Becoming a game writer is not as difficult as one may think. There are many different ways to break into the game industry, and with hard work and dedication, anyone can make it as a game writer. In this article, we will explore some of the methods that aspiring game writers can use to start their career in writing video games. We will also look at the various benefits that come with this type of career. So if you’re looking for a way to become a game writer, read on!
What video game writers do
Writers are responsible for writing game dialogue, game design documents, game narratives, game plots, game quests and other information required of the game. They are usually given a brief by their superiors containing details on what is expected from them. With this information in hand, they work on creating products that will aid game designers to bring the video game’s vision into fruition.
What formal education game writers have
Most game writers have a Bachelor’s degree or higher in creative writing. Many game writers also have a background in English literature, scriptwriting and journalism. Some game writers, however, do not receive formal training for game writing and instead pick up their skills through independent practice. Game writing is becoming popular enough that there are game writing courses that people can take to improve their game writing skills.
What game writer jobs are available
For game writers, there are many different job opportunities available in the game industry. Some game writers work for large game development companies while others work independently on projects of their own or with small teams consisting of around 6 members. Others choose to work as game script doctors, game narrative designers and game dialogue writers.
What skills game writers need
Game writing jobs require certain writing skills such as creative writing, storytelling, and the ability to convey information effectively through written word. There is no set career path for game writers, so it is better to gain a wider knowledge on game development and game design. This will help game writers create better game products that will lead to more success for the game developer or game development company.
How game writers break into the game industry
As with any other occupation, there are different ways to break into the game industry. Let’s look at some of them below.
Games development companies – Game writers find employment either by working for large game development companies or independently on projects of their own or with smaller teams of less than 6. Independent game writers – Some game writers choose to freelance and write for a number of video games in a project-to-project basis.
Self-employment – This way, the writer either writes their own story independently or works with other members on a team. They usually have to self-fund their projects because publishers are not willing to take chances on novel ideas.
Going to school – Many game writers start their careers by enrolling in a degree or certificate program, or through an apprenticeship. They use this as a stepping stone to break into the industry and move on from there. The advantage of going this route is that it may lead directly to employment, especially if one graduates with a portfolio of work.
Writing contests – Writing contests such as those held by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and the Independent Gaming Source (IGS) offer a good opportunity for writers to break into the industry. The contests present many aspiring game writers with an active platform where they can share their ideas and interest people in hiring them for future.
A game writer’s typical day at work
A game writer usually spends their time researching for their work, thinking of ideas and writing the video game script. They also meet with other members of the development team to make sure that they are on track and working towards achieving project goals.
In order to be on the same page with the rest of the team, workflow tools are often used to keep track of tasks and projects, such as task management software and project management software.
What kind of writing style do I need?
Since games are interactive, game writers must ensure that the story they write is engaging and easy to understand. The writing style for video games is usually less formal than other forms of literary writing because game stories are not about literature or dramatic storytelling; it’s also more casual than technical documentation or other forms of non-fiction writing. It should be simple and direct as video games are often played by casual readers or speakers.
When we say video game writer, we usually mean the main story writer(s) of a video game and not video game designers who design games and characters and other video game developers. It is possible for video game writers to work on video games with different development teams such as those listed below:
Different types of game writers
In order for people to be able to play games that are good, these roles need to be filled first during the game creation process:
– video game designers
– video game programmers
– video game artists/visual designers and animators
– video game musicians and composers.
The responsibilities of video game writers can vary from one video games development company to another, but the main ones are listed below
1. Video Game Script Writer – The videogame script writer is responsible for coming up with video game plots and writing video game scripts. These video games stories must get the creative juices flowing in the video games development team and get them excited about working on a project. They also need to make sure that what they write is conducive to video game design and programming, which will lead to a more successful product.
2. Video Game Editor – A video game editor is responsible for improving and polishing the video games scripts written by the video game writer, making sure that they flow well and read smoothly. They will also play a big role in determining how gripping the story is and whether or not gamers would want to play on
3. Video Game Producer – These are the people who head up creative development projects. They will take the various ideas generated by members of the video game development team and develop them into video game plots, scripts and storyboards that can be easily translated into game development products.
4. Video Game Tester – This position requires creative thinking as well because they will play the game and try to break it by finding glitches. Once these bugs are found, they need to make a list of them and report back to the development team
5. Video Game Level Designer – This job also needs creative thinking because they will determine how each level will play out since they will design the layout of every level in the video game. They will also determine how difficult each level would be and what kind of game play mechanics there will be.
6. Video Game Writer – this person needs to have a solid understanding of game design as well as good communication skills since they need to tell the stories that will unfold in the game through video game dialogues and monologues. They also need to be able to help game designers determine game play mechanics that would lead to more gripping game stories.
Video game writing process
Once game developers have decided what game they want to make, video game writers will come up with the game’s plot and characters, which are found in game design documents (GDDs). When the game is almost finished, game writers will be able to see what game designers have made and make any necessary changes if they don’t like game play mechanics or game dialogues.
Video game writers usually work on game design documents (GDDs), which are speculative documents that expand upon game design ideas; however, video game writing is not the only activity game writers do. During game development, game writers also have to think about game dialogue and game narration which may take up a lot of the game writer’s time depending on how much they are involved in game design. Game writers can also spend a majority of their time proofreading game text and dialogues that have been written by other members of the video game development team. Some game writers may also create game plots, game scripts and game storyboards which can vary between game developers.
Some game writers also spend time playing video games that are similar to the game they are currently writing for in order to get a feel of what other people like about these types of games; however, this depends on the game writer and game developer.
For game developers, game writers can come up with game plots and characters. They can help game designers determine game play mechanics; however, it’s not necessary for all game writers to be involved in the entire process of making a video game. Some game writers may not like or be interested in playing games that are similar to what game developers are making; therefore, game writers may focus mainly on game dialogues and game narration. Since game writers rely heavily on game design documents (GDDs) for game dialogue and game narration ideas, game writers that do not create game plots or game storyboards can rely more on these types of documents than game writers who create game plots and game storyboards.
Narrative designers are also important in the video game industry
Narrative designers help shape the stories that will be told in video games. Sometimes, a collaborative effort is necessary when creating a video game because it’s difficult for one person to create all of the dialogue and narration within a video game. This type of job requires creativity as well as strong communication skills because it can be challenging to this one this combined with other members of the video game writing team. Video games that have been released with a strong narrative can be a major hit with gamers because story-telling is what pulls people in, especially when it comes to video games.
Start writing to perfect your skills
Since there are so many different types of video games available, it’s important to decide what type of video game writer you would like to be. If you haven’t played a lot of video games in the past, don’t worry because there will always be new video games coming out and you can start playing any time. Play games you like and play games that are similar to the game developers’ games.
If you’re interested in becoming a video game writer, start writing now. Start writing about your favorite games or make up scenarios on what could happen next. This can help you practice your skills as well as gain interest in this type of career path.
Game studios need Creative writing skills and a story-telling ability.
With so many games and stories to experience, there’s no limit to what you could do next! And this is exactly what game studios are looking out for. A video game company needs a game world that hasn’t been explored yet, narrative driven games are the best selling and often cheapest to build products.
When you write games make sure to let your imagination run wild so the game’s story is unpredictable. Focus on making the best possible story you can, so the video game studio will turn it into an interactive storytelling masterpiece. The ability to keep things from being mundane is the true measurement of your writing ability.
How to start writing your own games
If you would like to create your own video game, start by brainstorming. You can start writing about the story and the characters you want to include in your game as well as ideas for quests and missions within your game. This can help increase your motivation and interest in creating a video game of your own.
Make sure it’s something you’re interested in!
Keep writing and become more confident in your skills. Write about other games that you enjoy playing or write about something else if you’d rather do this. With practice, you’ll be able to hone your skills as a video game writer and create the perfect game for yourself.
The hardest part about starting your own game projects is getting over how much writing you’ll actually have to do. It can be very daunting to see the mountain of work ahead of you with no end in sight. This is why it’s always important to have mini goals to keep up consistent great writing.
Document what you’d like to write before you start writing it so that it is easier to complete tasks like finishing smaller story arcs while constantly branching narratives and driving the story forward. It is essential to get a sense of progress and accomplishment throughout the writing process or you might just give up entirely before you finish.
You don’t want to be like George RR Martin and take 20 years to finish your books! So focus on finishing short stories within your overall game script to get forward progress. Writing can be a dream job, if you allow it to be one!
Easy beginner writing gigs for video game companies – build up a portfolio
Being a video game writer can be a very fun career if you’re passionate about the games that you work on. When starting out, it’s important to focus on projects that will help improve your craft and build up your writing portfolio.
There are different types of beginner writing gigs available in the gaming industry such as:
– Writing for small video game companies
– Writing for freelance jobs (Upwork)
– Writing for large video game companies
Each of these writing gigs is different and it’s important to make sure that you choose a gig with a company or studio where you’ll be able to write the type of games that you want. This will ensure that your time spent working on whatever task they need done is time that’s well spent and that you feel good about what you’re working on.
Game writing can be an extremely rewarding career if it’s something you really enjoy doing. As with all writing, the most important thing to remember is to practice and keep honing your craft! The more work you put in, the better a writer you’ll be!
Gaming technology that helps with your writing job
It is always important to keep up with the advancements in technology, especially if you are writing for video games. Games like The Last of Us, Bioshock and Uncharted use advanced technologies like motion capture or 3D animation. These technologies help enhance the gaming experience by making it more realistic and immersive; this means that you will have to write accordingly.
For example, let’s say that you’re writing the story for a new video game. One of your tasks would be to write dialogue (or whatever medium is appropriate such as in-game text) for the characters in your game. If your characters are going to be talking while they’re shooting at enemies or when there’s action going on, you’ll need to write these conversations in a way that they seem natural and realistic, but also won’t slow down the pace of the game’s action.
Now imagine that you’re writing a video game script for a first person shooter, much like Call of Duty or Battlefield where you take on the role as a military soldier who is fighting against the enemy. Your job in this perspective is to be the eyes and ears of the player who is taking control of your character in the game; they will only see what your character sees, so it’s important that you relay all of the information that your character would notice. This of course fits into character development also.
This might seem simple enough, but there are many different things that are taken into account when you’re writing a video game. You’ll need to keep the player engaged and at the same time, not lose focus of your overall story and character development. Many games rely on their storylines and characters to set themselves apart from other games in the genre; this means that you will have quite a bit of pressure if you are working on this type of project.
Write with particular types of voice actors in mind
Writing for video games is a very interactive process, this means that you’ll be writing a lot of dialogue and voice over. Depending on the type of game you’re working on, will determine what type of voice actors you need to write with in mind.
For example, let’s say that you’re going to work as a video game writer for a company that is making a brand new zombie-survival game. You’ll need to write your dialogue and voice over with certain types of voice actors in mind, such as Bruce Campbell, Sarah Michelle Gellar or Danny Trejo. These are all popular voice actors who have been in past zombie movies and games; writing with these specific actors in mind will give your game a great deal of authenticity.
However, if you’re working on an entirely different type of video game, one that isn’t focused on zombies or anything horror-based, then it would be wise to write with other types of voice actors in mind, such as Jennifer Lawrence or Ryan Gosling. Maybe try and do some voice work of your own to get a better idea of your character’s traits!
How much can video Game writers make?
Game writers can make from around $17 per hour on average, but their pay rate depends on the type of games they write for and how much experience they have. For example, at a small company where there are only a few employees it’s possible to get paid upwards of $20 an hour with no prior experience.
There is also a big difference between being employed in a game development company or working as a freelancer. As a freelancer you can set your own price to meet growing demands… the more popular you become, the higher your hourly rates will be! The cliffside of this argument is that you obviously will make less, if there is a less demand.
How much can Narrative designers make?
Narrative designers make around $21 per hour on average and like many other writers, their pay rate depends on experience and the company. This type of writer usually works to develop characters and storylines in video games, movies or novels. They often work closely with developers and the creative director in order to meet their vision for a project.
“If you only care about being a writer, then you should probably go work for someone else. You have to want to make games.” – Richard Rouse III
The tasks of a narrative designer
Just like any other media, storytelling is an art form that takes on different forms. However there are some key elements that can help define if a story is good or bad. There are four key elements to every story – these include emotion, plot, control and subtext.
When you’re writing a video game it’s important for the player to feel something other than frustration when they play your game! Think about what emotions you want your players to experience as they play through your storyline and make sure that you’re conveying them properly.
As a video game writer, it’s important for you to think about what type of plot will be present in your story and how the player moves from one stage or level to another. This means that there needs to be some sort of control placed onto the storyline so it doesn’t become too convoluted and so you don’t lose track of your pacing and character development.
Getting your player to care about the story and characters is not an easy task, so it’s important that you create a strong subtext beneath the surface of what they can see. This means having them look deeper into the motives of your main characters, for example why are they in the situation that they’re in?
Are Game Writers in high demand?
Game writers are always in demand because game companies need them to convey the story through dialogue and text. Gaming companies always require more scriptwriters due to the high demand of video games worldwide that is still steadily growing.
Even without specific degrees such as English Literature & history, you will still be able to find jobs in the games industry so long as your quality of writing is sufficient.
Final Advice for aspiring game writers to get their foot in the door
The way to achieve one’s dreams is by taking the first step. For aspiring game writers, that first step involves figuring out what they hope to accomplish and getting training for it. The more experience you have as a writer, the closer you are to breaking into this industry. You can also try networking with others in your chosen field or look for people who would be interested in your ideas. Developing relationships with other writers is also a good way to learn about the industry and get feedback on your work before you contact game development companies.
Once you are done, this article should have provided you enough information for you to know what type of career path would fit your goals best, as well as giving you insight on how to achieve those goals by identifying the best way for you. You don’t even need a writing degree, just get to it by starting now!