Narrative Design and Writing

Narrative Design and Writing for games

I have been learning about writing for games for a few years now, and it is the most fun you can have with the lights on. My main tools of the trade are Ink Engine (by the amazing folks over at Inkle Studios) and Twine, but the process of writing for games usually also involves confusing spreadsheets, sprawling JSON files and indecipherable notes on paper as well. With experience of working with multiple scripting languages and game engines, I am fast to learn new tools when needed and adapt to the needs of the game.

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My ideal project would be to work on a magical RPG, a quirky dating sim, a story-driven mobile game, or perhaps a children’s book with bright and beautiful illustrations – things that make us enjoy life just a little bit more and create lasting emotional impressions.

I hope to work with narrative design and writing for games in the future, and I’m always up for new challenges! For samples, contact me at classheikki [at] gmail.com, or scroll down this page.

Writing samples

Non-interactive:

Interactive fiction & games:

  • High Noon at the Produce Market (2020) – a short interactive fiction set in a post-apocalyptical work, < 5 minutes long (~600 words). The story is in-browser and free, made in Twine: [High Noon at the Produce Market]
  • i didn’t make a game for this jam (2020) – an interactive non-fiction. Depending on choices, 2 – 10 minutes long (150 – 1000 words). The story is in-browser and free, made in Twine: [ i didn’t make a game for this jam]

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  • Grumpy Librarian (2020) – A kafkaesque visual novel game with hand-drawn character illustrations, my first solodev project (I also wrote a long forum post about the development process which you can read here). Playtime is approximately 20 minutes, download for free for PC or Mac, or play-in-browser (note: load times may be a little slow). Grumpy Librarian was made using Ren’Py:

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Past & current narrative design and game writing projects include:

  • Resistance is Fertile (in-development, releases late summer 2020) – In this short and atmospheric single-level point-and-click puzzle repair game, you play as a little light switch repair robot that is resisting its programming to try to fix a greenhouse. Beware of the looming OverCR diagnostic system, surpass your purpose and figure out how to repair what is broken.
  • Minute Detective (in-development 2018 –>, release date to be announced) – a visual novel detective game in which you interrogate suspects to find inconsistencies in their stories. Made together with Tuure Saloheimo and Ina Dolk, at Aalto University.
  • Sails of Change (2019)- a small 3D open-world adventure game in which you play as a sailor in the archipelago, battling locals to trade and explore the local waters. Made together with other students at Aalto University.
  • Mochabot Organic  (2019) – you are the robot barista at a small café. Serve drinks, get good reviews and grow your organic coffee beans! Winner of a Finnish Game Jam Award 2019. Available for Android & PC on itch.io.

In narratives I particularly enjoy stories that tackle the absurd. Watching characters struggle with accepting the inevitable heat death of life as we know it, make futile attempts to control their life and perhaps find solace in others seems to be recurring themes in my stories. As a part of the Fairy Trade Coffee speculative fiction duo with Sandra Waller, I have written fiction, an audio drama spec script, comics, and hope to release some interactive fictions and games soon.

Academic Writing

Publications:

  • Annakaisa Kultima, Christina Lassheikki, and Solip Park. 2020. Designing Games as Playable Concepts: Five Design Values for Tiny Embedded Educational Games. To be included in the DiGRA 2020 proceedings. (available on request on ResearchGate)
  • Annakaisa Kultima, Christina Lassheikki, and Solip Park. 2020. Playable (research) concepts workshop: translating your topics into tiny games. In Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Academic Mindtrek (AcademicMindtrek ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 165–167. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3377290.3377321
  • Christina Lassheikki, Iina Nokelainen, Yuanqi Shan, Maximus Kaos, Martti Raevaara, Heikka Valja, and Perttu Hämäläinen. 2018. Fair and Encouraging – Developing an Automatic Assessment System in Aalto Drawing. In Proceedings of the 2018 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play Companion Extended Abstracts (CHI PLAY ’18 Extended Abstracts). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 337–344. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3270316.3270318

 

 

Comics

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Sequential art is, to me, the wonderful marriage of narrative and art, and one I wish to master one day.

You can now buy some of my comics on Gumroad[Fairy Trade Coffee on Gumroad]!

As part of Fairy Trade Coffee, I have tabled at Zinefest Helsinki 2019 and 2018. My comics bibliography includes:

  • The Shortcut, 2018
  • Playing Running Away, 2016
  • Ecce Homo, 2017
  • Webcomic: Jump, Jump! – discontinued – 2014 – 2016 [here]
  • Webcomic: His Royal Master’s Loyal Scavengers –  discontinued – 2009 – 2012 [link]