5 Things Everyone Should Have for Success in Video Game Writing

Follow these tips to have a better shot at writing in the video game industry.

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.

3. Knowledge

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.

5. Determination

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.

Published Sep. 25th 2013
  • Courtney Gamache
    Featured Contributor
    Great tips! I must agree with all of these entirely, except maybe instead of Love I'd put Passion. xD
  • Synzer
    Guide Editor
    Yeah, that's probably a better way of putting it.
  • The Examined Life (of Gaming)
    Check, check, check and... oh. Oh dear.

    Good set of tips!

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