Hi, and welcome to the Hidden Chronicles blog. This is my first blog post, so I’ll take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Christy Marx and I’m the Senior Narrative Designer on the game. Narrative Designer is a fairly new term for someone whose job is to find the best way to mesh storytelling with gameplay. And often that person is also a writer.

My background covers both game design and writing. I began my writing career writing and developing animation series, comics and graphic novels. Some of my credits include Spider-Man, G.I. Joe, Jem and the Holograms, Conan the Adventurer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Beast Wars, He-Man, Reboot, War Planets, and a bunch more. In the live-action field, I’ve written for Babylon 5, Twilight Zone, Captain Power and Hypernauts.

 I branched into game design and game writing by creating adventure games for Sierra On-Line: Conquests of Camelot and Conquests of the Longbow. Over the past twenty years, I’ve worked on PC, console, MMOG and virtual world games. Two years ago, I came to Zynga to learn the art and craft of making social games. WithHidden Chronicles, I had the opportunity to learn about hidden object games and what I learned was…I love them!

Early in the development process, I wrote a story bible for the game. A story bible conveys the theme, tone and direction of the game, who the main characters are, and the main story plot points.

Our bible included blurbs (one-liners that “sell” the game) and an elevator pitch. Imagine finding yourself in an elevator and had to take that 30-second opportunity between floors to pitch the game to someone. That’s what this paragraph is about.

Here are the original blurbs we put in the bible:

-Unlock the mysteries of Ramsey Manor.

-Become the Guardian of Ramsey Manor and track down the mysterious Master Chronicle

-Unlock the mystery of the Master Chronicle and become the Guardian of Ramsey Manor.

And here’s the original elevator pitch:

The death of your uncle brings you to Ramsey Manor, where you learn that you have the ability to see and change the past by touching special artifacts. You follow a trail of clues leading to the Master Chronicle, a powerful book whose existence has been guarded by the Council of Guardians for centuries. They believe you have the power to join the Council and protect the secret from sinister forces.

Under THEME AND TONE, we listed these words:

  • Mysterious
  • Adventurous
  • Intriguing
  • Romantic
  • Beautiful
  • Challenging

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the early development process of Hidden Chronicles. In my next post, I’ll share more material from the story bible.


source: HCH blog