Talking Video Game Storyboarding with New Zealand

Skyping with New Zealand: Game Design
For the second time this week, I hopped on my computer and joined a group of people somewhere else. The other day, it was as part of a collaborative keynote address in New York. Last night, it was a Skype visit to Kathryn Trask’s classroom in New Zealand (we follow each other on Twitter). Her students are learning about video game design  by using Gamestar Mechanic (just as we do) and she wanted me to chat about the elements and importance of storyboarding. I was happy to do it, although the time difference was a little strange (it was today when I talked to them last night).

As I talked with her students, I tried to emphasize a few things around game design storyboarding:

  • A storyboard is a map of ideas so you see the larger picture as well as the smaller segments
  • While storyboards do not need to include every detail, they should conceptually show a story/narrative arc
  • In game design, storyboard panels are a handy way of considering “levels” of a game
  • The act of storyboarding flips you from seeing your game as the maker to envisioning the role of the player
  • Just because you have a storyboard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t veer off when something better/more interesting comes along in the midst of design. Remain flexible

Later, I also shared a few resources that might be helpful:

It was pretty neat to jump into another classroom. Kathryn’s students asked some great questions and now, she has the challenge ahead of them to begin planning a game. Good luck!

Peace (in the sharing and connecting),


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