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Tom Abernathy's Blog   Expert Blogs


Writer/narrative designer TOM ABERNATHY is a fifteen-year game industry veteran who was honored as one of "The Gamasutra 20: Top Game Writers."

Tom's major game credits include Halo: Reach (writer), Destroy All Humans! (sole writer) and Destroy All Humans! 2 (lead writer), Crimson Alliance (lead narrative designer/writer), and Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure (lead narrative designer/writer), and he contributed the original characters and story as lead writer for the first three years of production of The Saboteur. He has also lent his consultant and writing skills to a number of other announced projects, including D4, Crimson Dragon, State of Decay, and Milo & Kate, a.k.a. "Project Milo."

An experienced and award-winning screenwriter, Tom has written numerous optioned feature film scripts and teleplays. Bad Country, a feature film starring Willem Dafoe and Matt Dillon and based in part on Tom's screenplay The Real Deal, is currently in post-production and will be released later this year by Sony Pictures.

A veteran of Microsoft Studios and the late, great Pandemic Studios, as well as fourteen years as a screenwriter in Los Angeles, Tom holds an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts and a BA with Highest Honors from Oberlin College. For the last five years he has also served on the advisory board for the Game Narrative Summit at GDC.

In addition to his work as a writer for games, film and TV, Tom is a trained and experienced filmmaker, theater director, actor, singer, musician, and composer. Originally from Atlanta, he currently makes his home with his family in Seattle. Follow him on Twitter @tomabernathy.

Tom is always open to new adventures and challenges. You can reach him at abernathy dot tom at gmail dot com.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Tom Abernathy on Sun, 07 Jul 2013 09:10:00 EDT in Design
Season 4 of The Greatest Sitcom Ever attempts to incorporate interactive storytelling elements games have been using for years -- and fails. But even its failure has a lot to teach us about the narrative possibilities and pitfalls of our own medium.

Tom Abernathy's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 08/23/2013 - 08:00]

With respect, it 's not ...

With respect, it 's not generally the writers who are the problem. Most of the game writers I know would love to write more female and other underrepresented groups protagonists. And I know an awful lot of game writers. r n r nIn my experience, the resistance to non-male white, ...

Comment In: [Blog - 07/07/2013 - 09:10]

Thanks, Martin. I do think ...

Thanks, Martin. I do think that, in practice at least, integrating narrative fully with the other disciplines is the part that breaks down most easily. The other two points are tough, but often the failure begins even before you get deep into the plot choices. r n r nI do ...

Comment In: [News - 02/06/2013 - 03:36]

So I assume, Kris, that ...

So I assume, Kris, that you 're gonna give those of us who take issue with that statement about the incompatibility of narrative and interactivity a chance to respond, yes P

Comment In: [News - 04/27/2011 - 04:58]

Yeah -- a point of ...

Yeah -- a point of clarification: Is it ARGs or their being used for marketing purposes that you're finding odious Or both Just curious.

Comment In: [News - 04/25/2011 - 04:53]

Well spoken and written, and ...

Well spoken and written, and all true. Does this mean we can make games that are really, truly for adults now The big studios don't even let moviemakers do that anymore. I wonder if it's possible for us to evolve a games version of HBO, Showtime, AMC, FX et al ...

Comment In: [News - 03/05/2010 - 12:38]

Nice write-up, Leigh. As a ...

Nice write-up, Leigh. As a Microsoft FTE coming up on my second anniversary, I can say that one thing that was crystal-clear to me from the first moment of my New Employee Orientation session was that MS is deeply committed at this point to diversity in all senses, with a ...