How to Become a Writer in the Game Industry

So you want to work in the game industry as a writer? Here's how.

It's an exciting time to become a Writer within the game industry. Modern games are focusing more and more on producing a 'Hollywood' style storyline and have complex and exciting plots.

 

 

Gamers expect their character to have a lot of depth and be in a game world were dialogue is immersive and believable. However, many writers are still often hired on short contracts and freelance. There are many different Writer roles; audio scripts, text that appears in the game, marketing, public relations, concepts and the Games Design Document. The game design document contains the games backstory, character backgrounds, the plot etc. Therefore it is a technical document with a creative side.

Skills and Requirements

As you will be writing structured and naturally flowing documents you have to have an expert understanding of the language you are writing in. You must be able to spell, punctuate and produce coherent sentences to a near perfect level. As a game writer you will be working in at least one of these two categories: Fictional writing and Technical writing. You will need to be able to write creatively to create the sense of context for the player within the games plot and have general fiction writer skills as games are fiction. For the technical side you may be creating design documents or game manuals where you will be required to use your skills of organisation, conciseness and clarity to good use.

Example Software/Tools

A word processor - This is nearly everything a writer needs. It is recommended to have a full office suite, such a Microsoft's Office to be able to open and modify spread sheets and slideshows etc. Aside from this, build up a good reference library of books and inspiration for writers like yourself. Obviously a good place to start is to have a quality dictionary and thesaurus, but there are a vast selection of books on fiction writing and storytelling.

Example Job Advert

Job Profile

 

Junior Writer

 

Average Salary:

 

£18,000 (about $30k)

Description:

 

We are an award-winning independent developer founded by games industry veterans. If you're looking for a fast moving, creative environment where the work you do will make a difference, this is the place to work!

We are seeking a talented and passionate game writer. You will have the responsibility for helping to drive the creation of our games stories. The ideal candidate will have had experience in multi-media story telling with excellent competency in game writing and a passion for games and film.

You will be collaborating across the studio to help bring the game's story to life.

As a Writer you will be required to:

•  Be able to evangelise the game story and narrative vision to the team.
•  Work with game designers to create an effective narrative that fits with a good game design
•  Revise and edit your own scripts and those of other writers
•  Under the supervision of the Narrative Director, your tasks will involve enhancing the story, writing scripts and refining the pace of the game through storytelling and dialogue.

Please provide a writing example with your application.

 

Required Experience:

 

•  Understanding of voice directing and editing techniques.
•  Excellent communication, writing and interpersonal skills.
•  Ability to work well under pressure and with deadlines.
•  Passion for strong, character-driven game story content.

 

Desirable Skills:

 

•  Bachelor's degree preferred, or equivalent game writing experience.
•  Experience with using game engines and scripts.

 

  The starting salary for a game developer is between £18,000 - £25,000 ($30k - $41k). However, your income will vary greatly depending on your experience and the nature of the studio you are working for. Starting out as a QA tester may see a dramatic loss in starting salary but is a very valid and viable way to enter the game industry with little experience.

*Top Tip* Show proof of your enthusiasm . When applying for a job within the game industry employers will want to see proof of not only your knowledge but also your passion for games and the industry. One way to do this is to attend game events, expos and stay up-to-date with industry news through game related magazines and websites.

 

This article was written by Author of the book: How to Become a Game Designer by Joshua Brown . Joshua Brown has been involved with the gaming industry for over 10 years as a 3D game artist. Whilst still working in the game industry he is also a course director, running training courses to help others get a job within the games industry. He has recently released his book 'How to Become a Game Designer' which can be found here:

 

How To Become A Game Designer - The ULTIMATE guide to breaking into the Game Industry

How to become a Game Designer. The ULTIMATE guide for joining the video games industry. The video game industry is an exciting and expanding modern industry that is attracting many creative people from all over the world. Due to the increasing competition for job roles it can be a difficult process. This book contains insider tips and advice on what you need to know to get your dream job working inside the video games industry. This comprehensive guide includes: About the game industry, the job roles within the game industry, how to apply for jobs, the application process, how to pass the interview, how to write a CV, how to build a stunning portfolio, how to network and insider tips. It also includes information on becoming a freelance artist and setting up your own independent games company.

 

 


 

 

 

 

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