A SHEFFIELD Hallam University graduate came back to the city to reveal how she has become part of one of the biggest online video games phenomena in the world.
Jo Berry, now based in Austin, Texas, is a writer on Star Wars: The Old Republic, played by more than a million fans across the world.
Jo, who studied a masters course in creative writing at Hallam, gave an insight into her career at a public master class at the university.
She discussed what it is like to be a writer in the games industry, creating scripts for what is said to be the first completely new art-form since movies were invented.
Jo passed on advice about creating dialogue and characters, building scenes that work for the narrative and as exciting set pieces, and writing for voice actors.
She showed examples of when visual storytelling is better than dialogue, discussed the importance of documentation and liaising with other teams, and why the script for Star Wars: The Old Republic is longer than 40 novels.
Launched in 2008, it had a million subscribers within three days, making it the world’s fastest-growing multiplayer game.
Jo, aged 29, who moved to America in 2008, said: “Attention to the quality of video game writing is increasing - gamers are demanding better storytelling and the industry is responding.
“Writing for video games is perhaps not something that creative writers would consider but it is an exciting career where your writing might find a home.”
Jo, who graduated in 2008, had a short story she wrote during her degree commissioned by BBC Radio 4, while her script Another Place was made into a short film.
She said: “Even if you’re talented, you need skills. You need to be able to write pitches, work collaboratively and demonstrate your talent.”