CALL FOR SUMMER STORIES 2019!
From far-off distant lands, across a vast and sunlit sea, strange mists roll across the forests of Upstate New York. For most, this mysterious mist is just another part of the late autumnal season, but for the participants and staff at the Wayfinder Experience, they recognize, just as certain as the turning of the leaves, that it is the start of storywriting season!
At the Wayfinder Experience, we run more than fifteen Games each summer, and our only source of these Games are from all of you! Now is the time when all of you have an opportunity to submit your Adventure Games to the Story Board, who will determine which Games are the best fits for our summer programming, and provide feedback and mentoring to ensure your Games are the best they can be.
You’ll notice that this call for stories is coming earlier than usual, because this year we really want to encourage everyone to try their hand at writing and submitting Games. Feel free to reach out about your current or previously-submitted Games for advice and feedback!
Below, we will discuss the timeline for the next several months, what sort of materials are needed for a righteous and true Adventure Game, and what sorts of Games we’re looking for for 2019.
TIMELINE November-January — Read this blog for tips and tricks, talk to your friends and community about ideas, and write!
Sunday, January 26 at Midnight – Game submissions due to email@example.com
February 24 – The story schedule will be posted.
WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR? We want submissions for a few different kinds of Games!
We want a lot of Intro Games. We run these at almost all of our Day Camps, and a few Overnights. These are Games that use our magic system, have strong fantasy elements, and generally take place over two segments–a night Game and subsequent day Game. They should also be written with an awareness that their players will range from eight to teenaged, and should do their best to cater to both our younger and older players. Intro Games are the perfect way to learn how to write Wayfinder Games, and if you’re more experienced, they’re an amazing chance to show excellence.
We also want some Advanced Games. These can be of any genre, and generally are a single night Game. They can use our Magic System, one of your own devising, or no system at all! They can also be much more open-ended with regards to Flow, as they generally have older and more experienced players. We run these at most of our Overnight camps and at our off-season Games, like Fall and Winter Game.
We are also looking for an “Advanced Intro” Game, a Game which specifically blurs the line between our traditional intro Game programming with more experimental concepts.
We are also looking for a Game for our Immersion Camp. This is a three-part series, generally set in the same world over a span of time. It should probably lean high fantasy, but by no means has to be classic fantasy. It also should use the WFE magic system. For many of our campers, this will be their introduction to overnights or even to Wayfinder in general, so it should be a Game that highlights Wayfinder adventures at their most accessible and engaging!
This summer, we are having a Specialty Camp with the theme of TRICKSTERS! Send in your trickster themed advanced Games! Trickster gods, carefully lying fae, magical card sharks, persuasive fairy tale protagonists, anyone wearing a mask, heist Games, rogue Games, pirate Games, whatever you got, we want it!
Trickster Music Prompts (just for fun!!) Sinnerman by Nina Simone (https://youtu.be/r57J0jPyZRs)
The Wondersmith And His Sons by Astronautalis (cw: blood, death) (https://youtu.be/3FdUdvajOp0)
Killer Queen by Queen (https://youtu.be/hazzaNv_poo?t=19)
WHAT GOES INTO A SUBMISSION? You need to include a few things in your Game submission. Your goal in this submission is to convince the Story Board that we should run your Game. That means giving us a good idea of what the Game will feel like from the perspective of a player, and showing us that you’re personally ready and willing to put the work in to make the Game as good as it can be. It also involves making it easy to read and understand—a good tip is to go over your submission once you’ve finished it and pretend you’re reading it for the first time.
You can format the submission however you think will be easiest for us to understand. Most submissions come to us as either one long document or a series of numbered files. We recommend using Google Docs, though if you’re using another format we’ll figure out how to read it. We’re clever.
A complete Game submission includes:
Story Abstract. Copy the form at this link and fill it out. It’s a basic overview of your Game and background information we need.
An Overview of your Game. Your overview is a summary of your Game for whoever’s reading it! Put in an informal description of the world—this can be different from your World Background if there are secrets!—and a summary of what happens in your flow and why. It can also be helpful to write about some themes you were going for, parts of the Game you think will be particularly fun or compelling, or ideas you have for running it.
Your World Background. This is what you will read to participants at story intro or before casting! It should include all the information your PCs need to know before Game, and should have enough fun details to get people excited about making characters and playing the Game. This might include your Group Backgrounds.
The Flow for your Game. This is what actually happens (or might happen) in the Game, from start to finish. There are a lot of different formats and ways to explain Flow. Do what you feel works best for your specific Game. If you need to go through it multiple different ways to explain everything, do that. Flow can often be challenging for Gamewriters – we encourage you to read up on different flow structures on our blog.
Your Game Conventions. These are any mechanics that your Game is using. If you’re modifying the Magic System or adding your own, this is the place to talk about it. Of course, if you’re using the standard System, this section is going to be very brief. Also mention any magical objects or other props people will need to know how to react to.
Your Production Lists for Costuming, Game Systems, and Sets & Props. These are lists that tell your production departments what needs to be made and brought to your Game. The more thorough these are, the better! We have provided here production lists that you must use as templates for your own lists. While some parts might not always be relevant, these should make it clear what information you should be focusing on.
A Teaser. For your initial submission, your teaser can be as simple as a poster, or a few paragraphs of story–just something we can post online to start building hype. If you want to release more sweet teasers later, feel free to note that, but for starters we do want at least something small.
Optional extras! Anything else you think will help us get a sense of what’s going to make your Game awesome. This can be sample character sheets, concept art, fictional languages you made up for the Game, music you wrote, or whatever else! Of course, if you include the entire novel you wrote as background, we can’t guarantee we’ll read it all. But we’ll probably give you a high five!
THREE GAME LIMIT Anyone can submit a Game, but we ask that you submit no more than three. This is so that you focus in on making those Games the best they can be, instead of submitting twenty half-finished Games in the hopes that one will stick. Your three Game count includes Games you co-write with someone else, but does not include Games you’re editing and resubmitting from past years. On that note, if you are resubmitting a Game from a previous year, and you’d like feedback on it, please reach out to us! We will gladly give you some pointers on what areas need improvement and what areas are strongest.
EVALUATION We are again going to be using our Game Rubric to judge your Games. We encourage you to look over the rubric before you submit your Game, as it gives a good sense of what we’re looking for out of a submission. Of course, it’s not the be-all end-all of Game selection. We’ve never had a Game get a perfect score, and we’ve run more than a few Games that didn’t actually score very high but were still brilliant. But it’s a good baseline to check yourself against. When you think your Game is done, look over the rubric again and see how you’d score it. Are there places you could improve? Do some edits before sending it our way!
If you submitted a Game in previous years, feel free to contact the Story Board for some feedback on how the submission was received. Please note that the person writing the feedback isn’t necessarily the person who evaluated the Game previously, but we will do our best to give you the best ways to improve the Game for resubmission.
GENERAL GAMEWRITING ADVICE If you’re looking for advice on how to write Games, check out this blog! This masterpost of Gamewriting advice might be a good place to start. If you’re confused about some of this terminology, you can check out this glossary. Not sure what a good Game submission looks like? Check out our list of great submissions for you to model yours on! All of these Games were selected and run in the past few years. None of them are perfect, but they embody many of the ideas we were looking for, and all went very well!
TO RECAP It’s time for Game submissions! Get writing! Come up with a sweet idea for a Game! Read our Gamewriting advice! Fill out an Abstract, write your Overview, World and Group Backgrounds, Flow, Game Conventions, Production Lists, and Teaser! Format it all pretty, check it over, and make it as awesome as you can. Email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 27th! ! Get some sleep, eat a treat, and read a good book. You deserve it! If you have questions, ASK US! We love to answer questions.
Much love, The Story Board (Quinn Milton, Mike Phillips, Zach Weber, Ruby Lavin, and Jay Dragon)