The Illinois of Art, Chicago
Scriptwriting for Games
Instructor: Lindsay Grace


Novel Game Story and Concepts


"The player of the game takes on the role of Ico, a young boy born with a pair of horns, who must escort a princess named Yorda safely out of a castle without her being captured by the shadowy figures that prowl the castle or being killed by the castle's numerous environmental hazards. Despite selling only 650,000 copies worldwide, Ico received strong reviews, and has become a cult hit among video game enthusiasts."

"It makes effective use of minimal dialogue and story to forge strong emotional connections with the characters and environments in the game. It includes action, adventure and puzzle elements. The game also has a notable fictional language which has been theorized [1] to be backwards Japanese."-Wikipedia


System Shock:

"Set aboard the fictional Citadel research and mining space station, in a Cyberpunk future . . . it was critically acclaimed for having detailed 3D environments, an engrossing storyline, deep gameplay and a memorable villain. System Shock is often cited as an inspiration for games like Half-Life and Deus Ex; indeed, some of the same key people behind System Shock worked on the latter."

also review Bio Shock


"Set in 2072, the game casts the player as a computer hacker caught while attempting to remotely access files concerning Citadel space station, which is owned by the TriOptimum Corporation, the largest corporation in the world. The hacker is taken to Citadel and brought before Edward Diego, a greedy TriOptimum executive who offers to drop all charges against the hacker in exchange for a secret hacking job on SHODAN, the artificial intelligence (AI) that controls the station.

To make the deal more enticing, the hacker receives a valuable military-grade cybernetic implant with the implantation operation bankrolled by Diego. After hacking SHODAN, removing the AI's ethical constraints, and handing control over to Diego, the hacker is prepared for the promised surgery. Following the operation, the hacker is put into a six-month long controlled healing coma in the surgical suite of the station's medical level. The game begins as the hacker awakens." - Wikipedia

Video: System Shock 2 Training Component :

Grim Fandango:

The story unfolds in four episodes, each set a year apart on the Day of the Dead. It is from this festival that much of the game's imagery is drawn — most of the game's characters are skeletal calaca figures (based on the work of Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada). Various flowers are also used as tools of murder, in the form of a substance known as "Sproutella", which reacts with bone, destroying it by causing flowers to grow in it extremely rapidly. Characters refer to this manner of death as "sprouting". There is also unique fauna scattered throughout the game, such as bone-eating fire beavers and gigantic cats used for racing.

Unusually, the game combines this mythical underworld with 1930s Art Deco design motifs and a dark plot reminiscent of the film noir genre. Manny, whose job combines the roles of Grim Reaper and travel agent, turns detective when he discovers that deserving souls are being denied their rightful post-mortem reward of direct travel to Mictlan, bypassing the four-year trip that all other souls must take. Manny's investigations draw him into a tangled web of corruption, deceit, and murder.

The second part of the game, when Manny is running a nightclub, is inspired by Humphrey Bogart films The Maltese Falcon, Key Largo and Casablanca. In the game, the gambler Chowchilla Charlie is extremely reminiscent of Peter Lorre, and the town's corrupt police chief is based on Claude Rains's Captain Renault. Despite this, Tim Schafer stated that the true inspiration was drawn from films like Double Indemnity, in which a weak and undistinguished man (an insurance salesman, not a detective) is involved in murder and intrigue[1].



"For years, the Psychonauts have deployed their psychically-armed operatives all over the world, but this time trouble is brewing in their own boot camp. A deranged scientist is abducting camp cadets for their brains. One student, a mysterious and powerful new arrival named Raz, stands alone against the lunatic. Raz must develop and unleash an arsenal of paranormal powers including his most powerful weapon of all—the ability to launch himself telepathically into the minds of others. Ultimately he must enter the psyche of his worst enemy and destroy his dark plans at their source while trying not to lose his sanity in the process." - from the psychonauts website

American McGee's Alice:'s_Alice

"Shortly after her second adventure, Alice's parents are killed in a fire of which she is the only survivor. Driven catatonic and having attempted suicide (implied, but never directly referred to), she is institutionalised in Rutledge Asylum. Years later, Alice is called by the White Rabbit to the aid of a radically altered Wonderland now under the despotic rule of the Red Queen. The Cheshire Cat in particular now looks very different from Sir John Tenniel's original illustration: he is shown here as skeletally thin and his grin looks are more devious than mischievous. The Cat is Alice's constant companion throughout the game, popping up now and again to guide the player or offer advice." - from Wikipedia