Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gerben Grave, and I’m a narrative designer, game writer, game design lecturer, scholar, and game enthusiast based in The Netherlands.
I decided to combine my oldest hobbies: gaming and writing. Through my education as a literary scholar, I not only obtained much knowledge and multiple methods that enable me to approach stories and narratives from different perspectives, but I was able to wield these as tools for the construction of my own stories.
For the projects I was involved in, my tasks included:
- provide stories, backgrounds, dialogues;
- design narrative structures that empower players and allow them to retain their agency in the story experience;
- and invent languages that cause game worlds to gain an extra layer of depth.
I enjoy being part of the development process of the game, ensuring that story and gameplay complement each other (as I believe is necessary to achieve a good game). More often than not, I am asked to assess or review the game design of the project, to confirm that it will incite response and engagement from players. I believe that proper synergy between narrative and gameplay can only be accomplished by having the writer and developers work closely together.
Personally, I enjoy narratives that require some measure of work from the player. While I enjoy a classic story as much as the next guy, I find personal satisfaction and challenge in crafting an intricate narrative that encourages players to find out for themselves what the story (or stories) are. Moreover, I believe that a story can be conveyed through various media, meaning that not only text or dialogue should present the story. Visual elements in the environment or music are just as crucial for a full experience.
I am grateful for the projects I received in the indie game developer scene and love working with its intimate, dynamic teams. It’s through them that I was introduced to game writing. Although I (naturally) welcome more opportunities from indie developers, I am confident enough to leave my comfort zone, and would love to prove myself in other writing adventures as well.
I currently have an office in the co-working space and soon-to-be cooperative Game Bakery in Groningen, city of start-ups. Around a dozen of game developers and freelancers work here, trying to learn from each other and build together in order to achieve synergy. I have joined the board of the Game Bakery as Secretary.
If you are interested in working with me, want to discuss game writing privately, or just looking for a chat: feel free to contact me.
Personal gaming favourites and inspirations:
- Monkey Island series (Lucasfilm Games, 1990 and onward)
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Ubisoft, 2003)
- Assassin’s Creed Series (Ubisoft, 2007 and onward)
- Portal 1 & 2 (Valve, 2007 & 2011)
- To the Moon (Freebird Games, 2011)
- Crusader Kings 2 (Paradox, 2012)
- Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (Starbreeze Studio’s, 2013)
- The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe, 2013)
- The Banner Saga 1 & 2 (Stoic, 2014 and 2016)
- The Talos Principle (Croteam, 2014)