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Brunette Games Makes Final Round in PGC Awards


We're thrilled to announce Brunette Games made it to the final voting round in PocketGamer Connect's Mobile Game Awards. We're up for the award in two categories:

  1. Best Service Provider - Please vote for us here!
  2. Game of the Year - This one is for the game we designed and wrote with the Jam City team for Netflix Games, Wild Things: Animal Adventures, which you can vote for here!

It's an honor to get the nomination for Best Service Provider, especially as we celebrate seven years in the industry. We've provided narrative, scriptwriting, and voice-over services to clients on 36 released games, many of them topping the app store charts and enjoyed by millions (billions?) of players worldwide.

Our clients range from super-small studios--literally just one guy in Shanghai, for example!--all the way up to major publishers like Jam City and studios backed by big names like Supercell. They all entrust us with the stories in their games, and for that we express our gratitude. We hope we've earned that trust over the years.


Wild Things: Animal Adventures is a project very near and dear to our hearts. It began with a pre-pandemic, in-person kickoff--when our team was flown out to Jam City's Culver City headquarters--and continued for more than a year as we collaborated with Ryan Kaufman, Jam City's then-VP of narrative, Chris Tremmel, the veteran creative director (both now with PLAI LABS), and their talented teams. The nomination is well-deserved, and we look forward to seeing the title snag the win!

Here's the game in the latest Netflix sizzle trailer. Wish us luck! Voting closes April 6, and we'd love to get your click in our favor. Thank you.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Game Industry's Premiere Storytelling Studio Turns Seven


ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, February 8, 2023––Brunette Games, the game industry’s premiere storytelling studio, turns seven this year, with 35 released games to its credit, many of them top-performing, genre-defining hits.

Studio Founder Lisa Brunette launched Brunette Games in 2016 after an eight-year stint as a narrative designer––cutting her teeth at top employers Nintendo, Take-2 Interactive, and Big Fish––plus 15 years’ prior experience as a journalist. Her indie studio achieved immediate success through groundbreaking work on Matchington Mansion and Lily’s Garden, bringing effective game storytelling techniques to the match-3 decorating genre for the first time––elements that have been endlessly copied and are now standard best practices.

A narrative-focused company, Brunette Games provides a suite of services to its clients, from concept design to scriptwriting to voice-overs. The team has worked with some of the best companies in the game industry, including Jam City, Metacore, Playrix, and many others. Their clients’ games consistently rank in the top 20 across multiple categories in the app stores and are played by billions of people worldwide. Credits include high-profile IPs such as Disney Frozen and Family Guy alongside breakout hits like ZiMAD’s Puzzle Villa.

“Our team expertise is unparalleled, and it’s key to our success,” says Brunette. The team as a whole regularly authors industry articles and presents at events such as Pocket Gamer Connects and Geekle.

“I’m thrilled to see where our talented creatives take the company next,” says Brunette.


About Brunette Games:

Brunette Games LLC is the industry's leading storytelling studio, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States. The studio has designed and written narratives for multiple chart-topping mobile games played by worldwide audiences in the billions, including Merge Mansion, Matchington Mansion, and Choices: Veil of Secrets. Their clients’ games have been featured in the App Store and on Google Play and consistently rank in the top 20 in multiple categories. Founder Lisa Brunette has been named a game-industry influencer and is widely regarded as an expert in the field. Brunette Games is the go-to creative resource for interactive storytelling.

For more information, please contact Sara Hardin at

Our Case for Stellar Gameplay and Story Integration

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Brunette Games' Dexter Woltman, Sara Hardin, and Jenna Hume presenting at the 2022 Pocket Gamer Connects conference in Toronto.

There's little doubt that a great story adds value to a game, especially in the casual game space. But something that is often overlooked makes a huge impact on the success of the end result—how that story is integrated with the actual gameplay. Players notice when game designers go the extra mile to incorporate gameplay with the game's narrative, and proper integration will help a game's story really sing.

The Brunette Games team took our expertise to the stage with a presentation on this very topic at 2022's Pocket Gamer Connects conference in Toronto, and we think the lessons are valuable enough to share here on the blog in more detail.

Games Aren't Passive Experiences

The first step in successfully integrating gameplay and story is understanding how game writing differs from writing for other forms of media. People consuming a game's story aren't listening to it in the background on the TV—players are actively engaged, and the experience is interactive. They didn't download the game to passively watch something unfold; therefore, the story must be written in service to the gameplay. One way to accomplish this is to immerse players in the game's setting.

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The tutorial in Archosaur's Cooking Confidential is delivered by the PC's best friend, Elena.

Immersion can be achieved in a number of ways. One is to deliver tutorial messages through a member of the game's cast. Details like this transform dull instructional text into more of an interaction. More often than not, mobile game players are actively playing more than one game at a time, switching between them as their abilities recharge and their lives replenish. Something like tutorial messages may seem like a tiny detail, but unique touches add up to make your game stand apart from its competitors.

Keep in mind: The majority of players who choose games with narrative want to engage with the story and its characters. In other words, they want to be active participants.

Giving players the feeling they're directly influencing the game's world is another way to immerse them in the experience. This goes along with the idea that the game's visuals should work in tandem with the text and dialogue.

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In Redemption Games' Sweet Escapes, tasks are often sweets or food-themed. Instead of a normal tree, for example, the player might place a tree with cotton candy fluff instead of leaves. The player, while being actively engaged in the decoration element, is constantly reminded of what makes the game's world unique.

Story and Gameplay Should Support Each Other

The narrative goals of the story's characters should also support the gameplay goals. In Gear's M&M'S Adventure, Red runs around New York as he attempts to find the other M&M'S characters.

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This supports the gameplay in a few ways:

  1. The linear path Red walks on shows him moving through New York, supporting the game's visuals and travel mechanics;
  2. Red follows the path until he finds Yellow, the first M&M'S character he reunites with (fulfilling a gameplay goal for the player);
  3. As Red finds new M&M'S characters, they become unlocked for players to use in the puzzle gameplay.

The gameplay should also accommodate the narrative themes of the game.

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In Sweet Escapes, the puzzle items match the game's theme: sweets and sweet shops. The boosters and blockers are thematically tied to the story to create an immersive experience. This practice is a hallmark of ours and something we've both done on many other titles and seen other designers mimic.

The Effort Is Worth It!

Finer details go a long way when it comes to making a game stand out. While considering how a game's story and gameplay can work together seamlessly, remember the following:

  • Games should not be passive experiences;
  • Immerse players in the world;
  • Story and gameplay should support each other;
  • Even tutorial integration can make a difference.

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