Many video games have deep storylines. This has been the case since the early text adventures where creative writing was all that existed to keep a player engaged in the game. I believe that some stories are better served by this interactive medium rather than say a novelization or a movie script and I'd love to give it a try, but without having any contacts in that industry or real experience working in that medium, I was wondering what it takes to get started? Find or start an open source game project? Send some kind of treatment to an established game publisher or developer?


2 Answers 2


My first advice is -- don't. There's an attitude in the gaming industry that working on games is so cool they shouldn't have to pay you a fair wage. Working conditions in the game industry tend to lag behind other sectors. Salaries for graphic artists and coders in the game industry are about 1/3 of what those same people would make in any other sector, and I suspect it is the same for writers.

If you must get into the game industry, though, find a company with a history of treating its people fairly, and that use an open-source engine under their games. The business argument for a company to use an open-source engine is persuasive, but for you as a writer the biggest difference is in corporate culture and willingness to give you a fair shake.

Once you've figured out who you want to work with, put together a proposal, send it in, and cross your fingers.

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    This guy is totally right. We'd never hire a writer and pay them a real wage. Plus, writing for the game is the fun part, and developers will do that for free. Sad but true. Commented Nov 19, 2010 at 18:01
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    I have to agree with @John ... If you honestly wanted to write for video games, you're better as a developer/designer, since writers are rarely hired for more than a short contract.
    – daestwen
    Commented Nov 20, 2010 at 5:37

Bioware had a contest several years ago to hire a writer. Certainly not an appealing way to go about applying for a job, but that contest did leave behind some potentially useful tips for what sort of writing game companies might be looking for, eg:

Some additional guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Dialogue should be no longer than 2-3 lines at a time.
  • The dialogue must be fun, easy to read, and not overly verbose.
  • We will also be judging the structure of your dialogue. Does the
    dialogue flow logically? Does the player feel in control of the conversation?
  • Avoid dialogue where the player has very little interaction. The player should feel that he is talking to an NPC, not being talked at.
  • Avoid modern sounding dialogue. Do not use modern anachronisms or slang. Fantasy characters shouldn't sound like they come from the 21st century.
  • Make the first character interesting. The first character the player talks to sets the tone for the entire module.

Creating a Neverwinter Nights module would definitely be something you could do in order to get a feel for the flow of writing if you want to get involved in writing for RPGs.

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