories through a clear step by step process.

Every reader will find they’re getting the hang of things in a very short space of time.

What do I need to start writing interactive stories?

Interactive storytelling goes back to a time before home computers were common, so it’s possible to create them with only a pencil and paper.

However, it’s much more fun and a lot simpler to create them on a computer, where you can test your stories easily and develop your ideas more rapidly.

This means that, along with my book, you will need to use a computer with internet access.  The latter because the examples I show and the exercises I take the reader through, all use software called Twine.  The great part is that this can be downloaded for free from or used directly on their website.

It helps if you bring along your imagination and plenty of enthusiasm, too.  :)

Will I need to have any previous knowledge of game writing?

Definitely not.  I begin the book with the assumption that the reader has no knowledge, in order that more people will gain valuable insights into developing interactive stories.

Of course, those who have a little knowledge of game writing will also find the book useful and rewarding.

I’m not good at spelling; will this be a problem?

No, is the very short answer.  A desire to tell stories is the most important thing you need.  

When we try to tell our stories and write them down, we often have to do so very quickly because our minds flood with all these great ideas.  At this stage you should never worry about spelling or grammar because these can always be fixed later, should you wish to do so.

The most important thing is to have fun creating your stories.

There are times in the book’s exercises where you will need to create links and use simple variables and these need to be spelled in a consistent manner.  However, I find that copy-and-paste is really useful for maintaining consistency and regularly take this approach myself.

By the way, when I was young and started writing a lot of stories, I found that my own spelling improved enormously as part of the process.

I don’t like computer programming – can I still use this book?

Absolutely.  Game writing and interactive storytelling is not about programming knowledge or its application.  It’s about wanting to tell your tales in an interactive way.

There are times when you will need to think logically in order to cover the places where information is discovered or objects are found, but the reader is taken through these ideas in a clear way at each step.

How old do I need to be?

I have aimed the book at people aged ten and up, but anyone who is able to read the book and wants to learn the basics of game writing will find it valuable and fun.

Not only is this a great book for young people, it can be informative for adults who don’t know anything about this way of writing.

Why did you aim this book at a younger audience?

There are actually a lot of books on game writing aimed at adults, particularly people with an existing knowledge of the subject.  The time was right to create this book with younger people in mind.

Young people grow up alongside all manner of new technology and access to a huge variety of games and other interactive media, so it’s only right they understand how to tell stories that fit with the modern world.

I’ve also given a number of workshops to young students and know, first hand, how enthusiastic they can be for this form of storytelling, regardless of knowledge or initial ability.

Are there limits on the kind of story I can write?

Not at all.  If you can imagine it and make it interactive, you can build on the lessons in the book to suit the kind of story you want to tell.

Your stories can really be about anything you think of, from things like The Boy With the Smelliest Socks in the World to The Girl With a Spare Brain in a Jar to Invasion of the Worms or anything else that comes to mind.  Go wild with your ideas.

Can I share my stories with my friends?

Definitely.  The stories are saved as simple html files, so all you need to do is share the story file with your friends, which they can then open in any internet browser.

Hopefully, your friends will share their stories with you, too.  When you read them, it’s a good idea to give constructive criticism and be positive about the good things in the story.

Sharing stories and giving/receiving feedback is a great way to make you next story even better.

Can I send my stories to you?

Unfortunately not at the moment.  I wish I had the time to read every one of your stories but that would simply not be impossible.

If you want help or feedback it’s often a good idea to create stories with friends or show them to adults you can trust to give positive, constructive feedback, such as parents, guardians or teachers.

I’m a teacher – how can I use this book with my students?

From giving workshops in schools, I have found the level of engagement with all students to be extremely high.  Even those who are regarded as lower achievers start telling stories very quickly.

This book will provide a fresh look at storytelling and writing, which will fire up the young people you work with in a way they can directly relate to.

There are many opportunities to enhance the scope of the book by inserting lessons on spelling, grammar, sentence construction, etc.  Also, you could devise your own themes and story ideas to fit in with those of other lessons.  Interactive storytelling will only ever enhance these things.

About the Book An Introduction to Game Writing: A Workbook for Interactive Stories: 9781838223649: Ince, Steve: Books

Learning anything new can be a daunting task, particularly a skill like game writing. Without the right approach, many of those who’d love to learn this thrilling way of telling stories can be put off before they begin.

This book takes away that daunting aspect by introducing the reader to the exciting nature of game writing in a step by step process that any person can pick up quickly.

Requiring no previous knowledge or outstanding English skills, the eager novice will learn to create interactive stories in next to no time.

Building on three decades of experience in the games industry and having run workshops for learners of all ages, the author will take you on a journey that may kick-start a lifelong passion for writing and telling stories in a new, stimulating and interactive way.

The first steps of any journey are always the hardest, but this book will help smooth the path.

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