Hi! I’m Andrea Blythe, an award-winning storyteller passionate about crafting meaningful interactive narratives.
My experience in games has included freelance work with indie studios Lost Lake Games and One Frog Games, while also developing solo projects using tools such as Twine, Inkle, and Bitsy.
While developing games and interactive narratives, one of the ways I like to begin is with an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the tools/engine being implemented. What kinds of gameplay and narrative systems are possible within the existing constraints? How can I construct a narrative that best integrates with the gameplay within those constraints? Crafting the characters, world, and narrative in collaboration with the gameplay, design, art, and soundscape provides a more cohesive experience for the player — which is my ultimate goal.
I love working across multiple game and story genres (in the same way I enjoy writing across fiction, poetry, and screenplay formats). The joy comes from the challenge of finding the right voice, tone, writing style, and story structure to match the game being developed.
Additional Storytelling Experience
During that time, my poetry has been collected in three books (with a fourth on the way) — the most recent being narrative-driven book, Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brother’s Grim Fairy Tale (Interstellar Flight Press, 2020), which received second place in the 2021 Elgin Awards.
In addition, my poetry and fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Undead: A Poetry Anthology of Ghouls, Ghosts, and More, Corvid Queen, Luna Station Quarterly, Enchanted Conversation, and Quail Bell, among others.
In the realm of film, I have collaborated on the script and story development for two short films, including “Firecracker,” which was written, produced, edited, and submitted in under 48 hours. In addition, I worked with a producer and director to write and develop a 12-episode independent musical romantic comedy web series (which is currently on hiatus).
What inspires me about game design in general is the multitude of ways in which gameplay and narrative can be woven together into compelling and moving narratives. The more games I play, the more impressed I am with the possibilities available — and thus the list of games I find inspiring is constantly evolving. Below are a few notables.
The Fallout Series (Interplay Entertainment and Bethesda) — Playing Fallout on my family computer in the late ’90s was a formative experience for me. The original game and those that followed kicked off a long-standing love for two things — role-playing games and post-apocalyptic and dystopian storylines.
The Last of Us (Naughty Dog) — I have played The Last of Us at least four times, returning to the story and game experience over and over again because I love it so much. It would be a dream to work on a game that has this level of emotional impact.
Disco Elysium (ZA/UM) — As a poet, I can’t help but be drawn to the lyrical, intricate writing of Disco Elysium. The way this game blends RPG elements with an interactive, choice-based narrative with a literary flair is deeply inspiring — and it shows how rich, vibrant writing can have a place in the development of games.
Portal and Portal 2 (Valve) — I love the mixture of platforming and puzzle solving with one of the most iconic game villains ever written. With her brilliant quips and biting sarcasm, GLaDOS is both menacing and hilarious.
The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us (Tell Tale Games) — Although each game explores different story genres (grounded horror compared to noir fantasy), both of these Tell Tale games illustrate the impact that making difficult choices can have on the player’s experience of the narrative.
Inside (Play Dead) and Journey (Thatgamecompany) — What draws me to both of these games is how they craft fascinating and powerful narratives without using a single line of text. It’s a beautiful demonstration of how art, sound design, and gameplay are powerful narrative tools by themselves.