Excited to announce that I will once again be teaching Writing & Editing for Gaming during the Fall 2021 semester for the Professional Writing program at Taylor University. This will be my third time teaching the course (first time in 2017). I now have this spring and summer to prepare and plan for the third offering of the course, scheduling guest speakers, and talking with publishers for student projects.
I am really looking forward to teaching this course again. Robert Heinlein states it so well: “When one teaches, two learn.” Each time I prepare for this course and teach it, I learn new things about being an editor and a writer. I also get to share a passion for tabletop gaming with my students, and then see where they take their own passions for the gaming hobby. Many of my students from previous semesters of this course (and its follow-up course Tabletop Game Writing Lab, being offered in Spring 2022) are now working as freelancers in the game industry, and we continue to discuss topics from the course. I can’t wait to find out what conversations start in this next group of students and where the course leads them.
Below is the overview of the course:
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Provide understanding of the world of tabletop game publishing and how the various aspects of writing and editing fit. Students will learn about content editing, copyediting, proofreading, and writing for card games, board games, and roleplaying games.
COURSE GOALS: At the end of this course, students will know the unique elements and skills required for writing and editing in the tabletop game industry.
- To understand the intersection of writing and games.
- To study the history of writing and editing in games.
- To understand the roles of writers and editors in the game industry.
- To understand the interaction of faith and gaming.
- To learn from game industry professionals.
- To give students practical knowledge that will help them garner the attention of game publishers.
Planned topics of discussion currently include
- Historical survey of text in tabletop games
- Role of the writer & editor in gaming
- Text compared to mechanics
- Publisher expectations, style guides, and standards
- Intellectual Property
- Intersection of writing and games
- Theme, story, and worlds
- RPG writing & editing
- Board game writing & editing
- Back cover and box text marketing
- Diversity and inclusivity in games
- Faith and gaming
- The game industry and community
- Looking to the future of interactive fiction and gaming
Books I have read in preparation for the course and recommend them to my students as well. Are there other books you would recommend on the topic of writing and editing for gaming?
- Board Games That Tell Stories by Ignacy Trzewiczek
- The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming by Terry Litorco
- The Creation of Narrative In Tabletop Role-Playing Games by Jennifer Grouling Cover
- Dangerous Games: What the Moral Panic over Role-Playing Games Says about Play, Religion, and Imagined Worlds by Joseph Laycock
- Designers & Dragons: A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry by Shannon Appelcline
- The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology by Katie Salen Tekinbas and Eric Zimmermann
- The Game Narrative Toolbox by Tobias Heussner and more
- Girls on Games: A Look at the Fairer Side of the Industry by Elisa Teague
- Hamlet’s Hit Points by Robin D. Laws
- The King’s English – A Guide to Modern Usage by Kingsley Amis
- Kobold Guide to Board Game Design by Mike Selinker
- Kobold Guide to Combat by Wolfgang Baur, Ed Greenwood, Chris Pramas, et al.
- Kobold Guide to Game Design by Wolfgang Baur, Ed Greenwood, Monte Cook, et al.
- Kobold Guide to Plots & Campaigns by Margaret Weis, Wolfgang Baur, Jeff Grubb, et al.
- Kobold Guide to Magic by Wolfgang Baur, Tim Pratt, Kenneth Hite, et al.
- Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding by Wolfgang Baur
- Playing at the World by Jon Peterson
- Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals by Katie Salen Tekinbas and Eric Zimmerman
- Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media by Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardip-Fruin
- Twisty Little Passages: An Approach in Interactive Fiction by Nick Montfort
- Word by Word: An Editor Guides Writers in the Self-Editing Process by Linda K. Taylor
Please let me know any questions you have about the course or suggestions you might have for making it even better this time!