Hi and thanks for visiting my website! My name is Gerben Grave, and I’m a narrative designer, game writer, game design lecturer, scholar, and gaming 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;
- 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 person, 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 of the Game Bakery Cooperative in Groningen, city of start-ups. Between 20-30 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 since early 2016.
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)