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Writing for Socially Networked Games: Blending User-Generated Content with Storytelling
Price $7.95
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SKU GDCA08-7457

Writing for Socially Networked Games: Blending User-Generated Content with Storytelling
Speaker: Gabe Zichermann (CEO, rmbr), Christopher Cunningham (Chief Creative Officer & Co-Founder, rmbr)
Date/Time: Wednesday (September 17, 2008) 3:00pm — 4:00pm
Location (room): Room 3
Track: Writing for Games
Format: 60-minute Lecture
Experience Level: Advanced

Session Description
Social network games (games in social networks that use the network’s components as assets) have thus far focused almost exclusively on user-generated storytelling. Some have concluded that this trend imperils traditional game writing in a socially networked context. In mid-2008 rmbr will release “Prized Collection” on Facebook, as the first major SN game that combines traditional storytelling, character development and plot with user-generated content. Players assume the role of art collectors that buy, sell and collect their friends’ photos while contending with a series of external events such as market fluctuations, auctions and thefts. Players are both subjected to an external plot line and encouraged to write their own story as a collector of art in the game’s context. This session will provide an in-depth look at the risks and unique process of writing for user-centric games in social networks where expectations are quite different. Prized Collection will be demonstrated, and user feedback and behaviors gleaned from the first few months of the game’s operations will be shared.

Idea Takeaway
Attendees will leave with a detailed understanding of how Prized Collection was written to leverage the user-generated nature of socially networked gameplay while still advancing a structured story. Attendees will also get a better understanding of the particular challenges of writing in a context where storytelling is generally not used.

Intended Audience
This session is intended for game writers of all experience levels that are interested in writing games for social networks. Previous experience writing games is essential; experience with socially networked games is a major plus.

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