Book Review: Video Game Storytelling

Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"With increasingly sophisticated video games being consumed by an enthusiastic and expanding audience, the pressure is on game developers like never before to deliver exciting stories and engaging characters. With Video Game Storytelling, game writer and producer Evan Skolnick provides a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow guide to storytelling basics and how they can be applied at every stage of the development process—by all members of the team. This clear, concise reference pairs relevant examples from top games and other media with a breakdown of the key roles in game development, showing how a team’s shared understanding and application of core storytelling principles can deepen the player experience. Understanding story and why it matters is no longer just for writers or narrative designers. From team leadership to game design and beyond, Skolnick reveals how each member of the development team can do his or her part to help produce gripping, truly memorable narratives that will enhance gameplay and bring today’s savvy gamers back time and time again."


Video Game Storytelling is a handy, fairly comprehensive guide to creating and sustaining narrative in the video game industry. I'm an avid reader, have my degree in English, am a published author, and have read a lot about narrative technique, so most of this wasn't new for me in concept. 


But what I wanted to read this book for, the specifics on how narrative techniques differ for video games than for books or screenplays, is exactly what I got out of it. Skolnick does a good job of drawing easy parallels to illustrate his point, and pointing out what bits of storytelling are more difficult for game developers (and why). By the end of it, I felt 100% ready to write video game scripts. In fact, I felt like I already knew all of this stuff, and this book just reminded me of it. 


It's a handy tool to have, whether you're considering writing video game stories, books, or screenplays. I'd recommend even for current video game authors and developers, just as a handy reference tool.


*I received this book for review from Blogging for Books. This in no way influenced my opinion of the book.

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