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Old 01-05-2012, 05:02 PM   #1
CollegeWriter19
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Default (new post) What can I do to become a video game writer?

I am a college freshman and I go to Wilmington University in delaware. I want to write the story or dialogue for video games. Dialogue is my
Thing. Can someone please post and give me advice. I don't have a problem starting out writing reviews or something. I love writing and I have written short stories. I went to uat last year and I might transfer back there. I posted before and it wasn't a good post, so I'm posting again. I love writing and it's all I want to do with my life. I don't care if I start writing reviews in the newspaper. So please answer my questions in detail or however you van. Where do I start? How do I become a game writer? I know it's a competitive industry, but writers probably have a beter chance to get in the industry than designers or artists, right? Do I start contacting game companies? And I also know that I won't start out writing dialog for AAA titles and I don't care If I start writing for the smallest video game company. I have a passion for video games and writing as well. Please give me advce. I know I'm asking for a lot, but this will help me in the future. I'm only a freshman, but I can see myself writing for video games as a career. I do know that freelance writers get positions as scriptwriters, but I want a full time position at a company. I don't care if I'm writing for my little pony. This is what I want to do. Should I write more stories? Who should I email at a video game company. Just the regular contact us? Or someone special? I have I already been to sloperama, but the article was written in years ago. I need a more personal reply. I do want an internship, but if I want one at a video game company, please reply with advice and information.

Last edited by CollegeWriter19 : 01-05-2012 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Didn't finish yet
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:07 PM   #2
tsloper
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Default Re: (new post) What can I do to become a video game writer?

Quote:
1. I don't have a problem starting out writing reviews or something.
2. I posted before and it wasn't a good post, so I'm posting again.
3. Where do I start?
4. How do I become a game writer?
5. I know it's a competitive industry, but writers probably have a beter chance to get in the industry than designers or artists, right?
6. Do I start contacting game companies?
7. And I also know that I won't start out writing dialog for AAA titles and I don't care If I start writing for the smallest video game company.
8. I do know that freelance writers get positions as scriptwriters, but I want a full time position at a company.
9. Should I write more stories?
10. Who should I email at a video game company. Just the regular contact us? Or someone special?
11. I have I already been to sloperama, but the article was written in years ago.
12. I need a more personal reply.
1. That's no good. Don't bother with that. Keep writing stories. You want to do creative writing, not journalism, right?
2. How is this one better than that one exactly? You still wrote a "wall of text."
3. You start by finishing college, preferably with a creative writing degree.
4. First you get a creative writing degree. Then you build an awesome body of work.
5. Wrong.
6. No. You start by getting a degree and building an awesome body of work. And improving your writing ability (there were a lot of typos in your post).
7. Good.
8. I know that the way to get rich is to work hard, work smart. But I want to win the lottery.
9. You should not have to ask this question. You should WANT to write more stories, and you should get angry at anybody who tells you to stop writing stories.
10. It's a little early to apply for a job, since you don't even have your degree yet. Or did you have another purpose for emailing somebody in a game company?
11. I'm so sorry I didn't write the article last month! Darn, now I need a time machine so the article will disappear so I can write it again so it'll be new.
12. You got personal replies to your previous post, and you're getting personal replies to this one. Is there a problem with doing both? (Reading an article that was written a few years ago, AND getting questions answered about what's written in that article?)
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:52 AM   #3
playmania
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Default Re: (new post) What can I do to become a video game writer?

Quote:
1. I don't have a problem starting out writing reviews or something.
2. I posted before and it wasn't a good post, so I'm posting again.
3. Where do I start?
4. How do I become a game writer?
5. I know it's a competitive industry, but writers probably have a beter chance to get in the industry than designers or artists, right?
6. Do I start contacting game companies?
7. And I also know that I won't start out writing dialog for AAA titles and I don't care If I start writing for the smallest video game company.
8. I do know that freelance writers get positions as scriptwriters, but I want a full time position at a company.
9. Should I write more stories?
1. Game websites pay for reviews and it's a good writing exercise, plus you can have a good portfolio.
2. You better post a story.
3. Start with a blog!
4. You should be a writer in the first place, the game industry it's big enough to have you in it.
5. No
6. Yes, but do you have a portfolio?
7. The beginning it's the hardest!
8. Start as a freelancer, make a name and you will get into a company!
9. Yes
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:51 AM   #4
shane.hendrickson
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Default Re: (new post) What can I do to become a video game writer?

The usual advice is that if you want to write, then write.
That is only half the battle. You also need to write correctly.
Do yourself a favor and become best friends with the AP Style Guide.

UAT does not offer a 'game writing' degree and they never will. If you asked, you would get the same response as those hoping for a 'level design' degree. They believe it all falls under the umbrella topic of 'game design'.

That said, UAT does require a few what they call 'writing intensive courses' as part of the degree. These include Character Development, Scriptwriting and Writing for Interactive Games. Trust me, you will write in these courses, a lot.

One of the best things you can do right now is write. Keep writing. Only stop writing long enough to read, or if you want to write for games, play games and analyze the writing. Review these stories and narratives in a weekly blog that you write. Read about how other game writers got into the business. Write stories for potential games. Visit the community sections of sites like YoYo Games (developers of Game Maker) and look for teams that are looking for a writer/designer. (Keep in mind that few teams are likely to be looking for someone who is only going to be the story writer.)

Do not contact game companies yet. You have nothing to offer them. Build yourself a mind-blowing portfolio with writing samples first. Most important, research how other game writers got into the business. Rafael Chandler (freelance writer) has been in the business for years. Amy Hennig did NOT get her start in the industry as a writer, but has been a part of writing some memorable titles (Legacy of Kain, Jak & Daxter, Uncharted).

Finally...
"Should I write more stories?"
If you wanted to be a chef, would you really ask someone if you should practice cooking first?

"I have I already been to sloperama, but the article was written in years ago."
One-hundred percent irrelevant. The information on Mr. Sloper's site is invaluable.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:26 PM   #5
danlangford1
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Default Re: (new post) What can I do to become a video game writer?

I have my degree and I write quite a bit. What would be the next step?
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: (new post) What can I do to become a video game writer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by danlangford1 View Post
I have my degree and I write quite a bit. What would be the next step?
That depends, Dan. We know nothing about you except you have some unknown sort of degree, and you write some unknown type of material "quite a bit." But since you merely appended a question on somebody else's question and answer, without saying what it is you want to accomplish or what city/country you live in, or what your current occupation is or how old you are, it's hard to know what to tell you your "next step" should be.

For starters, perhaps you should read these:
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson32.htm
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson24.htm
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson27.htm
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson54.htm
http://sloperama.com/advice/entry65.htm
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
CKeene
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Default Re: (new post) What can I do to become a video game writer?

Quote:
1. I don't have a problem starting out writing reviews or something.
2. I posted before and it wasn't a good post, so I'm posting again.
3. Where do I start?
4. How do I become a game writer?
5. I know it's a competitive industry, but writers probably have a beter chance to get in the industry than designers or artists, right?
6. Do I start contacting game companies?
7. And I also know that I won't start out writing dialog for AAA titles and I don't care If I start writing for the smallest video game company.
8. I do know that freelance writers get positions as scriptwriters, but I want a full time position at a company.
9. Should I write more stories?
1. I agree with Tom. If you want a job as a games journo, write reviews or features. If you want a job as a strategy writer, write strategy guides. If you want a job as a game writer, write for games. You can do all of the above, of course. But you won't be hired to write FOR a game based on how well you can write ABOUT a game.

2. Being succinct, concise and clear is something you'll definitely need to learn. As writers we tend to be verbose. Most people don't want to read a wall of text in a video game. Make it count.

3. Probably by accepting all of the advice provided in this thread, your previous one, and the linked articles. We don't know you. We can't write you a custom guide on this subject, and honestly I don't know what a custom guide would look like. The process is different for everyone.

The advice to finish your degree and start a blog are both solid. I'd also suggest getting a cheap engine to make your own in-game dialogue. Neverwinter Nights can be purchased very cheaply these days and it comes with the Aurora Toolset. It will take you all of a few hours to learn how to make a quick background, set up a character and give that character dialogue interactions with the player.

4. You write every day. Even when you don't want to write. Because I guarantee when a deadline is looming over your head your boss isn't going to say "Yeah it's cool, man. Whenever" when you tell him you "Just don't feel it today."

You will write a lot of crap. Every now and again you'll write something with potential. Polish that and start building a portfolio. Short fiction, screenwriting, and short game demos are great portfolio pieces for a game writer.

5. Writers have some of the worst chances. Most companies do not hire on staff writers and the concept of having someone dedicated to the craft of game writing is still very new.

6. No. You have nothing to show them, for one. Take a look at this little personal inventory I adapted from a freelance writing blog for other reasons why you're not ready yet.

7. Good.

8. On staff positions for writers are few and far between. Off the top of my head I can name maybe five companies that hire more than one writer to work on site as an employee, not an independent contractor. I'm sure there are more, but you're closing yourself off to a lot more opportunities if you're not willing to freelance.

9. Again I agree with Tom. This shouldn't be a question for you at all. Write stories because you need to write stories. Write stories because you feel empty if you don't. Write stories because you have an honest desire to improve your craft.

I know this is probably a bit harsh (and also my first post to this forum in... quite a long time!) but I hope you appreciate the practical advice we're trying to give you. It's your dream, yes. And that's a wonderful thing. But the only way to accomplish your goals is to start making realistic steps toward your future.
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