After releasing We Were Here (2017) and We Were Here Too (2018), Total Mayhem Games is working on their next title: We Were Here Together. I wrote the text for the voice-over in the game’s reveal trailer.
The trailer was released on the 12th of September 2018 and can be viewed here:
After they supplied me with a greybox trailer and a lore document for the games’ universe, Total Mayhem Games presented me with the following task:
- Write the voice-over text for the cinematic trailer;
- The text should reveal or allude to (secret) plot points from the game’s characters and storyworld backgrounds;
- The trailer is approximately 1:20 minutes long; the text should fit that length when read aloud;
- Delivery of the text is intended to be dramatic and the text should accommodate that;
- Rhyming is preferred, but not required. ABABCBCB was included as an example scheme;
- The intended tone of the trailer is tense and ghastly;
- The style should have a Lovecraftian feel.
Players return to Castle Rock in the game series’ third instalment.
During my writing process, it was my goal to:
- Use a rhyming scheme that is uncommon, preferably even unorthodox, to amplify the uneasy feeling present in the text;
- Insert a twist, reversal or menacing flourish at the end of the monologue to send chills up the viewers’ spine;
- Include a select number of archaic words, since the speaking character is supposed to have lived for centuries, but not too many as that might alienate the audience.
The main challenge I faced was how to combine the Lovecraftian style with the required story content. Lovecraft’s stories feature colourful use of language that builds atmosphere and paints eerie scenes. As a writer of prose, he had ample opportunity to indulge, rephrase, or simply to meander. He devotes entire paragraphs solely to evoke a sense of dread, or to deliver a description of some horrendous creature.
Since the trailer had to tell a story within a predefined (and strict) time constraint, this created tension. I was required to choose my words carefully and spend them economically, yet maintain the desired Lovecraftian flavour. I decided to prioritise telling the Jester’s story over gratuitous dwelling on rambling elaborations. Total Mayhem Games appears to agree with that decision; my first draft only required minor corrections before it was deemed fit for the trailer.
The background story of the game is laid out in the trailer.
A more thorough breakdown of my writing process as well as the full text as delivered by me will be featured in a future blog post.
It is flattering and motivating to see how well the trailer is received! Total Mayhem Games and I look forward to cooperating more in the future, to supply their Jester with the appropriate voice.
The game is available for wishlisting on Steam and is set to release in 2019.
Since April 2017, I’ve been employed by ADabisc/Trimoo as storyteller/writer for their edutainment theme park Juniverse. I acted as product owner of the Game Design and Story/Content domains. Over time, I adopted the role of Story Director.
While there isn’t much I am allowed to say about the content of the theme park, I can list here what my tasks and responsibilities are.
I took on the Game Writing and Narrative Design for the mobile game Mahjong Crimes (Android/iOS) by Spil Games.
By working closely with the game designer, we ensured that the powerful classic story was respectfully translated to the medium of game.
Quote by Agatha Christie Ltd CEO James Prichard (source)
I am employed by the studio Alternate Function 4 to write the story of Neon Knight, a game in which you drive your special vehicle through a dystopian, futuristic city. The game’s art style has as distinct 1980s vibe, complete with neon colours and synthesiser music.
Warhorn is a Viking-themed multiplayer-only 1st person arena combat game. Or, as its dev team Mega Mage Games affectionately describes it: Viking Counter-Strike.
Mega Mage Games pays a lot of attention to aesthetic details, which is what piqued my interest for the project. They want to keep it historically plausible as well, meaning that false Viking clichés are avoided. In other words: you won’t find any horned helmets in Warhorn.
Designing Role Playing quests and events kick-started my interest in Game writing, besides teaching me a lot about story progression and sustained player immersion. For that reason, I feel inclined to list this experience here. All in all, my experience for writing within the confines of RP-games spans a period of 10 years.
Tavern Role-Playing is a common denominator in many fantasy game worlds
Although I could mention other examples, I want to focus on two learning experiences: Dungeons & Dragons, and The Lord of the Rings Online. Continue reading
I’m working as a quest/story designer and book writer for a mod for Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, in which an enthusiastic team attempts to create a world inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Shire.
Together with Studio Bleep and Sfinx Games, I am developing Rosie Can’t Sleep: a childrens’ picture book using Augmented Reality (AR) technology, for the target audience of children aged 3 to 6 years. AR is cleverly combined with beautiful and colourful hand-drawn pictures.
AR enables the reader to make the images jump off the book’s pages by using a smartphone or tablet. In fact, it allows for interaction with the illustrations. This way, the book’s story can be somewhat influenced, which results in a richer and more interactive reading experience, connecting the best of two types of media. The app will be made freely available in the App Store and Play Store, while the book can be utilised without the app as well.
Watch this video for a demonstration of AR: