Course Lab: Lessons from Successful Online Course Creators
Writing for Video Games (ft. Susan O’Connor)
July 17, 2021
How has Susan O’Connor achieved “pinnacle results” for her students in her online course, “How to write for video games”? As Mirasee’s Danny Iny and Ruzuku’s Abe Crystal found out, it was through her willingness to innovate, iterate, and go with the flow.
Episode summary: These days, video game writers are taking something old - storytelling - and marrying it to something new - technology. In this way, writers are redefining what it means to tell a story in the 21st century, just as screenwriters did in the 20th century. Now more than ever, great games deserve great stories.

In this episode, hosts Danny Iny and Abe Crystal interview  Susan O’Connor, the creator of the multifaceted course “How to write for video games.”  Susan's been writing for many years and learned everything the hard way, which meant screwing up and mostly screwing up in public. Why should other writers have to go through this hard process, she asked herself? Why not go through a class? So, she created one that’s achieving “pinnacle results” for her students. 

In this episode we discuss:


“I created a buddy system. I waited a couple of weeks until we'd had a chance to know each other. But I would partner people up so that they could have a go-to person to discuss that week's homework assignment. And then I changed up the buddies every week.” – Susan O’Connor


Guest Bio:
Susan’s first job as a game writer was for “a slumber party game - for girls!” She’s gone on to work on over 25 projects, including award-winning titles in the BioShock, Far Cry and Tomb Raider franchises. Titles in her portfolio have sold over 30 million copies and generated over $500 million in sales. She is an adjunct professor at UT Austin, where she teaches a course on writing for games. A long time ago, she founded the Game Narrative Summit at GDC. Now, she partners with studios, publishers, and writers to help teams ship great games with great stories. She is dedicated to supporting creatives in the games industry so that they can do their best work.


Susan O'Connor

Resources or websites mentioned in this episode:
  1. Mirasee 
  2. susanoconnorwriter.com

Credits:

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Music and SFX credits: 

1. Track Title: Access
Artist Name(s): OBOY
Writer Name: Martin Hampton
Writer Name: Matej Djajkovski
Publisher Name: A SOUNDSTRIPE PRODUCTION

2. Track Title: Bossa BB
Artist Name(s): Marie
Writer Name: Chelsea McGough
Publisher Name: BOSS SOUNDSTRIPE PRODUCTIONS

3. Track Title: Carousel Lights
Artist Name(s): Chelsea McGough
Writer Name: Chelsea McGough
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton
Publisher Name: A SOUNDSTRIPE PRODUCTION
Publisher Name: BOSS SOUNDSTRIPE PRODUCTIONS

4. Track Title: Grace
Artist Name(s): Shimmer
Writer Name: Matthew Wigton
Publisher Name: A SOUNDSTRIPE PRODUCTION











































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