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View Full Version : How to become a game writer?



Pepper
01-16-2010, 05:26 AM
Disclaimer: I used the search function! I used the search function! Don't hurt me! :tongue

How does one go about writing for a computer game? Or namely, get such a script looked at? Do you write it then approach certain publishers? Do you approach game companies? Do you have to wait until you're simply hired due to your awesome reputation as a writer? How does it work?

I admire the plots in games like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Half Life and BioShock. I want to be one of the people who collaborates on those awesome plots.

Well, it was a thought. :D

William Haskins
01-16-2010, 05:43 AM
game writers typically rise from the ranks of game designers. i was fortunate enough to enter the industry as a writer, but it was timing and luck and the 1990s.

these days, few companies are hiring writers that haven't shipped a title.

if you have another game development skill (level designer, artist, even QA), you can chart a course towards writing games from that position. occasionally, people outside the industry create mods using available tools that achieve some level of viral popularity; that could conceivably be parlayed into a writing job.

but, yeah, you can't really pitch your idea the way you would a book to an agent or a screenplay to a studio. everybody in the industry has at least one game idea that they would love to have greenlit; they definitely don't want yours.

Pepper
01-16-2010, 06:02 AM
I was afraid of that, though I had a hunch that would be the case. The only time I've ever seen a job listing for a game writer is when they want that same person to work on programming or something too.

Well, I suppose I could get in as a concept artist, though it sucks that I have to begin by sweeping floors when what I really want is the management position, so to speak.

William Haskins
01-16-2010, 06:03 AM
concept artists make a lot of money.

Pepper
01-16-2010, 06:12 AM
Correction: GOOD concept artists make a lot of money :D

LOG
01-16-2010, 08:46 AM
Come up with an idea so great they want to adop it into a game.

SPMiller
01-16-2010, 09:51 AM
How does one go about writing for a computer game?Play a lot of games and use their editors to create your own content. That'll give you a good idea what it's like, along with all the practicalities and limitations of nonlinear and/or interactive storytelling.


Or namely, get such a script looked at?You don't. Publishers only look at proposals from legit developers.


Do you write it then approach certain publishers?No, you try to get a job with a developer, and the company probably won't want to use your idea. It's just a job.


Do you approach game companies?Yes, seeking employment, but not for your idea.


Do you have to wait until you're simply hired due to your awesome reputation as a writer?Not going to happen.


How does it work?

I admire the plots in games like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Half Life and BioShock. I want to be one of the people who collaborates on those awesome plots.If you like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, I know Bioware asks for a sample of work created with their game editors. So, a portfolio is probably a good idea.

whistlelock
01-18-2010, 07:09 PM
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=138165

A previous thread on this very topic.

LOG
01-18-2010, 11:06 PM
Maybe we should make a sticky for this question?

whistlelock
01-19-2010, 01:43 AM
That would be a really good idea.

Pepper
01-19-2010, 04:11 AM
Thanks for the extra input, and the link to the other thread! That's a very good thread. Sticky THAT one. :D