Writing Horror Games

Friday, June 30, 2017
6:30pm - 9:30pm

at Gamma Space, 862 Richmond Street West

Do you want to terrify all your friends with horror games? Or just slightly spook them? Or use horror as a metaphor? Want to unsettle and disturb your players? Then join this workshop! Get acquainted with the unique skills necessary in writing horror games.

Kaitlin Tremblay and Natalie Zina Walschots will discuss what you need to know to write and design horror games, whether you want to create something terrifying or adorable.

This will cover tropes to avoid, tropes to use, and how to create meaningful, terrifying, and evocative horror games. We will examine the archetypes and genre conventions of horror, and look at how to follow those rules as well as how to break them. Kaitlin and Natalie are both deeply interested in horror as a vehicle for feminist storytelling, so be prepared for some meaning amid all the gore.

After this lecture and demonstration, participants will have the opportunity to write their own short horror game or story using the techniques and structures discussed. Participants can use whatever program they are already comfortable in (like Twine or Drive)!

Who This Workshop Is For

  • aspiring games writers
  • writers interested in the horror genre
  • writers looking to learn more about a new genre
  • game makers seeking new skills
  • anyone who is interested!


Participants should bring a laptop or tablet (something to compose on) and whatever software they feel most comfortable using (whether this be a word processor or notepad app, or specifically game-making software like Twine). Don’t have a laptop? No problem, we can provide one for use during the workshop – just drop us an email at events@dmg.to and we’ll set one aside for you.

About the Instructors

Natalie Zina Walschots is a freelance writer and bailed academic based in Toronto. She writes everything from reviews of science fiction novels and interviews with heavy metal musicians to to in-depth feminist games criticism and pieces of long-form journalism. She is the writer of The Oldest Game, a newsgame about sex work in Canada, and the short horror game A Gift For Mother. She is the author of two books of poetry, and is presently finishing a novel about supervillainy and henchpeople. She also plays a lot of D&D, participates in a lot of Nordic LARPs, watches a lot of horror movies and reads a lot of speculative fiction.

Kaitlin Tremblay is a writer and gamemaker. She has worked as a narrative producer for ARGs, and creates her own games independently. Her work focuses on exploring mental illness and feminism through horror. She is the author of the book Ain’t No Place for a Hero: Borderlands (ECW Press 2017) and the editor of the book Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories (Exile Editions, 2016).


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