So you want to get into the industry as a writer? Well, there are some things you should do before deciding whether it’s for you. I may not have worked on a game that has been released, yet, but I have experience writing. I also know of some things that are a must to get a job writing for video games.
1. Love Video Games
The first one is pretty basic, you have to actually love video games. I’m not talking about just one genre either, you need to love multiple genres, or at the very least tolerate them. After all, if you don’t love video games, how are you going to love writing for them? Before going any further, ask yourself, “Would I be happy doing this for the rest of my life?“
2. Love Writing
You will write, a lot. You need to love writing, editing, and re-writing. Most of your time will be spent writing and revising things until they are as perfect as they can be. Depending on the game, you could be writing more than usual. So much detail goes into a game, such as, item descriptions, dialogue, main plot, side plots, skills… you get the picture. If you don’t love writing and know that you will spend many long nights doing it, then this job is not for you.
To be successful, you need to know a lot about video games. Know what games are out there, what people like, and how other games are written. It’s hard to get a job as a writer, or any job really, without knowledge of what is already out there. Familiarize yourself with as many games, particularly those with strong writing, as you can. Three series that come to mind are, Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls, and Bioshock, but there are many others.
The dialogue and character depth in this game is phenomenal.
4. Experience and Skill
I group these together because for writing, they pretty much go hand in hand. The only way to truly get better at writing is to write as often as you can. This goes back to knowledge of the industry and writing for video games. Learn all you can and write everyday. You will eventually develop the skills and portfolio needed to break into the industry.
Even after having everything else, determination will be needed if you seriously want to get a job. Writing is not easy and not everyone can do it. You will also be turned down most likely. Expect rejection and failure, it will happen. However, if you stick with it, continue to write, continue to get better, and keep looking for work, you will eventually find it. The people that are determined to work in the industry, and put forth the effort and time it takes, will be the one’s that are successful.