This Event Has Concluded

Thank you to everyone who took part and helped make Soma Games' 2023 Writing Retreat a success! We hope we'll see you again at the next writer's conference.


Amy Green

Amy Noel Green is an award-winning writer and narrative designer for video games. Her work with Numinous Games has been recognized with awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, South by Southwest, Games for Change, the Independent Game Developer’s Association, the Peabody Facebook Futures of Media Award, and the Game Awards. She has been featured in press coverage by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired Magazine, Popular Science, RadioLab, CBS Sunday Morning, The BBC, The Guardian, and many other international publications.

Amy’s TED talk about her video game That Dragon, Cancer has been viewed over 1.7 million times. Her latest game, AREA MAN LIVES, was recognized by Oculus as one of the top 5 narrative games of 2022. AREA MAN LIVES gave her the opportunity to write for and direct Hollywood actors including Joel McHale, Max Greenfield, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow. It was also an official selection of both The Cannes Film Festival as well as The Venice Film Festival. Amy lives in Colorado with her husband and co-director along with their four children.

Chris Skaggs

Chris is the Founder and chief creative and technical officer at Soma Games, a Portland, OR-based video game developer and publisher of PC, Console, and mobile video games since 2005. Chris began his work in high tech while serving in the US Navy with VAW-114 and continued through trade school and graduation from George Fox University with honors. 

His long history of blending the creative arts with technology has led him to create and produce a huge variety of cultural artifacts including graphic novels, music videos, songwriting, short stories, and, of course, over 200 video games and apps deployed on most every platform available including Xbox, PlayStation, Steam, Alexa, and Oculus Rift. In addition to being a prolific creator Chris’ technical innovation spans decades and was recognized by Intel as a Blackbelt Innovator in 2001, their highest award in the field. 

When he’s not blending art and science Chris speaks and writes in places like GDC, SeriousPlay, GDC Next, IDF, Lion’s Den, Casual Connect, and many more. At this event, Chris will sharing his experience with world-building including some sneak peeks at Soma’s current project, an interactive fiction game called The Wisdom of the Rain.

Samantha Riff

Samantha Riff has been telling stories since before she could write—happily dictating pokemon fanfiction to a very tolerant mother scribing the tales for her to later illustrate in marker and crayon. She graduated with her degree in creative writing back in 2016 from the University of Montana in Missoula and has worked as a writer and quest designer for Soma Games since 2017. She was responsible for Lore, Narrative, and Level Design in The Lost Legends of Redwall: The Scout. She’s also a frequent speaker on the Soma Soulworks Podcast and an occasional consultant for game writing and design. She’s a notorious dabbler happy to try her hand at any art, craft, or task that she can get her hands on.

Matt Bruhn

Matt has always loved engaging those around him in positive ways—the world is rough as it is. As social media began to explode he took his desire to create welcoming spaces for others to the web. Inspired by a house in his neighborhood with a funky addition, he started the Facebook page “That’s It, I’m Architecture Shaming” and in just over two years it’s grown over 650,000 members. An expert in social engagement, moderation, viral trends, and building thriving online communities Matt will be sharing his timely and world-tested insights and best practices needed to build your own tribe of committed, engaged, and active fans

Nolan Lynch

Nolan Lynch is a multimedia writer of new myths. He holds an MFA in screenwriting and homesteads with his wife and children across the river from where he was born in the wilds of western Oregon. He is currently working on the open-world fantasy RPG, Archmage Rises.

Actionable Manuscript and Portolio Feedback Sessions With Working Industry Professionals Focus On Non-Linear Narratives A cozy atmosphere surrounded by other creatives


This schedule is subject to change.

Day 1 - Friday, March 31st

12:00PM - 1:00PM


1:00PM - 1:45PMAmy Green

Keynote - Open

1:45PM - 2:00PM


2:00PM - 2:45PMSamantha Riff

Story-First Gaming: Intro to non-linear narrative

2:45pm - 3:00pm


3:00PM - 3:45PMNolan Lynch, Samantha Riff

Writing for an Existing IP - Redwall and more

3:45PM - 4:00PM


4:00PM - 4:45PMChris Skaggs

Writing Original IP - From G Prime to Redemption

4:45PM - 5:00PM


5:00PM - 5:45PMAmy Green, Neil S, Nolan Lynch

World Building Panel and Q&A

6:00PM - 8:00PM

Post Session Meet-Ups at Social Goods (Food & drink are not provided; but we encourage any and all interested to come down to chat, network, and hang out. )

Day 2 - Saturday, April 1st

10:00AM - 10:45AMSamantha Riff

Tools of the Trade and Portfolio Content

10:45AM - 11:00AM


11:00AM - 11:45AMMatt Bruhn

Market Yourself - Building a Social Media Community

11:45AM - 1:30PM

Lunch (Catered)

1:30PM - 2:15PMAmy Green, Samantha Riff, Nolan Lynch

Working With a Team Panel

2:15PM - 2:45PMChris Skaggs

Get to Know AltEnding

2:45PM - 3:00PM


3:00PM - 3:45PMAmy Green

Keynote - Close

Newberg, Oregon

Taught by award-winning pros amidst the natural beauty of Oregon’s wine country, you’ll come away with an enriching introduction to this growing sector. Our course will take place at the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg, Oregon, a cozy town that is also home to George Fox University.

Made possible with the cooperation of

With generous support of the Oregon Film Office


  • A two-day, in-person training course for video game writing.

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