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Narrative Designer & Writer

Design | Vancouver, BC, Canada | Full Time and Contract

Job Description

Narrative Designer & Writer

Blackbird Interactive is looking for a full time Narrative Designer & Writer to help with our latest project.

Blackbird Interactive is a rapidly growing independent game development studio located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. We are dedicated to creating uncompromising immersive games with strong narratives and distinctive art styles. Games that we are excited to work on, are a blast to play, and that we can be proud of for decades to come.

You are....

  • An experienced storyteller: you've racked up 3+ years of professional experience as a writer and/or narrative designer in the video game industry; you've contributed to at least one shipped title during that time.
  • A writer: you’re passionate about writing stories, creating compelling characters, constructing memorable scenes, and servicing the needs of the game before all else. To that end, you recognize game writing as a specialized craft that requires you to study and hone your skills every day in order to become better.
  • A narrative designer: you’ve worked in games for a while now, maybe even helped design them, and you understand that constructing and implementing an effective narrative consists of far more than just writing a cool plot and kick-ass cutscenes. There are restrictions to be acknowledged and opportunities to be seized and techniques to be mastered in order for a narrative to mesh fully with gameplay and become as effective as possible.
  • A professional team player: you’ve been at this long enough to know that it’s a collaborative process, and so you’re always open to feedback and constructive debate; you're a diplomatic communicator, both within your own team and as you coordinate with others; you can take direction even when you have reservations, and execute on the tasks given with professional vigour and enthusiasm.
  • A versatile creator: you've proven your ability to brainstorm, design, and write for video games and other creative mediums that place an emphasis on story.
  • Detail oriented: you can manage a large number of documents, organize them, communicate the content to other team members, all-the-while understanding the details of the full narrative so they can be conveyed and discussed with team members at a moments notice.

You will...

  • Work with multidisciplinary team members, including the narrative director, to help define and deliver on the creative vision.
  • Develop narrative techniques and systems that will aid in the execution of our story inside the game space.
  • Write story treatments, character bios, VO dialogue, cinematic scripts, casting documents, world building backstories, and other support materials as needed.
  • Revise and edit scripts under tight deadlines based on internal and external feedback. Exceptional dialog skills are a must.
  • Work closely with level designers to merge narrative with gameplay. In doing so, you will write mission dialogue that serves the needs of the level designers while championing the story in order to deliver a consistent and robust narrative.
  • Manage the script and other dialogue related documentation, ensuring they are up to date, easy to access, and clear.
  • Understand story requirements and deliver on the essential story and gameplay goals.
  • Respond to feedback from creative leadership, design, audio, and production to enhance the narrative, clarify concerns, and facilitate the development process.
  • Understand gameplay elements and assess how they could affect the development of the story. Present collaborative solutions for adjustments as conflicts arise.

Requirements

  • 3+ years of game development experience as a writer or narrative designer.
  • Shipped at least one game title working either as a narrative designer or game writer.
  • Understand the process of both game and narrative development, including how audio, art, level design and other disciplines can affect narrative and how they can be effectively leveraged to deliver a more comprehensive and engaging story.
  • Knowledge of games and interactive storytelling, character development, scriptwriting, and user engagement. You must not only play video games, but understand them as a dramatic form.
  • Self direction and a proven ability to thrive in a highly dynamic and technical environment.
  • Strong inter-disciplinary & collaboration skills, including verbal and written skills.
  • Excellent creative writing abilities.
  • Be a passionate storyteller with a strong interest in advancing the quality of game narratives.
  • Writing samples, as requested, that exemplify a skill level and proficiency of craft that specifically speaks to the position under consideration.

Pluses:

  • Diploma or certificate from a post-secondary institution (preferably in the arts).
  • Demonstrated passion for storytelling in associated mediums (i.e. movies, novels, comics, etc.).
  • Experience with RTS games.

Compensation:

  • Competitive salary
  • Extended Health & Dental benefits
  • Generous vacation and sick day allowances

Applications must include a cover letter and portfolio of existing work.