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5 Week Online Course | Wednesdays, April 13 – May 11, 2016 | Instructor: Andy Schmidt

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Introduction to Writing for Video Games

transformers-devastation-box-artIn Andy’s five-week intensive class for writers, you’ll learn about the common stages of development for a video game from a writer’s perspective. Andy goes over many aspects of the story development process, discussing how to work with larger teams in play on a video game and how to do the actual writing.

You’ll be given exercises to try your hand at the different kinds of writing involved, and there are several! You’ll learn directly from Andy about storytelling challenges that come up during the process and best practices for overcoming them within the larger group. You’ll learn about his experiences writing for several video game publishers such as Disney Interactive, Activision, and Pocket Gems.

Best of all, you’ll get to actually try your hand at tackling specific video game writing challenges each week! By the end of the course, you will have written every aspect needed for writing for video games.

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  • Details
  • Instructor
  • FAQs
  • Requirements
  • You will work with professional video game writer Andy Schmidt.
  • You will write every kind of writing there is for major video games under Andy’s expert guidance.
  • You’ll learn about game development from the story side and the compromises that go into it.
  • You’ll get Andy’s wealth of experience and training.
  • Meets one night a week starting between 9:00 and 10:30 pm Eastern time, for five weeks.
  • You also get exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum.
  • You’ll have access to recordings of any class in the series for the duration of the class and a few weeks after its conclusion—so you never have to miss a class!
  • Simply click on the PayPal button and you’re enrolled.
  • You only need to bring your brain—the rest is provided.
Andy Schmidt

Andy Schmidt, former Senior Editor at IDW Publishing, former Editor at Marvel Comics, and writer of such comics as 5 Days to Die, X-Men: Divided We Stand, and G.I. Joe: Future Noir launched Comics Experience for people who want to make comics or work in the comics industry.

During his nearly six years at Marvel Comics, Andy edited such popular comic books as X-Men, X-Factor, Alias, Secret War, Captain America: The Chosen, Iron Man / Captain America: Casualties of War, Avengers Classic, and the Annihilation saga. As an assistant and associate editor, Andy worked on nearly every major character in the Marvel canon—from Spider-Man to the Avengers and Fantastic Four.

In 2007, Andy founded Comics Experience to pass his knowledge on to students. In 2008, Andy wrote an authoritative, Eagle Award-winning book about making comics: The Insider’s Guide to Creating Comics and Graphic Novels, published by Impact Books. In 2010, he created the Creators Workshop as part of Comics Experience, where students can learn and grow together as creators. In 2013, Andy left corporate life and began consulting and writing in the Entertainment Industry on properties such as Spider-ManThe AvengersGuardians of the GalaxyStar Wars, and Transformers as we all as consulting with film and television studios.

In January 2016, Comics Experience launched a digital-only comics line from Creators Workshop members available exclusively through ComiXology.

Andy is the co-host of the Comics Experience Make Comics Podcast and you can follow him on Twitter at @ComicExperience.

Do we write a complete video game during the course?

No, you won’t write a whole video game. To do that takes the bulk of a full year as a full-time writer, so it’s outside the range of this course to do that, but what you will do is take assignments that spotlight each part of the writing process and try your hand at small samples of them. So in this sense, you’ll get to sample each aspect of the writing for a video game, providing you with a great baseline or foundational knowledge on how to go about tackling a much larger project like writing an actual video game for a major publisher.

What’s the focus of the course?

The classes themselves focus on two things: the story development process on a video game, which talks to a lot of the practical aspects of working in a large team, budget concerns, and how to overcome obstacles that get in the writer’s way.

The second part of the course is focused on learning to write for video games. We’ll cover how to create powerful character arcs within a playable framework, down to writing great dialogue for games.

By course’s end, you’ll have experienced all aspects of video game writing and you’ll know how to handle them!

How did Andy create the course?

Andy’s process has been developed primarily by two major influences:

The first is his long experience teaching. Prior to his work in video games, Andy taught both high school and college level courses while getting his master’s degree in Media Communications. The years spent teaching and creating curriculum have put him in the unique position of being both a professional instructor as well as a professional video game writer.

Secondly, Andy’s own work has influenced his approach. Developing his own writing skills and techniques through trial and error have been immensely helpful in crafting tips, skills, and processes that can help writers at all levels of experience. There’s nothing like on-the-job training!

What else will we be doing?

In addition to talking with Andy during the class sessions (and they are recorded if you have to miss one or more) you’ll also have exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum where your class can meet online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the duration of the course.

The forum is also where you’ll be able to post your work for your classmates to review, comment on, and make suggestions. And likewise, you’ll be asked to comment on your fellow students’ work as well. The single best way to improve your own writing skills is to read and critique others—and here you’ll be able to do that and have conversations with each other about them. You’ll problem-solve together and find new ways to write and work around plot holes and other story challenges.

What do I do after the class?

Once the course is over, you’ll have been taught how to approach a video game writing job—not just a set of steps for one specific story. It’s important that the writer be able to repeat the process once out of the classroom!

Do I need to know a whole lot about video games?

Absolutely not. All Introduction courses are designed for total beginners and those seeking to improve their craft. One thing we pride ourselves on at Comics Experience is our ability to teach to an individual’s skill level. So if this is really a curiosity for you, fear not, you’re in good hands.

These courses aren’t about the instructor, and that’s why we keep them small. We have an excellent track record with our students, and it’s our top aim to keep it that way.

Do I need to be a computer wiz for the class?

Nope. Not one bit. You need to have high-speed Internet access. We recommend that you have headphones with a microphone to plug into your computer, but that’s by no means necessary. Ultimately, you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, though we like hearing your voice!

It’s simple—once you’re in your first class, we’re sure you’ll get comfortable very quickly. Do look at the requirements tab above to make sure your system is compatible with our classroom. (It almost always is!)

What computer programs do I need for this course?

Check the requirements tab, but you’ll really just need Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word.

What if I miss a class?

All of our classes are recorded and available to view via streaming link for the duration of the course. And on top of that, you’ll have exclusive access to the Comics Experience forum set up just for the class. You’ll be able to interact with the rest of your class all week long at any time!

If I don’t live in the United States, can I still take the course?

You bet. We’ve had students jump in from elsewhere in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and Africa. Not Antarctica yet, but give us time! Some of these students have not been able to attend live, but they’ve viewed the recordings and interacted with their classmates online!

Learning about video game writing is great, but do we get any practical industry advice?

You’ll get some practical industry advice. Networking is one of our main topics in all of our introductory courses. Simply put, it’s essential for anyone who wants a career in any entertainment industry field. We discuss such topics as relationship building and ways to get your foot in the door and where to go to meet the right people.

How do I sign up?

Click on the PayPal button and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions within two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.

Go ahead and reserve your spot today! Space is limited.

To participate in our live online sessions you will need:

  • A computer or mobile device that meets Adobe Connect’s minimum requirements
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel      
  • Headphones/ear buds with microphone (optional, but strongly suggested)
  • A mind like a sponge!