Molly and I were invited to be on Folkman Brothers’ podcast, Script Lock, earlier this month and we had such a fun time! Those guys are great, and we had a wonderful conversation about interactive video, Telltale anecdotes, and how to create a compelling choice. Check it out!
WOW that's one heckuva trailer. The video team really knocked it outta the park and did an amazing job selling the episode. Release day was yesterday and it's been really wonderful seeing people's responses because there's a lot of stuff I'm pretty proud of in there - A lot of moments that I'm still so humbled that I got to contribute to Telltale's Batman canon. It was a hectic and crazy couple months getting it made, but now that it's out there that's pretty exciting!
Getting handed a character like the Joker to write was especially daunting at first - I mean, whaddya do with the Joker? He's a character who you can simultaneously do anything with AND simultaneously need to fit a million people's different expectations. It took a lot of drafts and a lot of working with our fantastic voice actor Anthony Ingruber but I think we landed in a place that's pretty great and I'm really proud of it.
Anyway. I'm so glad it's out and people are enjoying it - I in the meantime have been off to the next project for a couple weeks now. Can't talk about it yet but... Pretty excited.
Back in June 2015 when I first joined the Minecraft: Story Mode team I had no way of knowing what an insane adventure I was in for. Originally just a punch-up writer for episode 1, I was very pleased to be asked to develop and lead episode 3. I got to cook up weird ideas like Soren's Wool World, his obsession with Endermen, and crazy schemes involving Super TNT... Of course, that was before episode 2 had a bit of a crisis that they wanted my help fixing so, long story short, I ended up the lead writer of episode 2 while talented writer Mike Choung led episode 3 in my stead.
Unbelievably, all of that took place before October, so... it was a hectic few months, to say the least, after which I took a much-needed vacation to Hawaii with my partner-in-crime, Molly Maloney. Hawaii was fantastic.
When I returned Molly and I were both assigned to episode 5 of Story Mode and got to develop its story from scratch, which was a wonderful experience. Episodes 1-4 of Story Mode dealt with the Witherstorm and, having wrapped that up, the execs wanted episode 5 to be sort of a "reboot"/pilot 2.0 for the mini-series, which was also a big question mark at that period of time.
One of our first pitches for episode 5 involved Jesse discovering portals to 3 different dimensions, which she had to hop between to solve various problems... Upon pitching it to the execs, they loved it so much that they wanted that to be the premise of the entire mini-series - So we picked our favorite of the 3 worlds we'd developed (Sky Kingdom) and built that out into an entire episode. It was a blast.
As we finished up episode 5, different teams began developing their own portal adventures for episodes 6-8 and I was lucky enough to get to help them. With episode 5 acting as something of a "reboot", it was an opportunity to retool some of the characters, tweak their personalities, and also really focus on the exciting, funny aspects of the series and its cast. This meant that, crazily enough, the flavor of the series ended up infused with a lot of, well, Stirpe-ness.
To keep that flavor consistent across the mini-series, I got a battlefield promotion to "Season Lead Writer" and ended up writing the majority of episodes 6-8. It was a ton of work, but it was a real honor to get to be part of shaping a series like Story Mode and I'm insanely proud of what we've made out of the portal hopping mini-series.
After I turned in my last VO script for the finale I sat back and realized that, for the first time in a year, I had no idea what I'd be doing next at Telltale. Maybe I'd be asked to help do pre-production on [SECRET PROJECT 1] or [SECRET PROJECT 2]? Or maybe I'd be asked to help do an episode of Walking Dead Season 3?
But lo and behold, the Bat Signal came for me and, as of this past week I am officially working on Batman: The Telltale Series. Stressful and super crazy so far, but also very exciting. I’m writing episode 4, which means I have a lot to catch up on but the team has all been incredibly welcoming.
Having dreamt of writing Batman since I was, like, 4, I'm a little nervous but also excited and super honored that I get to be a part of writing for Bruce, Alfred, and all the rest of them... My episode doesn't come out for a while, so I'll be going a little quiet until then, but you better believe that I'll still be talking up Minecraft: Story Mode, especially as that big finale gets closer and closer.
Wish me luck everyone!
Excuse me. All this surface air is just a bit much - I've been buried under writing Minecraft: Story Mode episode 5 for the last few months and haven't been up here much. But you know what I saw when I emerged from my writer-cave? Nickelodeon has nominated Minecraft: Story Mode for a Kids' Choice Award! That's right! There are kids who might want to choose Minecraft: Story Mode as their favorite video game!
Remember Kids. Choices matter.