Script writing is another skill that is safely within my wheelhouse of writing tricks. So far, I've written scripts for both comics and video games, but I'm quite capable of strapping myself in to do scripts of other types.
Northern Getaway (Comic Script)
Northern Getaway is a mafioso story written for comic books. It's main hook is it's a character-driven narrative that aims to tell a plausible and grounded story with an incredibly flawed protagonists. The story also allowed me to explore my own Norwegian Heritage somewhat, as diving head first into researching the country's regions and culture helped give me a more accurate perspective on not just the setting, but possible directions to take the story. Northern Getaway got some preliminary artwork compositions done for one of its scenes, which you can see below.
Art by: SCAD Volunteer
On the outside, Carlo Romano is your typical mafia debt collector. He’s built like a linebacker, wears his jet black, Italian hair slicked back, wears a mean scowl on his face, and has collected his fair share of scars from when things have gone awry over the years.
He's hurt people. Often times so that they couldn't hurt him, or the people he cared about; at least the ones that haven't left him behind.
However, part of him has always longed for a redo; a chance to start fresh where nobody knows his dirty little secrets. One fateful night, he is given that chance, albeit under circumstances he probably wished were different, and finds himself on the run from those he's worked for since he was just a teenager.
To view the script in its entirety, click here.
Creating Northern Getaway was a lengthy process that involved heavy research, multiple drafts, beat sheets, breakdowns, and lots of brutally honest feedback. The story itself was inspired by Lilyhammer, Netflix's first ever original series, which also featured a gangster that was forced to flee the United States and took refuge in Norway. I felt drawn to this idea of a Norwegian gangster story in large part because I am learning much about my own Norwegian heritage, but also because I wanted to write a protagonist that was actually forced to atone for the poor decisions he made earlier on in his life, unlike Lilyhammer's leading man.
Booty Hunters: The Pirate Adventure Game for iOS (Video Game Script)
Booty Hunters is a high seas adventure that lets players captain and develop their own pirate ships, while testing their mettle in an open oceanic world, filled with rival ships, legendary relics and buried treasure. My role on the project was that of Lead Writer, PR Rep, and Quest Designer.
It was my job to craft the narrative, the character arcs, tasks that the player would accomplish during the game's campaign mode and to maintain and raise public awareness about the game's progress and existence.
Art by: Sasha Jones and Zachary Hunt
One of the best parts about working on Booty Hunters was that I basically had to learn how to talk (write) like a pirate. Given that I was creating the narrative, the characters and the dialog that was set in the early 1700's, it wouldn't make much sense for the characters to speak like a modern millennial. Therefore, a fairly hefty amount of research to learn various colloquialisms and speech patterns followed by figuring out a way to write it all out without completely losing the audience was a challenging but amusing task.
Night Manager (Comic Script)
Night Manager is a comic script inspired by people (including myself) and events I had known/witnessed during my time as a Front Desk Clerk of a major hotel chain. Obviously there are quite a few details that have been kicked up a notch for drama's sake, such as a hotel running a heroin operation as a front (but hey, it could happen!).
A major driving force behind the characterization of Damien (the protagonist) was the struggle to adapt from living a life of the most freedom and the least responsibility (college) to settling down into a responsible adult fit for the professional working world. As many millennials can attest, going to college doesn't necessarily equate to landing a well paying job straight out of the gate, which sometimes (a lot of times) can be their own damn fault.
This is that kind of story.
Night Manager is the story of Damien, a spoiled college grad that is forced to come to terms with his transition from party going college kid to responsible adult in the real world. When he runs out of money and is evicted from his "Bachelor House", Damien takes a job at a nearby hotel.
Everything appears normal at first until he learns that his boss is using the hotel as a front for a drug smuggling ring. Now Damien must decide whether he wants a piece of the action, or risk the rath of his manager.
To view the script in its entirety, click here.
Like any good script, Night Manager was a constant work in progress that resulted in multiple drafts, outlines, synopses, and beatsheets as well as several internal debates over how to conclude the story. Part of me still feels as though I could refine some dialog, expand on Damian's character arc, and maybe even improve the ending. That said, a lot of writers generally feel that way about their work.
Forest of Seasons (Video Game Script)
Forest of Seasons is a 2-D narratively -focused adventure game (unreleased) that follows the tale of a tree spirit, recently born from the energy source of a mythical tree. The game takes place in a mystical world that flows through the four seasons, letting the player experience growth, brilliant color shifts, hibernation, and even the death of the trees.
My role on the project was that of Lead Writer, Quest Designer, Developer, Community Manager and Web Designer. My job was to write the game's overarching narrative with compelling characters with believable back stories, construct designs for level traversal, maintain public awareness of the project's progress, and build the company's website.
Art by: Michael Zhou
Every tree spirit, including the player character, is born in a place called the Birthing Grounds, which is also the opening level of Forest of Seasons. As they explored the game world, players would have gradually uncovered a multitude of little bits of story scattered throughout the world to give them more context into what came before, and why it's so empty.
Below is a Panel-by-panel storyboard of the opening segments of the game, followed by a screenshot of the script I developed, from which it is derived.
Feral Politique (Video Game Script)
Feral Politique is an Action RPG set in an America whose political system has fallen into literal shambles. Extremism is everywhere and it's brought out the worst in people on both the left and the right. In Washington, the pettiness of liberal and conservative partisan politics finally destroys the Democrat and Republican parties, and in their wake arise two equally extreme ideologies, the Liberate and the Prospero Parties.
As a politically charged storyline, there was really no other choice but to have Feral Politique take place in Washington DC. Growing up in the nearby city of Alexandria made me privy to a lot of locales and landmarks that the average person wouldn't otherwise know unless they had actually been there.
The metro system connects much of the city, which has the potential to bring together all sorts of different types of people on a whim; which is how the story's three main characters come to be acquainted.
To check out the full script of Feral Politique, click here.
A wise teacher once told me, "If you learn nothing else from my class, never forget that history always repeats itself."
This is one of the guiding principles in constructing the Feral Politique storyline, as I've so often been exposed to propaganda telling me that America is "the greatest country in the world." Yet throughout human history, there is always one fundamental truth; people believe that their version of reality is the most righteous, and anything that deviates from it, must be a bad thing, and in the eyes of more extreme people, absolute evil.
The story is written from the perspective of a Moderate, where the worst aspects of Liberals and Conservatives are dialed up and let loose into an alternate United States where their weaknesses end up destroying everything around them.