If your players want a story
Give them something great
It's Worth The Effort
You set out to build a game that tells a great story. You know it's going to be hard. REALLY hard. There will be days when you'll feel like you're climbing a mountain. In the winter time. In your underwear. But you do it. You do it because you know it's worth the effort. You know that a game with heart and soul will move units and win awards - but more importantly, it'll be a project you and your team can be proud of for years to come. And that's why you put in the long hours and sleepless nights - because you want to make something great. I'm here to help. Let's make this happen - together.
Hi! I'm Susan
I provide story development and scriptwriting services to game studios and their publishers. Titles in my portfolio have generated over a billion dollars in sales. (What!) I’ve worked with some of the best studios and designers in the country, and contributed to award-winning, groundbreaking titles. I’ve turned that experience into a set of practices that can help any team.
I've worked with some amazing clients, and I would love to work with you.
The origin story of Miss Lara Croft Nominee, "Outstanding Achievement in Story", DICE & "Best Narrative," GDC Over 5 million copies sold worldwide
Star Wars 1313
A descent into the ruthless underworld of Coruscant 31 award nominations, 10 wins at E3
Far Cry 2
Mercenaries prowling a failed African state... Nominee, "Best Writing" award, GDC
Once more under the sea Best-selling game in UK and North America in first week of release
Welcome to Rapture! Winner, "Best Writing" award, GDC
Work With Me
Let's kick some ass.
I provide a full range of storytelling services for my clients. I start with your game's world, and continue through character development and narrative design, all the way to the final line of dialog. I can work independently or alongside your team's writing talent to help bring your story to life.
"If you're going through hell, keep going."
- Winston Churchill
It's every developer's nightmare -- your advance reviewers tear your story apart, the testers hate your characters, your plot doesn’t integrate with your levels, and the dialog is a disaster. Are you doomed? Of course not! I have come onto projects late in development - as late as content lock - and helped the team correct course. If you're facing a production challenge with your narrative, give me a call.
If your goal is to earn a Metacritic score of 90+, your game will have to have a great story. And it won’t be told by just one person – everybody on the team will play a part. I lead brainstorming sessions, provide story reviews, develop IP, and run game-writing workshops. I work with studios to help turn game developers into professional storytellers.
I offer presentations, seminars, and workshops worldwide. I love it! I've learned so much about storytelling, and I want to share all those insights with you.
What do video games have to do with the Antarctic? Watch the video above to find out.
The Narrative Designer
"Susan is a great collaborator who
thrives under pressure
. Her great sense of humor and easy manner makes her a pleasure to work with. In tough situations, she's the picture of grace under pressure. Where others might throw their hands up and retreat, she is always happy to jump into the fray and get things done... likely with a smile on her face!"
The Guy In The Audience
Anonymous speaker evaluation
"Susan was amazing, as she always is."
The Game Designer
"Susan is an amazing writer who's able to challenge the tired cliches of video game narrative while still accommodating the demands of gameplay. Her style is sharp, creative, and has a certain snap to it.
She's got great instincts
for genre and character motivation. Working with her and learning from her was a great privilege, and I hope to do so again."
The Executive Producer
"I had the pleasure of working with Susan as a contract writer/creative consultant with LucasArts for several years while in preproduction on the StarWars 1313 game project, a compendium game to the proposed LucasFilm television series. "First and foremost Susan is an excellent interactive writer – that’s her bread and butter – she knows games, how games get done, how to best weave story in with gameplay, and the inherent challenges in doing so. As a producer, it’s tough to find a good writer who can also work within the parameters of modern game development. I was pleased to also discover her talent as a skilled listener, group leader, and presenter amongst larger studio teams and executives, as well as her ability to work with other writers – as we had a cadre of television series writer’s work to overlap with as well. "In the end, Susan put together a great script, but most importantly a framework and way of thinking, working, and tone with our creative team that left a strong impression that remained with the team long after her consulting gig was up
that only a seasoned pro could do
Have you worked on our kind of game before?
Odds are, the answer is Yes. As the lady once said - this ain't my first rodeo. I've worked on console games, mobile games and social games. I've worked on first-person shooters, action-adventure titles, RPGs, RTS projects, and open-world games. I've worked on horror stories, fantasy epics, adventure stories, crime dramas, sci-fi projects...well, you get the idea.
We're committed to our creative direction for this game. Can you roll with it, or will you want to throw it all out and start over?
My job is to give you what you want, in the best form and fashion possible. I will give you the full benefit of my expertise, and I'll flag any potential problems I see, but it's my job to follow your lead. I'm here for you.
We already have writing talent on staff. Can you work with our narrative designer, our other writer, our creative director?
All day long and twice on Sundays. I am a writer than loves to collaborate with other people. It truly is one of the greatest parts of my job. This industry is full of smart, creative, interesting folks, and it is a privilege to work with them.
We don't have other writers on staff! Can you be our writer?
Absolutely. I've developed a set of systems that allow us to work together quickly and efficiently.
Are you available?
I only work with one client at a time. That means that if we're working together, you get my full attention, my complete love and care. But it also means that my schedule fills up quickly.
Can we afford this?
My goal is to give you the full benefit of my expertise; I do everything I can to deliver value well above and beyond my rates. Yes, this is an investment. Storytelling in games is a tremendous challenge and if your goal is to hit it out of the park, you want the most experienced person you can find. You know what they say: if you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.
I bet I can write this thing myself. Why do I need a writer?
I bet you COULD write that thing yourself. But here's my advice: pull out your business card. Look under your name. What do you see? That is the role you are being paid cash money to perform. It has to come first. When push comes to shove -- when you have 10 hours in a day and 20 hours of work left to do - your primary job description takes top priority. If you're a designer, and you deliver a great story but crappy design, guess what? You're fired. Your team is counting on you to deliver the best [job title] you can. Give it your all. Don't stretch yourself too thin. Hire an expert, outsource what you can, and focus on your core badassery. But if your heart is set on tackling this awesome challenge, I say Mazel Tov. Here's my number; I'm here if you need me. Here are some ways you can leverage my expertise: Bring me in for a brainstorming session, to lay the foundation for your game. Bring me in for a story review, as a second pair of eyes to reassure your boss that Yes, your story is on track. If things go pear-shaped, you know where to find me. I have worked with teams in nearly every capacity, from full-time writer to short-time consultant to oh-sh*t crisis manager. Together, we can decide what makes most sense for you and your project.
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