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Writing for Video Games


Want to write for the fastest growing writing industry in the world?

Ben Andreas Harding

The gaming and interactive media industries generate more than $15 billion per year in the US alone. A key reason why people buy a game or use interactive media is the quality of the story behind it.

This 10-module online course teaches you
how to write dialogue, concept documents, in-game text, and the host of other narrative assets that you'll find in video games. Walk away with a pitch ready for the game producers.

Tutor Paul Dunn  - currently working in the industry as a writer for MMOs and mobile apps - will provide support and expert feedback on your writing through a series of writing assignments.




“Well constructed presentations, modules that transitioned well into one another, and assignments that allowed for practise of practical writing skills."

Kyle Strong, Scriptwriting for Video Games



Course Details:


Students must complete:


Admission Requirements:

  • Cost: $ 995.00 GST inclusive
  • Modules: 10 Modules
  • Duration: Course can be completed at own pace within twelve months
  • Start date: At any time; applications all year round
  • Basic writing skills are essential
  • Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required
  • No previous tertiary qualification required


Tutor for this course:

Paul Dunn is passionate about video games and the stories they tell. From those early days when he would sit watching his Commodore 64 load Elite from a cassette tape, he was hooked on the way gaming could open up entire worlds and spin fantastic stories that he could participate in. While the hardware has changed, his love of these immersive and interactive stories hasn’t.

Paul’s background in writing covers everything from crafting interview scripts about development projects in South Asia to publishing industry whitepapers on emerging business technologies, but his passion is for games. He has spent a number of years as a narrative designer and game writer, and currently works as a game designer on cutting edge educational games for virtual reality. When he’s not writing and designing them, Paul plays whatever he can get his hands on, from board games to tabletop and of course video games.

Paul has a BA in Media Studies from Massey University and is a game designer in Auckland, New Zealand.


Course Curriculum

Module 1 - Short is the New Epic

An overview of the media platforms now available for short-form storytelling.
  • Webisodes
  • Online Interactive Videos
  • Video Games
  • Projects that cross the boundaries – online/offline/interactive

Module 2 - Boiling It Down

Explore the limitations and considerations of short-form and small screen storytelling, and how Big Ideas can be reduced down to effective and ‘doable’ digital media stories.

Module 3 - Gone in 60 Seconds

You’ve only got the attention of your audience for one minute.  How do you make those 60 seconds count?
  • Clear turning points
  • Transforming exposition into ammunition
  • Hooks and cliff-hangers
  • Emotional roller coasters

Module 4 - NPCs Are Real People Too!

Learn how to develop effective video game characters.
  • Characterization
  • Dialogue
  • Information delivery

Module 5 - The Story Glyph

Create narrative assets within your Game World that can be used to inform and instruct your player. Learn how to build your story piece by piece.
  • Tomes
  • Flavour Text
  • Visual Features

Module 6 - World-Building: Part 1

Fiction engineers build worlds that players can explore and lose themselves in. These are worlds rich with context, logic, meaning, history and wonder.
  • Place Names
  • Meanings
  • Greater Contexts
  • Chronologies
  • Contemporary Situations

Module 7 - World-Building: Part 2

Fiction engineers are like Dr Frankenstein. Yes, we create monsters!

In this module you'll learn the key four steps in the creation of MOBs, your Mobiles (Monsters or Beasts) that will populate your world and act as the antagonists to your protagonist.


Module 8 - Horns of the Dilemma

Much of a player's game experience involves the decisions they are required to make throughout the story.  Here's where you'll learn how to design dilemmas that give your players something to think about!

Module 9 - Storytelling Through Game Mechanics

There is one narrative technique that's truly unique to video games: the Game Mechanic.  In this module you'll learn how game mechanics can be tailored to provide the backbone of your video game storytelling.

Module 10 - Putting It All Together

There is no straightforward path into the world of game writing.  More often than not, your career will be launched from a self-directed project.  Here's where we take all the knowledge you've gained so far and compile it into a project brief to impress those game producers.


“Very positive. The feedback and critique was really useful.”

Mathew Anderson, Writing for Video Games Course



How does the course work?


Students will receive ten modules with writing assignments. At the end of each module, students will be required to complete one or two writing exercises. In total, the course includes twenty assignments of varying lengths and complexity, all of which count towards the final result of the student.

Once the writing assignment has been completed, and e-mailed to the lecturer, an assessment and feedback will be sent to the student, and the module will be considered complete.


Conditions of Certification:


Students will receive an NZ Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Students must have completed all 10 writing assignments
  • The course must be completed within twelve months of registration.
  • Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course

Minimum Estimated Time Commitment:

  • Reading time: 20 hours
  • Writing time: 30 - 40 hours
  • Research time: 5 - 10 hours

Need more advice about the best course for you?

We would love to chat to you if you have any questions about our writing courses.

If you need some advice about the best course or writing field for you, drop us a line or give Koos or Nichola a call at 09 550 4635. We can tell you about going rates in the field, chance of publishing success and general writing career options both in New Zealand and internationally.

  • If you have questions about how we work, we have information in our FAQ section and How We Train section.
  • If you want to pay off your course fee, please read the information here.
  • For information on our refund policy, please read our policies here.
  • To register for the course, please click here:
Click here to enrol

Feedback on this course from past students

“Great course for people who want to get into the field, or those who already are but could use a little structure. Paul was excellent: patient in answering questions, great at explaining things and very responsive.” Rosemary Lokhorst, Writing for Video Games Course, April 2018

“I was very fortunate and happy to be able to complete this course. I’ve learnt so much about the industry and most of all I’ve learnt how to improve my future writing projects. Paul Dunn was an excellent tutor and a great help for all the questions I had regarding the course content, no matter how simple and irrelevant I deemed my questions to be. He always promptly responded to my questions and gave me advice and pointers on how to improve my future work. A wonderful college to improve and shape your writing skills.” Stephanie Toerien, Writing for Video Games Course, August 2017

“The course was very informative - fascinating even - and I felt as though a lot of uncertainties in my writing finally made sense. My appreciation for games and even other mediums of storytelling has increased as well, making them far more enjoyable. I can, with confidence, say that this course was excellent and I recommend it to anyone interested in the industry! Paul was superb throughout! His feedback and guidance on the assignments and the various game elements and narratives was incredibly helpful. In fact, while the materials on the course were great, I can honestly say that thanks to Paul I came away with so much more. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that he is one of the best tutors I’ve had! I’m truly grateful to have had his guidance on this course and if we ever end up on the same writing team for a game someday I’d be overjoyed! A fantastic and informative experience! I learned so much and enjoyed every bit of it so much so that I was sad when my course came to an end. It was the kind of experience I’d be happy to reload and relive!” Ashley Susan Nicole Fairfoot, Writing for Video Games Course

"The Writers College was exactly what I'd been looking for. It has helped better my understanding of the genre of writing I had an interest in and has helped solidify my thoughts on working towards a career in creative writing. Paul has been an excellent tutor during the course and has been both punctual in his replies and helpful with his advice. He was also a great help in suggesting how to branch into the gaming community after the course was completed." Rachel Colligan, Writing For Video Games Course

“This course was definitely worth the time; it showed me the big picture of becoming a story writer. Edwin was a very professional tutor and pushed me to try my best. I’m really glad I decided to choose UK Writers College to enrich my inner creativity. My overall experience was remarkable and gratifying.“ Cody Readinger, Writing for Video Games

"Well constructed presentations, modules that transitioned well into one another, and assignments that allowed for practice of practical writing skills. The  Writers College offers uniquely tailored, high quality educational programs that might not be found elsewhere online. I had the pleasure of learning new skills under lead writer for the game Path of Exile, Edwin McRae, who passed on some of the most interesting tips and tricks for delivering captivating literature that I've seen to date." Kyle Strong, Writing for Video Games

"Enjoyable, guided creativity with subject experts rarely found in NZ available for meaningful instruction." Mathew Anderson, Writing for Video Games

Image credit: Ben Andreas Harding

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About Us

NZ Writers College is a leading online writing school in New Zealand.

We offer specialised, online writing courses tutored by award-winning writers. Get the writing tools you need, expert insider advice and hours and hours of writing practice. Work one-to-one with a professional writer and realise your writing dreams.



NZ Writers College offers online writing classes all over New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. We have students from Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Whangarei, Rotorua, Hastings, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, as well as Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne, Australia.

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Nichola Meyer or Koos Turenhout
Email: admin@nzwriterscollege.co.nz

Phone:      +64 9 550 4635

9-5 Monday to Friday

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