Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Video Game Storytelling by Evan Skolnick

Author: Evan Skolnick
Source/Format: Blogging for Books, Review Copy
Age Range: anyone
Publisher/Publication Date: Watson-Guptill, December 2, 2014

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Summary from Goodreads...

With increasingly sophisticated video games being consumed by an enthusiastic and expanding audience, the pressure is on game developers like never before to deliver exciting stories and engaging characters. WithVideo Game Storytelling, game writer and producer Evan Skolnick provides a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow guide to storytelling basics and how they can be applied at every stage of the development process—by all members of the team. Full Summary Here

So for my first nonfiction read of 2015 I got Video Game Storytelling by Evan Skolnick and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. This book was all about the art of putting together a good video game story, narrative, and how all of the parts should go along with one another for a better, coherent game experience for players.

“Conflict powers your story. Conflict is the burning energy that propels it forward. And if your tale runs out of fuel before it reaches its destination, you’ve got a problem” (p.7).

The very beginning of Video Game Storytelling dishes out some important advice on story conflicts and the importance of them before jumping right into the three-Act Structure. Across the various chapters, the information delves more into it as the different areas of game storytelling, breaking it down into sections. These individual sections expertly presented explanations and used well-known movies and video games as examples.

“The Monomyth is composed of two main elements: archetypes and story structure” (p.28).

This book also covered typical characters in games and their respective arcs. I found those chapters particularly interesting. Skolnick broke down the basic structure of video game storytelling into various parts that highlighted the importance of each and how they could be applied to video games. There’s a lot of information that’s covered, but presented straight-forwardly with plenty of examples of how it was all used previously. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I recommend it to anyone who wants to read it.

I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review, thank you! 

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