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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.

On A Mission

StoryLab’s mission

  • To stimulate innovative story focused digital content creation in partnership with the industry and under the guidance of internationally recognised mentors
  • To disseminate new ideas, research and resources through on-line networks and educational training events
  • To assist production teams get their projects commissioned through the development of strong ideas and presentation and proof of concepts
  • To link creative teams with the transmedia industry players across broadcasting, mobile, new media and technology sectors
  • To create a neutral ground for collaboration between creative teams, global mentors and the Australian, US and UK entertainment industries


  • StoryLabs will pioneer next-generation storytelling techniques by pushing the limits of digital entertainment practices and technologies
  • StoryLabs will consist of a series of presentations, seminars, workshops and incubators – enabling the conception and development of original IP future story and audience centric services
  • StoryLabs will equip participants and project teams with the tools they need to create compelling interactive and multi platform services by being made aware of the range of deployed and emerging distribution channels available to them
  • StoryLabs is strategically content and service focused but with a healthy balance of technical and business relevance
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