Game Writing, Los Angeles & Sweden: The New Frontier of Game Development

11/26/2014

LA Game Industry Veteran Speaks at World's First Degree Program for Game Writers, visits Sweden Game Arena

The author of the upcoming book 'Slay the Dragon! Writing Great Video Games', Los Angeles Game Industry veteran Robert Bryant, visits the world's first and only Bachelor's Degree Program in Game Writing, at the University of Skövde in the Sweden Game Arena (game cluster), on December 2-5. Mr. Bryant delivers a major speech and leads multiple seminars in Game Writing classes, whose students may soon thereafter turn their ideas into real games. The high-profile visit highlights the role of interactive storytelling as "the new frontier of game development."

UCLA Instructor Robert Bryant might seem an unlikely fit with the small town of Skövde in the middle of Sweden. A game industry veteran who's spent most of his career in sunny, busy Los Angeles, Bryant -- along with co-author, screenwriter Keith Giglio -- recently signed with Michael Wiese Productions, publishers of the best-selling 'Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need'.

But Bryant and this particular place in Scandinavia have something important in common: A unique position in the growing field of Game Writing. The University of Skövde, part of the cluster Sweden Game Arena, is the first and only with a full Bachelor's degree specifically in Game Writing, with the first class graduating in 2015. And Bryant, who teaches Game Writing at UCLA Extension to Hollywood writers and producers, is slated to release his book 'Slay The Dragon!' in 2015, with the hope of inspiring Game Writers of the future.

Hence it is Game Writing that brings Robert Bryant from Southern California to Sweden Game Arena in December. For four days, on December 2-5, he will speak at the University of Skövde's largest lecture hall and lead seminars with future Game Writers who are taking courses in areas such as Game Design, Interactive Media, Scientific Writing and Media Production. He will also visit the Game Incubator next door at the award-winning Gothia Science Park, which hosts more than 20 start-up game companies comprising former University graduates, including Coffee Stain Studios, creators of the world-wide hit Goat Simulator, and a branch of Paradox Interactive, well-known for its strategy games such as Europa Universalis.

"I am very excited to visit a place that invests so much in the future of interactive storytelling", says Bryant. "I am eager to meet students who have decided to make a career out of their passion for games and for writing, and to learn what the future might hold for a profession that is only in its infancy, but has a bright future." With more than 15 years of experience as game producer, developer and educator, as well as years in Hollywood as a studio marketing executive and story editor, Bryant is well equipped to make a lasting impression on his new apprentices. And considering the university's breadth of game programs and hands-on curriculum, the students' lessons from Bryant's visit might materialize within months in the form of stories in real video games.

"We bring Game Writing students together with students from four other game degree programs in Year 1, and again in Year 2, to design and build a video game from scratch in 10 weeks", says Ulf Wilhelmsson, Head of Division at the University of Skövde. "Apart from pioneering Game Writing as a full degree, we are also one of the few schools in the world to offer full Bachelor's degrees in all major areas of Game Development, with over 500 students enrolled in five game development programs, in Design, Art, Programming, Music/Audio and Writing", explains Ulf. "That is why our Game Writing and Game Design students have the opportunity to implement and test many of their concepts & ideas every year, and in a very realistic environment, which prepares the students for a global market."

Robert Bryant hopes that his lectures in Sweden Game Arena will inspire young people to push the boundaries of writing for interactive media, and discover new ways to create stories. "Video games are still a very young medium, and game writing as a discipline is even younger. We can barely imagine what the future might hold. And this is what makes it so exciting to be part of it, whether in Los Angeles, in the Sweden Game Arena or anywhere else."

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