How To Write For Video Games

By Jason Boog Comment

514Ec9fS6GL._SL500_AA280_.jpgAs publishers struggle with the recession, many writers are looking for work in unexpected places. Some are even looking past television and movies towards the next big thing–the blockbuster world of videogames like Gears of War.

Over at Slashdot, a young writer asked videogame experts: “I’m an enthusiastic hobby gamer with a real passion for well-developed games. But there’s very little guidance out there on getting exposure as a writer in this world … How can I get involved in writing for the game industry?”

That question resonated, generating nearly 150 responses–some from industry professionals. One writer advised: “[P]ut together your portfolio. In the case of games, you’ll want to have some dynamic media – sketched storyboards (art shouldn’t matter too much, so keep it simple), play or movie scripts, and/or, ideally, game mods that have your name in the writer-line.”

Another videogame writer listed a crowded resume that will sound familiar to any writer cobbling together a living in the 21st Century. The entry also included helpful bibliography:

“I did as much writing and design as possible, in whatever areas I could get my hands on: news writing, graphic design, web design, and the creation of a fake fast-food franchise run by ninja named Ninja Burger. When the time came to get into video games, all that experience helped immensely. Design is design; writing is writing. The more you do of each, the better you get at it. I wrote about games, I designed games… I even co-wrote and co-designed an [online game], but my time spent designing church bulletins, editing news columns, writing copy for a comic book catalog and doing technical writing all helped me learn not just the ropes, but all the knots as well.”