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Story for
Video Games

The training

Craft richer, more compelling games.

  • Location: Online
  • Duration: 8 weeks
  • Skill level: Intermediate
  • Sessions: 7

This practical training will help you master the story principles behind successful video games, craft memorable protagonists, and learn how to effectively merge story with gameplay.

This is a practical course developed by two leading storytellers from the worlds of film & TV and games, John Yorke and Caroline Marchal (Interior Night). It’s designed for industry professionals looking to create more immersive player experiences and for new writers intrigued by the possibilities of interactive stories.

You’ll work in a small group of dedicated writers with an expert tutor. By the end, you’ll have a story treatment for an original game and the narrative skills to better integrate story into the development process.

Bursaries available

You may be eligible for a ScreenSkills or Women in Games training bursary for this course. See 'bursary information' further down this page.

CPD certified

Our professional skills training has been independently accredited for integrity and quality. All learners receive certificates of completion detailing CPD learning hours.

Our team

Meet the experts

John Yorke

Course Director

John is widely acknowledged as the UK’s foremost expert on story and Into the Woods is the bestselling book on the subject in the UK. John’s worked on some of the world’s most lucrative, widely viewed and critically acclaimed TV drama, from EastEnders to Shameless, Life on Mars and Wolf Hall.

More about John
Stuart Maine

Stuart Maine

Course Tutor

Stuart has worked in the video games industry for 27 years, working across console, PC and mobile platforms, and writing for newly created IP plus brands including Warhammer, Spongebob Squarepants and Transformers. His first video game history book, I’m Too Young To Die, was released by Bitmap Books in 2022, with a sequel and an unannounced book both underway.

More about Stuart
Chay Collins

Chay Collins

Course Moderator

Chay is a London-based freelance writer and creator. They hold a BA in Film & Television specialising in screenwriting and gender & sexuality. As well as running writing events they have had essays published in anthologies and their debut novella nominated for an award.

More about Chay

Things to know

This online CPD training is for anyone who wants to develop their talent in the video game industry and create richer player experiences. It’s suitable if you:

  • Are a game writer or narrative designer looking to build on your skills
  • Are new to the industry and want to understand what a development team needs from a writer
  • Work in other areas of game development and publishing, be it as a designer, producer, programmer or artist etc.
  • Want to learn how to see the underlying framework behind all stories — both in video games and traditional media

This professional training allows you to:

  • Gain the narrative skills to better integrate story into the production process, ensure story is heard within a development team, and resolve problems where game design requirements feel at odds with story needs
  • Master story structure and have the skills to diagnose and fix story problems
  • Refresh your skills and understand decisions you’ve always made using instinct
  • Gain greater understanding of industry expectations and processes within development teams
  • Clearly identify and pursue your potential
  • Network with others in the industry, and with the tutor team and special guests

Our training is taught 100% online in small groups with a designated tutor and moderator on-hand throughout. Each course is divided into sessions. These sessions are released one by one on a weekly basis.

There’s no need to log on at a set time. You can work through the learning materials whenever suits you, day or night, wherever you are in the world. Just allow 5-7 hours per session to complete the assignments and join forum discussions by the deadline.

Our teaching method is based on the science of active learning, where you’ll read, watch and practise exercises in your own time before submitting assignments for peer and tutor feedback. You’ll then review, share, reflect, and refine your work.

It’s both flexible and structured. Social and yet gives you space. You’ll emerge with an industry-standard toolset you can apply to real world projects and a new network of professionals you can trust. Find out more about how we teach.

Session 1: The Protagonist and The Player

We start with an in-depth analysis of what a protagonist is, their desire and their relationship to the player. You’ll learn about good characterisation and how the identification process works.

Session 2: Key Elements of Story

In addition to a protagonist and a desire, every story needs an antagonist, an inciting incident, a journey, a crisis, a climax and a resolution. We’ll analyse all these elements in detail and how they work in games.

Session 3: Understanding Story Structure

We’ll focus on the ten questions you need to ask to make sure your story isn’t broken, and how you can structure it in three and five acts. By the end of the session, you’ll be able to deconstruct any story.

Session 4: Merging Story and Gameplay

The key challenge in game writing is to make story and gameplay work together. For this, you need to know your verbs, understand agency, choice, pacing and much more.

Session 5: Storytelling Tips for Games

How you tell your story is as important as what the story is. A great story told badly is worse than an okay story told elegantly. Find out how to perfect your storytelling with 15 essential tips.

Session 6: Writing in a Development Team

In this final two-week session you’ll learn what a development team needs from a writer — how you can contribute to, improve and make an impact on the quality of the final experience. You’ll use what you’ve learned to write a story treatment for your own game idea, which you can submit to receive written feedback notes from your tutors.

See our full list of UK-based funding opportunities with application guidance.

ScreenSkills –You may be eligible for a training bursary for this course. Apply direct to ScreenSkills here, at least four weeks before the course start date.

Women in Games Bursary (in-house) – We’ve written articles on why the industry needs more women and are committed to helping encourage more female talent on the scene. Our bursary covers 25% of the regular course price and is available to one female applicant for each iteration of this course. To apply, fill out our short form.

You can only apply for one bursary option for this course. As this counts as CPD training, you may also be able to get funding from your employer to do it.

Join our alumni – After your course, you can join our online alumni community where you’ll meet our growing network of past students. You’ll be able to.

  • Rejoin your classmates in a private forum
  • Continue to access an archived version of your course materials
  • Meet alumni from other courses and share work for feedback
  • Join discussions about games writing and the industry
  • Attend live chats with guest writers and industry folk

Mentoring and one-to-one feedback – Our team offer mentoring, script reads and reports. We are happy to quote by job or script, or to arrange a longer mentoring scheme as you work on a specific story idea. We’ll create a package to suit you, so please email [email protected].

How it Works

Our training’s taught 100% online in small groups with a designated tutor and moderator on-hand throughout.

It’s an active learning experience where you’ll read, watch and practise exercises in your own time before submitting assignments for peer and tutor feedback. You’ll then review and refine your work as you get better and better.

Fit the course around your work and time zone – just allow 5-7 hours to work through each session.

It’s both flexible and structured. Social and yet gives you space. Find out more about how we teach.

John Yorke Caroline Marchal at GDC Game Developers Conference
Our Alumni

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