ALW251 - Writing for Games: Designing Quests and Characters

Unit details


2023 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2:   Helen Young
Cohort rule:Nil


Incompatible with: Nil
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

1 x 2-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online:

Online independent and collaborative learning activities including, 1 x 2-hour seminar per week or equivalent


What is the role of the writer in digital storytelling? In this age of "gamification," what are the new constraints and opportunities presented to writers or storytellers by digital narratives? This unit invites students to explore how gaming culture involves the telling of stories in both ancient and innovative ways. Learning about the narrative pattern of the fantasy quest and the enduring importance of character, students will explore various fantasy games to identify how the quest narrative and characterisation play structural roles. They will also use basic software to design their own quest narrative, working in teams to develop an appreciation of the cross-modal and collaborative practice of games writers. (No coding experience necessary.)

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Apply knowledge of the role of the writer/story designer in the gaming industry in cross-modal and collaborative activities in a professional context

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking


Analyse the quest and character elements in digital games through case studies

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO3: Digital literacy

GLO4: Critical thinking


Use basic text-based narrative design software to construct a collaborative digital narrative that demonstrates knowledge about games narratives and characterisation, and about writing for games in professional contexts

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO3: Digital literacy

GLO5: Problem solving


Relate constructively and professionally with others while undertaking research and working in a team

GLO2: Communication

GLO6: Self-management

GLO7: Teamwork


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1- Class Presentation and Case Study 1200 words
or equivalent
30% Week 6
Assessment 2 (Group) - Creating a Narrative Game 2000 words per group member 50% Week 11
Assessment 3 - Reflective Essay 800 words
or equivalent
20% Week 12

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link ALW251
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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