Master Classes are in-depth, interactive learning experiences focused on craft and career building and led by renowned industry experts. Topics include fiction and documentary filmmaking, TV writing and production, and navigating and succeeding in the entertainment industry.

Are you interested in writing for video games but don’t know where to begin? Are you wondering what a branching narrative is and how you write in that space? In our live and interactive three-hour Master Class, you will learn about the fundamentals of narrative design in games from expert Jonathan Callan.

Jonathan is one of the premiere voices in interactive and traditional narrative, working with companies like Marvel, Warner Bros., Netflix, Universal, and AMC on titles like The Avengers, Westworld, Justice League, Jurassic World and The Walking Dead (twice). Most recently, he wrote on the critically-acclaimed Star Trek: Resurgence now available on X-Box, Playstation and PC.     

In this session, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the nuances of the craft and the business while Jonathan demystifies the world of game writing and the game industry.

Whether you’re an aspiring writer or curious about gaming, you will walk away with a greater understanding of this storytelling space and career.

Topics include: 

  • 00:00-03:50: Welcome and introduction from Sundance Collab
  • 03:50-7:04: Introduction and overview from Jonathan
  • 07:04 -10:03: Introduction to Nonlinear Storytelling
  • 10:03-16:20: Types of Nonlinear Story
  • 16:20-21:30: Structure in Nonlinear Story
  • 21:30-24:55: The various writing roles in games
  • 24:55-26:16: Environmental Storytelling
  • 26:15-36:33: Ludology vs Narratology
  • 36:33-48:30: Q&A Break 1
  • 48:30-1:07:48: Livestream of Bioshock (CONTENT WARNING: Violence and disturbing imagery)
  • 1:08:34-1:12:40: Livestream debrief
  • 1:12:40-1:33:34 Introduction to Ludonarrative, Dissonance and Harmony
  • 1:33:34-1:48:10: Q&A Break 2
  • 1:48:10-2:16:18: The Business of Writing Games
  • 2:16:18-2:37:42: Q&A Break 3
  • 2:37:42-2:41:09: Wrap up and final announcements 

Please find a list of resources here.

Jonathan Callan is one of the premiere voices in choice-based interactive game narrative, working with companies like MARVEL, DC, WARNER BROS., CBS, LEGO, SKYBOUND, NETFLIX, UNIVERSAL, AMC and MGM on titles like THE AVENGERS, BEN 10, WESTWORLD, JUSTICE LEAGUE, INVINCIBLE, BATMAN and THE WALKING DEAD (twice). more...

Join the Discussion