What’s your story?
Ian is a writer, narrative designer, games programmer, and published author and screenwriter. Over the last twenty-five years, he’s worked in interactive television, education, film, publishing and the games industry, where he’s helped bring to life console & PC games such as SOMA, the LEGO games and the LittleBigPlanet series.
Outside mainstream games, Ian’s writing includes the Napoleonic horror movie Fallen Soldiers, the children’s Cthulhu book Where’s My Shoggoth? and the best-selling interactive story Pendragon Rising. He also writes, designs and directs live-action events such as the acclaimed ghost story God Rest Ye Merry.
Giles is a writer, editor and narrative designer, and has worked in the games industry for ten years, with contributions to more than thirty shipped titles in various roles, including multiple games published by Electronic Arts, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Microsoft Studios.
He has written for the BAFTA award-winning Relentless Software, and written on the TIGA award-winning Velocity 2X developed by FuturLab. Among recent projects, Giles was the lead writer on Bloody Zombies, developed by Paw Print Games, wrote on RAID: World War II, developed by LionGameLion, has recently written for Eidos Montréal, and is the lead writer of The Spectrum Retreat by Dan Smith Studios and Ripstone.
Matt is a freelance writer and editor. He has worked on games such as DICE’s Battlefield 1, Creative Assembly’s Total War: Rome II, Sega’s Binary Domain, and Ubisoft Reflections’ Driver San Francisco. Alongside his games work, he is the Managing Editor of Improper Books, a comic and book publishing studio focused on creator-owned stories that have a touch of the fairy tale or otherworldly about them. Before going freelance, he worked in creative services for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Originally a field archaeologist, he has worked on sites covering the Mesolithic to the Medieval throughout the United Kingdom.
Chris has been working as a writer and game designer for many moons with folks that include Harebrained Schemes, Tap Tap Tap, Headless Chicken Games and One More Story Games. He’s probably best known as the creator of the award-winning game “Mandatory Upgrade: X Marks the Spot”. Outside of games he has written comics, short stories, and articles and has even worked extensively as a software developer (Gods help him). He’s based in Canada.
Michelle is a part-time/freelance writer and narrative designer based in Vancouver, BC. Co-founder and chair of the IGDA Romance and Sexuality SIG, she has spoken about male sexualization and healthy, diverse fanservice at multiple conferences, including Queerness and Games, PAX Dev, and the GDC Narrative Summit. Her credits include QA for Mass Effect 3, senior writer/editor for the adventure dating sim 1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum, and current work in sci-fi RPGs, mobile interactive fiction and VR experiences.
Part writer, part performer, part games journalist and part corporate mouthpiece, Jason has been connecting words into meaningful sequences for the better part of two decades. He’s worked on marketing for games such as Ratchet & Clank and Killzone, scripts and taglines for Nokia and Microsoft, and even finds time to write his own stories and roleplaying adventures. He also likes to act and do the odd voiceover now and again.
Rachel has designed, organised, and written live events for over twenty years, including critically-acclaimed games such as the ghost story God Rest Ye Merry, the horror Slaght Maand, and the pulp action-adventure Dick Britton and the Voice of the Seraph. She is a founder member of Crooked House. Rachel is also a photographer, and practising veterinary surgeon!
We work with a wide range of external writers, with specialists in genre, medium, but also in particular topics. Along with games writers, we have award-winning authors, comic book writers, screenwriters, copywriters and editors on our books. Let us know if you’re looking for something in particular.
We run a mentorship programme to help up-and-coming games writers produce portfolio pieces. Here are our current mentees!
About: Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, I strongly believe that anything can be deep-fried. I have a B.A. in Interactive Entertainment, an M.F.A. in Writing for Screen & Television from the University of Southern California, and a lot of theories about misunderstood Star Wars villain Elan Sleazebaggano.
The Programme: As an aspiring video game writer, I would like to create an interactive story that will help strengthen my portfolio.
The Project: When her best friend is murdered and she’s targeted next, Ash must break into the memories of her estranged friends to determined which one is the killer.
About: As a fan of interactive narratives and unique games, I am always looking for ways to combine these two interests together.
The Programme: With experience as an essayist and playwright, I’m hoping to build my skills in writing non-linear dialogue and plot, as well as develop strategies for environmental storytelling.
The Project: My game will explore the future of food security and wealth, inspired by the works of Edward Gorey, Punchdrunk Theatre Company and Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Next Floor’.
About: I’m a Danish/Swedish academic researcher specialising in Viking Age runes and medieval manuscripts. My main claim to fame in the games industry so far has been translating Harald Hardrada’s lines into Old Norse for Civilization VI.
The Programme: I hope to learn more about narrative structure, and ultimately to get one step closer to a career in games.
The Project: Medieval pilgrimage – in SPACE. An interactive travelogue set in a space station society based on medieval Europe.
About: I am a 22 year old freelance writer and blogger from Montreal who has a degree in literature. When I’m not drowning myself in coffee and working on my manuscript, I’m probably slaying something on Final Fantasy or exploring a tomb with Lara Croft.
The Programme: Working under Talespinners, I hope to gain some insight into the game industry as well as how I can make my project ‘Beneath The Bluest Sea’ become a polished stand-out piece of my portfolio!
The Project: Roan, a human child born in a world of turbulent storms and Blue, a river-spirit stuck in a scorching desert, are thrown together as unlikely friends in a quest to save their parallel worlds from total destruction.
Talespinners quickly grasped our concept and were immediately able to work it into a captivating and inspirational story. Whenever an issue with the narrative came up, Talespinners were always quick to respond and promptly came up with solutions.
Mostafa Hafez CEO, Instinct Games
It was a pleasure working with Ian on The Bunker, he has an expert eye for game design detail and an incredible talent for bringing real humanity to storylines. His logic in game narrative structure is flawless and he brought an amazing attention to detail to The Bunker, providing layer after layer of storytelling, making the game richer and more immersive.
Allan Plenderleith Director, Splendy Games
Giles and Ian did a brilliant job of understanding our requirements and delivering a great story bible for us to work with as we went through pre-production with our coop VR RPG ‘Raiders of Erda’. The staged approach to feedback and iteration between their team and ours meant that we got exactly what we were after and we can’t wait to continue working with them as the game now goes into full production! Thanks guys!
Simon Barratt Director, Cooperative Innovations
We had a rough and sprawling story and lore for The Exiled that organically developed over years of development. Ian came and turned that chaos into a structured and coherent document, in the course solving the many logical problems and inconsistencies that had developed. With tiny amounts oversight and feedback from our side he came up with an interesting lore and turned that lore into engaging words. Will work with him again on future projects.
Alexander Zacherl Managing Director / Game Director, Fairytale Distillery
Talespinners have been wonderful to work with; enthusiastic, imaginative, and organised. I thoroughly enjoyed our story meetings. They’ve delivered excellent dialogue and plenty of strong ideas that have lifted our narrative, and spotted story problems early that might have resulted in wasted work. Even if you have a good handle on your story, I would recommend bouncing your ideas off Talespinners – they’ll come back even better.
Chris Payne Managing Director, Quantum Soup
Working with the guys at Talespinners was a very straightforward, creative and collaborative experience. It took very little conversation to get on the right track and move forward with some excellent narrative and conversational dialogue being written. We worked together on RAID: World War II by Lion game Lion, which has a complex VO structure. Talespinners grasped this very quickly and we went on to write some great dialogue in character. We hope to have a working relationship with Talespinners for some time to come.
Arash Amini Producer, Lion Game Lion
Ian doesn’t just do the job you give him. He brings new ideas, new approaches and directions, and pulls, sculpts and batters your ideas until they look far shinier than they ever were - or would have been – without him. He is an excellent writer, coder, and logical mind that will help you and your project in far more ways than what is written on any contract or agreement.
Olly Bennett Managing Director, Cardboard Sword
Talespinners offered us floor to ceiling help with our narrative while still calling out the areas where they recognised that we had already carried out good enough work ourselves. They quickly and accurately grasped the themes and subtleties of the project and were both fast and responsive in the work they produced.
Ciaran O'Connor Producer, Curiscope
Great talent combined with a complete openness to feedback, make Talespinners a top class vendor. They took our feedback onboard and improved upon it quickly, with complete clarity on progress at all key stages throughout development. A big thank you to Giles and Ian.
Dan Mills External Producer, nDreams
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