Game Writer | Narrative DesignerRecent UC Santa Cruz graduate with a B.A. in Art and Design: Games and Playable Media. Currently seeking my first role in the games industry!
Game Writer | Narrative Designer
Hello! My name is Stevie Rodriguez (they/he). I am a game writer and narrative designer. I love to play and write for games with themes of romance, friendship, and finding hope in tough situations. I am also a huge fan of fantasy and magical realism.I recently completed my B.A. in Art and Design: Games and Playable Media at UC Santa Cruz. During my time at university, I was a writing officer for UCSC's Game Design and Art Collaboration club as well. Throughout my studies, I gained skills in leadership, problem solving, organization, and creative collaboration with large game teams.I am currently seeking my first narrative role in the games industry. Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to chat, collaborate on a project, or have any other inquiries regarding my work.Overall, I strive to write game narratives that make a difference in someone's life. Whether it's a huge impact or just bringing a bit of joy to their day, I really hope to create games that inspire people!
Writer, Character Concept Artist, Background Artist
Turnstyle is an urban fantasy turn-based RPG developed for the senior capstone series at UC Santa Cruz. Make your way through the subway and fend off strange monsters as you follow the conflicts between this tense group of roommates!
My contributions to Turnstyle include:• Wrote four in-game cutscenes, including dialog for all five characters
• Worked with a team of twelve collaborators to write, edit, and organize narrative documents, including character sheets, scripts, and a plot outline
• Designed three rounds of concept art for two of the main characters (Jade and Koralie)
• Illustrated two variations of the background art for the opening cutscene
• Put together moodboards for environments and characters
• Kept track of and updated the art and narrative tasks on our production plan, as well as set up department meetings for those specialities
Enter the Subway
I worked on Turnstyle as the lead writer and an artist. I aimed to create a narrative with diverse characters, focusing on their queer identities and complex relationships with each other.While the basic battle mechanics were decided early on, I was given a lot of freedom to determine what the story of Turnstyle would become. We decided as a team to surround the story around the cast's conflicts, both with each other and their inner struggles.
For the class, I decided to write a chapter focused on the character Amery. This chapter also introduces the world and other main characters. A major struggle I faced was attempting to give all the narrative aspects enough screentime, while also being able to finish Amery's character arc in four cutscenes. Overall, I feel that it went well and that this project has been a valuable experience in learning how to achieve a good story balance.
I'm really proud of how the story turned out! While we decided as a team to put Turnstyle development on hiatus, I definitely would love the chance to make something similar in the near future. Please read the dialogue scripts and misc docs for Turnstyle below if you'd like to see my writing for the game.
The following is a list of notable projects I have contributed to.Click "More" for details on my work for each game.Click the button below to view and download my game projects.
Writer, Character Concept Artist, Background ArtistTurnstyle is a turn-based RPG where you balance five party members on a rotating pentagon. Navigate a public transit system infested with monsters, budgeting the party's cash and their patience with each other as you make your way around the city.
Magical Mending (2022)
Writer, DesignerMagical Mending is a magical girl-themed TTRPG in which players are tasked with protecting the dying realm of Lolarina and bringing hope and joy to all. Will you succeed in restoring magic prosperity to your realm or will your magic burn out permanently in your efforts to protect the people of Lolarina?
Writer, Concept ArtistBuds is a platonic visual novel and plant care simulator where you play as someone who is coping with the recent loss of their sister. Although you are hesitant to move on, you slowly warm up to the new people you meet. See your relationships grow and bloom as you interact with the people of Hitachinaka!
Magical Mending is a magical girl-themed TTRPG intended for 2-5 players, developed for the Experimental Tabletop RPG Design class at UC Santa Cruz. As a team, players are tasked with their duty as magical girls: To protect the realm of Lolarina and bring hope and joy to the commoners of the land. However, the magic of the land is rapidly depleting, as the common folk struggle to remain lively in the trying times befalling them.How will your team choose to help your people, while also balancing your own needs and self-care? Will you succeed in restoring magic prosperity to the land or will your magic die out permanently in your efforts to protect the people of Lolarina?
My contributions to Magical Mending include:• Wrote all elements of the game, including the background lore, rules, and sheet sets
• Did narrative research on magical girl tropes
• Organized the layout of documents and graphic design elements
• Researched similar TTRPGs, both in terms of game mechanics and theme
• Created a diagram demonstrating the paper tearing mechanic
The Magic of Lolarina
While designing Magical Mending, I researched games that were thematically similar to my idea, in that they were also magical girl focused. I also took inspiration from the experimental TTRPGs we played in class, such as Tearable RPG and Lasers & Feelings. I had never made a TTRPG before, so this process was a new and fun experience for me!
I knew that I really wanted to make something similar in plot and tone to Madoka Magica, which has been my favorite magical girl anime for many years. Through many playtests, I was able to figure out what mechanics and plot points were working well to achieve this experience goal. Overall, I think this project turned out well for my first TTRPG and I would like to make more of these kinds of games going forward!
I had a great time making this throughout the quarter and learned a lot about making and publishing TTRPGs! In the near future, I plan on adding more to this game than I had time for during the class, such as my own art assets and additional elements to the existing mechanics.
Writer, Concept Artist
Buds is a platonic visual novel and plant care simulator developed by the Game Design and Art Collaboration club at UC Santa Cruz. You play as someone coping with the recent loss of their sister. You have just moved to a new city, Hitachinaka, aiming to get a fresh start. Although you are hesitant to move on and be open about your feelings, you slowly warm up to the new people you meet. See your relationships grow and bloom as you interact with the people of Hitachinaka!
My contributions to Buds include:• Managed writing tasks for a game team of 60 people
• Wrote the route for Shiori, one of the main characters
• Researched aspects of the narrative such as setting, character identity, and Hanakotoba
• Organized documents including the plot outline, character sheets, and scripts
• Worked together with other departments to guarantee ludonarrative resonance
• Created moodboards for characters and environments, as well as rough concepts for flower arrangement and character designs
Meet New Friends in Hitachinaka
Throughout the development of Buds, I acted as the writing lead for the project. Buds was one of the first games I ever worked on, much less with a large team. I came into the project unsure of if I had the skills to lead the writing department, but I was willing to take on the challenge.My main contributions to the game were organizing narrative documents and writing the main character Shiori's dialogue. While I struggled through some aspects of writing development due to inexperience, I feel that the game turned out well in the end and that I learned from my early mistakes.
Buds received a World Building Award for “excellence in written, interactive, or environmental storytelling” during UCSC’s 2020 Games Showcase.I'm really proud of receiving a distinguished award on one of my first games! I am glad that I was able to successfully lead the writing team and that we achieved such a significant goal.
All in all, I am super happy with how Buds turned out and I enjoyed working with everyone who was involved with the project! I ended up collaborating on games with many of the people who worked on Buds for the remainder of my time at university. I really appreciated the opportunity to work with such kind, talented people. I definitely can say that this was a great experience as my first large game project!
A text-based story made in Twine focused on the nonbinary lovers Miguel and Harper, who are embarking on a journey to kill an evil monster plaguing their land. Includes interactive branching dialogue and two different endings depending on player choices.To Free and Love Myself was featured in the recent Trans Witches are Witches itch bundle, which raised over $215,000 to support LGBTQ+ creators.
The above link leads to a 10 minute play I wrote for my playwriting class at UC Santa Cruz (THEA 157). The story follows Alzina, a cocky witch working at a magic shop, and a shy vampire Veronica who is a regular patron of the store. Antics ensue when Victoria asks Alzina for a dark magic item outside of her usual order.
The above link leads to Frog Friends, a short story following a day in the life of a frog living in a gentle pond. This story was an exercise in more calm, atmospheric writing than my usual stories. I aimed to capture a whimsical tone and the air of a bedtime story with minimal conflict.
The above link leads to a sample of spreadsheets made for my Writing for Interactive Narrative class (ARTG 140) containing dialogue for a magical girl character named Violetta. I imagined this to be for a magical girl combat game, similar in gameplay to the mobile game Magia Record. These barks cover a variety of states in game, such as taking damage and performing special moves. In total, I wrote 109 barks for Violetta throughout the course of the class.