Video Game Writer: Professional Profile & the Process of Crafting a Gripping Storyline. Who writes the story for video games

It’s very helpful! I am currently attending a liberal arts school, but I already have digital arts skills. I will probably take a few of these activities in the summer so I can prepare for it. Thank you very much!

Video Game Writer: Professional Profile & the Process of Crafting a Gripping Storyline

It was the day I launched my PS2 to passionately play the brand new Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy X. I was shocked to see how beautiful and stunning the graphics were.

Moreover, even at a young age, I noticed that beautiful video game writing was involved. I still cite this game and its writing as inspiration and influence on my writing and how I approach video game history. Since then, in the early 2000s, we have been blessed with games with absolutely beautiful lyrics, stories and characters.

Video games have easily climbed onto the visual media totem to become valuable and memorable storytelling devices. Well-crafted stories and writing just stick with the player long after the console is turned off.

But how do you write a story for a video game? What is the process of creating a captivating story?

Here’s the basics to get a glimpse into the world of video game writing and how to become one yourself.

Background, Player Preference, Metal Gear Solid

video game writer duties

A video game developer is a member of the creative team of a game that asks for drums to write aspects of the narrative. Characters like Geralt of Rivia, Cloud Strife, GLaDOS and John Marston have a great video game developer and development team behind them.

A video game developer is responsible for a lot of things related to the game. They can take part in preparing the production, presenting ideas and creating dialogues. There are no clear restrictions for a video game developer as he can juggle many different tasks within a single project. Depending on the title, the writing may be more intense.

The team behind The Witcher III, for example, likely had more writing and narrative goals than for the latest Mario game. Writing this entire comprehensive story based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels requires a team that will limit itself to an actual playable game after Geralt’s adventures.

However, this does not diminish Nintendo’s writing efforts. The good history of the video game is also based on the preferences of the player. Maybe playing Mario is exactly what a certain player wants in terms of plot. Someone who doesn’t want to be dragged into the molasses of another world; they just want a Bowser!

The same is with Hideo Kojima’s games, known for their long cutscenes. It’s fine if that’s what you’re looking for in-game, but if you just want to have fun, you might want to stay away from Metal Gear Solid 4, known for its over 8 hour cutscenes.

I think some of Kojima’s writing is great, and if you’re a Metal Gear Solid fan, you’ll likely enjoy at least most of the cutscenes. But again, this is a personal preference based on the player.

Good video game writing can take many forms and is dependent on many variables.

Hi Blake! The good news is that designing games doesn’t require a lot of math skills. (By the way, I was pretty weak at math when I was younger, I improved with more exercise – probably too. :))

You Don’t Write an Original Script for a Game and Sell It on Spec

Many writers dream of writing a brilliant script that is perfect for interpreting video games. They think they can take it to the big video game companies, present themselves as they would in any Hollywood studio or production company, sell it, and then partner with game developers to create the next big blockbuster.

It just doesn’t work that way.

A game developer doesn’t sell his idea and watch as game designers bring their vision to life through beautiful visuals and interactive gameplay. Project directors are the ones who run the show. And often it is they with the concept who are responsible for creating concept designs and gameplay with their design team.

Overall, Game Writer usually comes fairly late.

Video games aren’t like movies. They don’t start with a writer and script. They start with design directors and game designers, as well as the belly of other tech specialists.

And the game scenarios are nothing like the average scenario. These are technical documents containing hundreds of pages of visual description, flowcharts, branched dialogs, cutscenes, etc.

So What Do Game Writers Actually Write?

If you’re a screenwriter trying to break into the video game industry as a game writer, you need to understand that everything you know about the format, structure, and characteristics of screenwriting is mostly unimportant. Yes, you’ll benefit from plot ideals, character plot, and overall plot structure, but the plot of each game is secondary to the actual gameplay in the title being developed.

Gamers love the story and the character depth in their games, but when it comes to their mind, they want a game that has great interactive gameplay.

So what are game developers writing?

Here’s the general breakdown:

Flow Charts – Games are very complex these days – especially RPGs (role-playing games). Players will have to make a lot of decisions throughout the game. Accordingly, the game will have to develop every possible option that will allow the player to feel that he is truly controlling the character organically in this world. The flowchart resembles an extreme version of the old books Choose Your Own Adventure. Sounds interesting, but is highly technical with the storyline and character development – enough to keep it interesting for the player.

Location: dark cathedral with stained glass windows. The NPC is kneeling in front of a stone coffin in the center of the main room

Music: The background music playing the organ introduces the scene but subsides

Characters: The main player, an NPC named Thomas

Player Objective: Discover the location of the underground hideout

Action: The player must initiate a discussion with Tomek, during the first contact, we activate a cutscene (1) in which Tom turns into a werewolf and summons his minions. The main character has to fight the minions, and then re-initiate the discussion with Thomas.

Diagram: No decisions have been made at this stage: If the battle is over, Thomas reveals the entrance to the underground hideout and the player advances to this level. If the player is defeated in battle, return to the death scene (11) and go to try again.

Comments: The player is locked in the cathedral and has no way out. The only real option is to make contact with Thomas. Random creatures can be activated if the player visits the cathedral before talking to the NPC.

Now it seems like a lot of fun work for a game developer to do. This is the problem. All of these elements are developed primarily through the collaborative efforts of design directors and game designers. The writer is here to expand upon the concepts under development and make actual documentation of everything listed above.

In short, a game writer doesn’t work the way a writer would when it comes to creating these characters, worlds, and actions. Game designers work on what they are able to build through their design with a budget and the staff they have. Therefore, the author of the game cannot say, “Hey, what if players are sucked through a portal and thrown into this alternate dimension where everything is upside down and gravity is reversed, creating a world like Pandora. “

It was the day I launched my PS2 to passionately play the brand new Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy X. I was shocked to see how beautiful and stunning the graphics were.

Second: What does a video game writer actually do?

So what’s so hard about writing a video game? You make up a story, then you write it! I just wrote a paragraph and it’s great, see how simple it is? What else could there be?

Let’s see. Imagine how you think a story is created for, say, a novel. The writer arranges a concept and then creates a story from a series of scenes – all centered around a protagonist who grows and moves through these scenes in a scripted manner. The writer creates it from beginning to end, determining everything, because history is everything.

In a video game, the story isn’t everything. Maybe this fact causes you to grab your pearls in shock, but it’s true. The game developer has to conform to the demands of gameplay and level design, as well as the limitations of technology and schedule.

Just because I can imagine history turning into a giant castle doesn’t mean that the art team wants to build said giant castle. That doesn’t mean they have time to build it on all other levels, even if they want to build it. Even if they have the time, that doesn’t mean the project can fill the gigantic castle level with everything that needs to come along with it, just so you can have a nice backdrop for your precious conversation.

writing games 2

And even if they can, maybe they won’t be able to get the tightly packed crowd in the great hall of the castle because goddamn Playstation memory budgets won’t let the engine display more than ten actors on the screen at any given time, even though the rest of the story says everyone in the kingdom will be there . Or at least the developer sadly tells you that he doesn’t have time to fix this problem because he’s busy trying to make a game, you know, without crashing when you hit the play button.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that writing games is a lot about collaboration, and that’s not something everyone thinks about. The team works together, and each department has its own needs and contributes to it just as much as you do. Writers don’t get everything they want all the time.

Or maybe you think it’s backwards and that writers should dictate to the rest of the team what their priorities are because everything in the game should be a story. In that case, I say that you should definitely be responsible for the universe. Because yes. It is not so.

And then there’s the rest of your work that follows after all the collaboration is done – and that’s the implementation. That’s 80 percent of your work. Figuring out how to make the plot work in a video game.

This level you wrote? You will rewrite it at least three times, trying to make it a little less sucks each time. This other level? It was cut out because while it was really fun, the art team is late and the level it was on now doesn’t exist .. and it’s you who need to fix the surrounding story now that there’s no middle piece any longer. The reason why it’s 80 percent of your work is because you spend most of your time fixing shit.

Third: Getting the job

just to be clear in advance? The chances of getting any writing job in the gaming industry aren’t high. It’s not necessarily because you’re a sucker, but for two main reasons.

A lot of game developers who need writing outsource writing, which means they bring a writer in a late stage of development and say, “See this historyless game we have here? We want you to wave your magic writing wand and give it a brilliant story. Yes, I know games that really care about the story will have real writers in the early stages of development, but we have neither the time nor the money for that. Others will write the script by someone who is doing something else on the team, such as a developer, because they just have to. And most of the others? There isn’t a lot of story space in their game, period, because they’re just not that kind of game.

Writing is a difficult skill to show. Can you be a genius at designing a narrative but prove you’re a genius? Really difficult. Moreover, people who hire writers are having a really hard time finding out who is gifted. It’s not like a 3D model that you can look at and objectively tell if whoever created it has blows or not – we’re talking about inaccurate science, and there aren’t any academic degrees in, say, Interactive Branching Fiction. So you have to write your brilliant submissions and try to stand out from all the other submissions.

But do you have a chance? And are you tired of spending my time trying to talk you out of it and you just want to hear brass pins on how to increase your chances? “Jesus Christ, Gaider,” you mumble. – Have you ever got to the goddamn point?”

Rude. Sure, fair, but rude.

With the proviso that I’m only talking about the types of job writing you can find in a place like BioWare as this is the only type of place where I got hired (I’m sure people are hired to write games like Last of Us – call the me! – but I’m not sure what their criteria would be, other than, you know, being Neil Druckmann, and that’s harder for some people than for others), here are some things you should try.


On the one hand, it means you have to play games. All kinds of games, not just the ones you like best. You have to look at the different stories and consider what the narratives have done, good or bad. If it was okay, think about how they dealt with it. If it was wrong, think about why it could have been done that way, and what could be better about it. One of the most common questions we ask in an interview is what the writer thinks about the narrative in the games he has played .. specifically, what he didn’t like and why. Being able to criticize is one skill you’ll absolutely need, not to mention that you’re interested in game stories that go beyond just enjoying a single game created by a developer.

Also? To read. Like in the books. And if you are still in school (or planning to go), think about what courses you will go to. My suggestion? All. There are no courses that will teach you how to be a better game writer (although there are courses that will teach you how to be a better writer period, and this is a good basic skill to develop), but you can learn things you will need to learn from if and when you start writing: history, literature, political science, philosophy, sociology… I am listing these things because they are the actual degrees earned by the writers I have hired, and I know about them because these degrees have come about and have been useful in during work.

And even beyond the specific myth, it’s clear that being a game writer is a whole different ball game, with a full focus on game design and gameplay rather than character plot and narrative.

How do you write a video game?

While writing a video game isn’t as simple as taking a few steps, there is an approach that is most effective and leads to fewer problems in the long run. This means you start big and wide and then get specific as you know more and more. And of course, always keep in mind the dynamics of the player’s character.

Step 1. Outline the major storyline

Whether you have several different ending options or one canonical story, it’s worth starting your script by mapping out the main storyline.

If your story has many different endings or outcomes, it can be difficult. However, it is important that you, despite all these possibilities, have an overview of the history of the canon. Writing this outline often means making a note of all the major events that each character – regardless of their decisions – must go through and list three different endings.

Obviously, if you are writing a linear story with no options then the main storyline is a bit easier to write as you don’t have to let your story room have alternate endings and outcomes.

But whatever the path of your story – with the possibility or not – securing yourself a big outline of the main plot points will save you a lot of trouble later on, even if you consider yourself someone who doesn’t outline the outline.

Step 2. Decide what type of game it will be

After you understand the overall structure of your story and the flow of events, you’ll want to decide what kind of game it is going to be.

You may think that the game mechanics don’t matter to you as a writer, but it absolutely does. Think of it like trying to write a novel without deciding whether it’s first person or third person – that’s just impossible and not a light decision – it changes the whole backbone of your story.

So, before proceeding with your story, decide what kind of game it will be:

Role-playing game (RPG)

First Person Shooter (FPS)

There are other types, of course, and many hybrids between them – action RPGs, for example – but these are the core games you’ll find. The more you play, the easier it will be for you to distinguish and decide which type of game is best for your story.

Step 3. Develop your world

Once you’ve decided what your game will be like, you’ll want to start developing your world. You may be tempted to create your main character first, and if you have a strong vision for him, that’s okay.

But most often the main character is much less important than the world. This is because your players will be watching the world a lot more than themselves, even if it’s a third-person game.

In a video game, the world is seen from your character’s perspective, so in many ways this is how players experience character development.

For this reason, you’ll want to spice up your world, its culture, tradition, etc before delving into your character’s entire development, in addition to determining how much “world” your players can explore, which we’ll talk about in the second installment of this series.

Step 4. Create your main characters

Once you’ve established your world – or at least as much as possible – you can move on to creating your main character and other famous characters like villains, companions, and so on.

Creating characters for video games isn’t much different from creating them for other stories, as long as you don’t introduce narrative possibilities that can change the behavior of your characters. You also interact with these characters from a first-person perspective, so getting closer to this relationship can be difficult for new writers, which we’ll cover in the third and final part of this series.

What do you need to write video games?

Contrary to appearances, you don’t need much to write a video game. Depending on the scope of your game, you may only need yourself or a team of writers. But other than that, before you move on to development, you only need two things:

Experience playing video games

Just as it is said that if you want to be a writer you have to read a lot, likewise if you want to be a video game writer you have to play a lot of games.

While I think this applies to all types of writing – if you want to write movies you absolutely have to watch them – it is especially true for video games as you have to consider not only the plot but also the gameplay component.

Granted, writers don’t typically code games and really define the mechanics of the gameplay. But when video game developers don’t consider game mechanics as part of the story, there could be a cause for a serious disconnect between players.

For example, in games such as Horizon Zero Dawn and The Witcher, the heroes are hunters, whose task is often to eliminate beasts and other troublesome enemies. This changes the way the world interacts with them and the tasks they receive, as well as how the fight feels.

Plus, it’s incredibly difficult to visualize and write the movement of a video game – and all the possibilities – if you’ve hardly ever played it. While you may not have to invent different types of ammo or weapon upgrades, you do need to be able to imagine your story moving in a three-dimensional world filled with possibilities, not just linear narrative.

For more information on this, and a list of the different games you can play, check out why video games help with all kinds of storytelling.

Video game writing script software

While there is no “official” way to write a video game script, there are a number of different programs you can turn to for help.

Text editor – yes. As simple as it may seem, a word processor such as Google Docs or Pages can be used to write a video game script. You do not believe me? Check out the template I used to write my first assignment here.

FinalDraft – While this script writing software is, it can also be used to write video game scripts!

String – While I’ve never used String, it is said to be a great way to write a non-linear story. Plus, you can post your work anywhere after you finish it to find other developers to help you work on it!

Inklewriter – While Inklewriter is technically a fixed beta, it makes a good alternative to Twine if you want to write a more interactive story rather than the branching style that Twine offers.

Remember that no matter what software you choose, it’s much better to have your game finished than unfinished. Even a completed assignment becomes something you can show off in your portfolio, so choose the software and style that suit you best, then write the game that is easiest for you.

Often it will be a simpler idea, so try not to write an RPG with a triple A the first time. The whole team is behind these types of games, so shoot something like Undertale or A Stanley Parable the first time.

Hi Patrick, this interview was published on February 26, 2014. But usually when you quote a website in a newspaper, you are quoting the date of entry to the website and not the date of publication as websites change all the time. Good luck with your paper!

What aspect of the job would be surprising to people looking in from the outside?

The radically collaborative nature of game development is often difficult to grasp from the outside. Good ideas come from everywhere, and everyone on the team must be open and receptive to them if they want the game to be successful. Some of my best ideas for story, characters and lines I get from designers, artists and animators… and I’ve contributed to a lot of design and art ideas.

Closing down in this industry is not going to help anyone. If you only think of your little piece of cake, your narrow discipline, you’ll lose the bigger picture and it could hurt the end quality of the game.

What kinds of talents and personality does it take to succeed as a Game Writer?

It takes a strange infusion of confidence, thick skin and humility to succeed in this job. Be confident in your work and your opinion, but be aware that this is only a small part of a larger whole. Sometimes you will have to sacrifice your best ideas for a greater goal.

You also need fortitude and fitness to work, remake, and rework your handwriting to suit the changing nature of the game. All games change during their development cycle, and writing is often the first suffering.

Fortunately, writing is also the easiest to change (before any of the actors get their hands on it), so you need to be flexible and willing to work hard.

Depending on who you work with, you may have a limited role; it all depends on the proposed storyboard. As a writer, you must create a masterful story to bring players into your game world.

Неделя 4

In the last week of class, we’ll start by checking out what a Game Design Document is and evaluating a few different templates you can use. Next, we’ll take a look at the story we built for last week’s The Shooter course and define it as a playable game described in the game’s design document.

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This is my favorite dish. Dariush teaches in such an engaging way and shows you how to have a creative yet objective and analyzed mindset to create stories and narratives for a video game.

It is very helpful. It covers all the basics of creating a good story, applicable to any form of media, and then focuses on turning the story into a game by adding interactive gameplay elements.

The course is really good and very informative and I recommend it to people. Though I didn’t like the fact that I wanted more examples for different types of games.

I am glad that I decided to enroll in this course. It opened my vision to a whole new world. Thank you very much. The professor is engaging and the course content is fascinating.

Games like Far Cry 5 are great examples of combining great typing with addictive gameplay. Both the open world and the story aspects of Ubisoft’s 2018 title complement each other perfectly.

What Degree is Needed To Be a Storyline Writer for Video Games?

If you want to be part of the gaming industry, you may want to find out if you need a degree to become a story writer for video games. Video game fans can appreciate it when a game has great gameplay features and has a great story to back them up. A great writer is able to work as part of a team while using his vast imagination to develop characters, scenes, stories, event triggers, and more. While having imagination is a requirement, it takes more than just your imagination to enter the industry as a screenwriter. Here’s your guide to choosing the right degree program if you want to compete for jobs in this highly competitive industry.

You can’t get a degree as a general writer and expect to get the first role to open up. If you want to get attention and learn what you need to know to become the best creative writer possible, you should get a focused degree. One of the popular majors you can choose right now is a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis on Creative Writing for Entertainment.

There may be many different titles for this kind of degree, but the purpose of this degree is the same. The degree will teach you the elements of creative writing, scriptwriting, animation, visual thinking, scriptwriting techniques, mythology, literary genres, and more. After completing the program you should be fluent and well versed in writing for all kinds of different genres of entertainment.

Earning a Degree in Video Game Development

Another option if you want to earn a degree specific to the gaming industry is to specialize in video game development or a related area. The previous degree will prepare you to work in all areas of entertainment, but the gaming degree will only focus on skills you need that are relevant only to the industry and not the entertainment as a whole. Since there are not many professions in games that require dedicated script writers, it can be very helpful to learn a lot of different skills so that you can wear multiple hats to be hired by a game developer. According to Bioware, in addition to being a screenwriter and story writer, you’ll learn the level design, programming, and other skills that leading gaming companies are looking for.

Not everyone can be successful in the gaming industry. If you want to position yourself in the fastest-growing entertainment field, you must have a passion for it. Game developers are gamers at heart. They have the creativity they need to write something unique and the attention to detail that is needed in an industry where fans are not afraid to choose a product in public. If you don’t have the innate writing skills and passion you need to move forward then you should look for a different calling.

According to Artistry in Games, you need to know how to make connections and be involved in getting a formal education if you want to make a name for yourself in the industry. While the job prospects in video game design and scriptwriting are not high, with the proper training and skill level, it’s not impossible to break through in the industry. If you have a vivid imagination that you want to use, you should start off by getting the degree needed to be a video game story writer.

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