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Playing with Film, Shaping Gameplay in a Storyworld – Matt Costello – StoryLabs Podcast Ep13

Matt_CostelloPlaying with Film: Discovering and Shaping Gameplay in a Storyworld – Matt tackles the complex issue of how to carefully meld storytelling and game play. Starting with the philosophy that “Puzzles are the foundation of Story’ he talks about how when writing a book, game or film how they are filled with puzzles for characters,  filled with questions. He looks at some of the 70 key puzzle types and how they may be applied to certain genre or types of situations to help make story extensions engaging. Matt talks about the difference of gamification vs puzzlefication around the film story, how to connect with what users are doing, expanding horizons and how they can feed into a film universe. (An edit of a seminar talk and a clinic talk, with some gaps where live participations originally took place)

Playing with Film Story – A presentation by Matt Costello, given at the StoryLabs & Screen Australia labs and digital ignition seminar held in Sydney in late Nov 2012. StoryLab’s Podcasts: Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes

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Matt Costello (US) –  Matt Costello’s best-selling and award-winning work across all media has meshed gameplay, technology and story. He is the writer and creator of groundbreaking games, novels, nonfiction and TV in both U.S. and Europe. Much of his work has involved working with and creating IP for major films. He wrote and co-designed Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, working closely with the series screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. The game, Disney’s first world-wide #1 best-seller, had to capture the world of the first three films, and yet present a new twist on the characters and the story. For Universal Pictures and Simon & Schuster, Matt wrote the original prequel novel to Peter Jackson’s King Kong, Island of the Skull, creating an original story working closely with the film’s screenwriter, Phillipa Boyens. Other film properties that Matt has worked with across both game and other media platforms include Bad Boys, The Italian Job, and — for Disney – Aladdin, Hercules, and G-Force. He wrote and co-created the bible for the hit game Doom 3, which became the basis for the recent film. He has written and co-created original IP, including the games Just Cause 1 & 2, currently being developed as films by Eric Eisner’s L + E Pictures. His horror novel, Beneath Still Waters, was filmed by Lionsgate in 2004, and released worldwide. Other recent novels and games are also currently being developed as films.

A Tale of Two Campaigns – Salt vs Bourne – Anthony Mullins – StoryLabs Podcast Ep09

anthony-mullinsA Tale of Two Campaigns – BAFTA winner Anthony Mullins (Creative Director of Hoodlum at the time of this recording) takes us through his companies process in developing multi platform stories then segues into comparing their campaigns for Salt and Bourne Legacy. Anthony begins by taking us through a range of practical tips from early concepts through to production challenges. Open and closed thinking through to development practise. He advises on how to approach and build story worlds, with or without the clients involvement, and how best to keep up to date with trends. Anthony also talks through all the challenges around understanding an audience, what they do and how best to fulfil their needs through to handling expectations and the issues around lead in times if the transmedia project is promoting a specific release date for a film.

A Tale of Two Multi Platform Campaigns – A presentation by Anthony Mullins, given at the StoryLabs & Screen Australia digital ignition Lab held in Sydney in late Nov 2012. StoryLab’s Podcasts: Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes

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Anthony Mullins (Australia) –  is a BAFTA and AWGIE award winning screenwriter and director. The projects Anthony has written and directed have won numerous international awards including a Primetime Emmy, an International Digital Emmy, two BAFTAs and five Australian Writers Guild awards. He has been the creative director and lead writer on several award-winning interactive projects for major film and television productions including Lost, Spooks, Primeval, FlashForward, The Bourne Legacy and Salt. Clients include ABC (US), Sony Pictures, Universal NBC, ITV, BBC and National Geographic. His short films and TV documentaries have been selected for Official Competition in some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals including Cannes Film Festival, Aspen Shortsfest, Karlo Vary Film Festival and SXSW. ??Anthony is currently the Creative Director of Hoodlum, a leading multi-platform studio based in Brisbane, Australia.

The Business of Games as Transmedia Brands – Tony Reed – StoryLabs Podcast Ep.8

The Business of Games as Transmedia Brands – A 101 introduction to the games business and how to approach attaching multi million dollar games through to cheap and cheerful casual games to your multi platform story world. The importance of growing your brand and how upfront community and transmedia brand building is the most important factor in making any kind of success. Also some very surprising statistics surrounding entertainments biggest playground.

A presentation from Anthony Reed, CEO of the GDAA, given at the inaugural Screen Australia & StoryLabs digital ignition lab held in Robertson in late November 2011. StoryLab’s Podcasts: Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes

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Antony Reed (Australia) – is a 20-year veteran of the interactive entertainment industry. With global experience in game development and publishing, Antony has been a marketing brain behind some of the world’s biggest games franchises, including Command & Conquer,Baldur’s GateFallout and too many Star Trek titles, and has won numerous awards for his campaigns. In his publishing days Antony worked for industry heavyweights, Virgin Interactive and Interplay Productions, before turning his attention to game development in 2003. Today, Antony is the CEO of the Game Developers’ Association of Australia and is tasked with advocating the interests of the sector to government, educational, financial and commercial institutions as well as heavily promoting Australian game development creativity and talent internationally.

Making Stories Gameful – Matt Costello – StoryLabs Podcast Ep.6

Creative IP and Designing Play – Matt explains his approach in developing experiential stories looking at a range of successful game, film and book examples as well as delving into the true nature of interaction. He uses his latest work as key writer of  Rage as a study of how to take IP from game, to book, to film and how to approach original branded IP and creatively develop it from life to story world to game.

A presentation by Matt Costello given at the inaugural Screen Australia & StoryLabs digital ignition lab held in Robertson in late November 2011. StoryLab’s Podcasts: Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes

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MATT COSTELLO – US mentor (NY, LA & London)

Matt Costello is based in New York, London and LA and has written ground-breaking and award-winning novels, games, and television. Time Magazine said of Doom 3, which he scripted, “The story is delivered with unusual art.” He wrote the groundbreaking Pirates of the Caribbean 3 game across all platforms. Rage, a 2011 release from id Software which Matt worked on, won the most Game Critics Awards at this year’s E3, including “˜Best Console Game’.Just Cause, co-written with Storylab founder Neil Richards for Eidos, debuted as the #1 game for Xbox 360 in the UK and was named “Best Adventure Game” at the 2006 E3.

His current projects include a major game for the revolutionary Nintendo 3DS. Other notable games include: Hercules, for Disney, The Dark Half, for MGM, Derelict, for The Syfy Channel, The Clue Chronicles for Hasbro, Barbie’s Riding Adventure for Mattel, Clifford’s Reading” for Scholastic, Starsky & Hutch  for Empire, and The Italian Job for Eidos. Matt also specialises in the kid’s genre and has created many award-winning games for children.

He co-created one of the first major experiments in “˜two-way TV’, called ZoogDisney, branded as “˜TV you do’. For two years the ZoogDisney weekend bloc re-shaped the Disney channel, bringing it squarely into the interactive and “˜tweens world. He has written a kids book series for Scholastic , The Kids of Einstein Elementary which blends adventure and math and he also scripted episodes of the award-winning PBS animated series, Cyberchase. Other games include the landmark Aladdin’s Mathquest with math expert Marilyn Burns for Disney, as well as the multi-award winning A Cartoon History of the Universe (Putnam). His novel Beneath Still Waters was filmed and released by LionsGate and Penguin/Putnam published his latest suspense novel, Nowhere. His new novel,Vacation, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2011.

Making Transmedia Make Money – Jennifer Wilson – StoryLabs Podcast Ep.5

Making Transmedia Make Money – Why you are unlikely to make any money unless you are willing to deal with the small stuff, lots of it. Jennifer explores the commercial realities around many digital business models and shows how they can be applied to almost any Multi Platform and Transmedia project. Case studies will feature non-commercial projects such as China Heart & Making Australia Happy and how they could have been commercialised. A presentation by Jennifer Wilson given at the inaugural Screen Australia & StoryLabs digital ignition lab held in Robertson in late November 2011.

StoryLab’s Podcasts: Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes

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Jennifer Wilson (Australia) – http://storylabs.us/mentors/#JENNIFER-WILSON

Jennifer Wilson is a Director of The Project Factory – a multiplatform media company. She is fascinated by the intersection of creative concepts, their technical implementation and the commercial realities that underpins these. Beyond cross-platform – the intelligent exploration of how to generate engagement on the third and fourth screens through social, play, story, sharing and interactivity. She is passionate about mobile (ubiquity); semantic web (understanding), social media (connection) and the need to find engagement at the heart of every interaction.

Jennifer teaches courses in multiplatform, trans- and convergent media. She works with emerging leaders across all forms of media to help them understand the connected, networked world. She has authored books and papers aimed at writers and film makers covering key concepts, business models, rights issues and new ways of thinking about copyright. Jennifer is a member of SPAA, on the board of AIMIA and chairs the Mobile Industry Group.

Creatively Failing Forward – David Varela – StoryLabs Podcast Ep.4

Creatively Failing Forward – Using two key properties, Sony XI ARG and Lewis Hamilton Secret Life ARG, this talk looks at the nature of interactive, finding need and developing community thinking. David also refers to his earlier ARG Perplex City and how to choose appropriate platforms for users. A presentation by David Varela given at the inaugural Screen Australia & StoryLabs digital ignition lab held in Robertson nr Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, late November 2011.

StoryLab’s Podcasts: Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes

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David Varela (UK) – http://storylabs.us/mentors/#DAVID-VARELA –

David is a writer and producer who works across a huge range of media – sometimes all at once. He is currently producing and writing a global ARG sponsored by Reebok and starring Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton. Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life is running in nine languages for eight months, with live events staged in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Prior to that, David wrote and produced the world’s first console-based ARG, Xi. Based in Sony’s virtual world PlayStation Home, the adventure spilled out across the web and into the real world too, attracting over 600,000 players.

David’s background is as an award-winning writer for theatre, radio and advertising. It was as a writer that he first got into transmedia back in 2005, working as in-house writer on the influential ARG Perplex City for 18 months.  He was heavily involved in the adventurous crossover between Perplex City and BBC Radio 1 known asFrozen Indigo Angel.

His stageplays have been performed at the ICA, the Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre and RADA, and his short films have premiered in Leicester Square and been broadcast on ITV. He has also written several one-off dramas for BBC Radio 4 and BBC7.


The Writers Dream inside the Nightmare – Neil Richards – StoryLabs Podcast Ep3

A step-by-step study of the writing process to a very tight interactive brief. How limited story world and entrenched stake-holders creates a freedom of its own and how trans-channel entertainment can still have have embedded educational value. A presentation by Neil Richards given at the inaugural Screen Australia & StoryLabs digital ignition lab held in Robertson nr Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, late November 2011.

StoryLab’s Podcasts: Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes

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Neil Richards (UK) http://storylabs.us/mentors/#NEIL-RICHARDS has story executive, writer and producer credits for BBC, ITV and Channel 4 in drama, children’s and entertainment. Since co-writing Starship Titanic with Douglas Adams in the mid-90s he has worked increasingly in interactive media, scripting children’s iTV, education, broadband and platform games, earning three recent BAFTA nominations, an IGDA Writing Excellence nomination and a Writers’ Guild nomination. He has written more than 20 game scripts including the popular titles DriverJust Cause (1 & 2)Broken Sword and The Da Vinci Code. He has mentored in workshops for BBC, PAL (Media Programme), PILOTS (Media Programme), PYGMALION (Media Programme/Paris/Berlin Film Schools), the Akademie für Kindermedien in Erfurt and Crossover Labs. He was one-time senior lecturer in screenwriting at Bournemouth University. He has also consulted for the BBC as a producer in creative development, devising and running Creative/Interactive Labs across the BBC.

Games Lab

We are currently in a gaming renaissance as three forces, artificial and emotional intelligence, photo realistic visual rendering and natural body interface create a perfect storm. Alongside this we are seeing the widespread introduction of 3D games which will present challenges and opportunities.

The potential for deep, cinematic and satisfying game creation is available to both traditional media creators and existing game producers who want to extend their abilities. But games are also becoming more casual and social too so these workshops and seminars will help storytellers create new game IP across console, casual, online & pervasive game story, level design and game play.

The labs will merge expanded gameplay and interaction with ever-evolving storyworlds and narrative. Mentored by internationally acclaimed game writers, designers and developers this lab is a mix of

  • Half day presentations on various Game topics
  • Full day workshops on game idea development
  • Intensive 3 day – 1 week incubators designed to truly inspire your game project and develop new ideas
  • 3-9 month consultancy and remote mentoring
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