Worldbuilding for Video Games

Learn the fundamentals of building video game worlds, from a writer’s perspective.

Worldbuilding for Video Games

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Estimated 5 weeks
4–6 hours per week
Progress at your own speed

About this course

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A game’s setting is second in importance only to the game’s player character - and some say it’s more important. Game designers must create a compelling new world that players will want to explore and inhabit for many, many hours.

Game writing is a collaborative process, and worlds are designed with input from art directors, level designers, and even marketing teams. But writers have an integral role in making these worlds feel rich, deep and believable.

In this course you’ll learn to use the tools of environmental storytelling, lore, readables and audio/video logs to help create a memorable game setting.

Verified learners will access additional game industry interviews, assignments and discussion topics, connecting with a community of other writers and game enthusiasts.

At a glance

What you'll learn

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  • How level designers and the art team approach the game world, and how the narrative designer works with them
  • Environmental storytelling: how the setting creates mystery, reveals history and furthers the game’s story
  • Learn how to create compelling found narrative
  • How writers of lore and backstory can learn from real-world research and history
  • Tools and techniques for creating compelling audio and video logs

Module 1: Creating a Compelling Game World

  • How game development teams create worlds
  • The role of the writer
  • Creating worlds players will want to explore

Module 2: Environmental Storytelling

  • Exploring great environmental storytelling
  • How setting can tell the story of the game
  • How to create mystery and shape player decisions

Module 3: Readables

  • Making readables that fit the game world
  • Creating readables that are compelling yet skippable
  • The interaction between readables and character

Module 4: Lore and Backstory

  • How writers create rich fictional worlds
  • Worldbuilding within history

Module 5: Audio and Video

  • Character commentary
  • Audio logs, radio broadcasts, voicemail and more
  • Video logs and alternate formats

About the instructors