• Vivek Chakraverty

  • Let's Create

What writing for video games is all about? 

Welcome to the creative quest of writing for video games! Maybe you have a degree in creative writing, perhaps you are plain creative and have a way with words. Whatever it is, welcome to this moment of choice- do you really want to be a game writer? Before you decide on that, it is only logical to do some study on the subject. This introductory piece of game writing will help you decide. You might choose to cultivate art as a hobby, as a part-time work source, get a job writing for games, or not do it at all! No matter how your game writing quest turns out, we are here for help!

Featured Image Courtesy-League of Geeks

Quest 1- Meet the new cool kid

The interactivity aspect of games makes it different. It stands apart from almost everything else we know. Having said that, it must be accepted that game writing is closer to dramatic writing than traditional fiction. The medium resembles films and TV more than any novel or other function type. Game consumption is something that is unique and separate from other media forms. Game writing differs from all other creative writing branches. Consider the fact that dramatic stories are enacted out for viewing. Novels and short stories, on the other hand, are primarily meant to be read. But a game is unlike any of them.

Quest 2- Defeat Lord Voldemort in magic and say I love challenges.

The interactivity of a game presents some never experienced before challenges. The writer, with little experience trying to write for video games, faces a difficult task. The crucial thing he has to account for is that the player is an active participant in the narrative. In a novel or story or any other form of creative writing, the writer was God. But in games, it is the players who want to be God-like. He has determining choice, and his powers in the narration black magic are almost the equal of Voldemort! While writing for video games the writer cant ignore or bypass this issue for his games to be successful. He must rise up to the challenge (and subscribe to our blog?).

Quest 3- Go to the beautiful blue river where there is no water.

Computing power continues to increase every year. So, 3D worlds are getting pretty close to real-life by the day. But that’s only the surface. A setting is just a setting without characters and stories making it relevant. It’s a lot like a thirsty person coming to a beautiful, fresh blue river without water to drink from it. No matter how beautiful 3D locales are, if the story and dialog are half-baked, the game simply does not make the cut. A compelling story told through enjoyable game mechanics is what is needed. That is what needs to serve as the differentiators.

Quest 4- Head towards the game hub and talk to the plot designer.

Writing for video games is getting more and more complex, and the game world big and eventful. This is resulting in the super-specialization of game writing skills. A game writer might be in a team to simply write dialogues. One dedicated master storyteller might have been tasked to figure out only the story, and so on. Pure narrative games may be coming to an end, but game stories remain as relevant as ever.

Quest 5- Ask the Demon- which type of game use stories the most

Some game genres are more inclined towards stories than others. In fact, many titles of these genres can indeed be considered as story-driven titles. These include:

  • Action Games
  • Adventure games
  • Horror or Survival Games
  • First-person shooter games
  • Platformers
  • Fantasy RPG

The other game genres apart from the ones we mention above need specialized narrative attention. This kind of diversity and mastery of a skill is beyond the scope of one single game writer to handle. They call for super-specific skills that most of us don’t have. At least, early on in our game writing career.

The very key to a successful game writing exercise consists of two parts.

  • Writing compelling stories and
  • Creating characters that players can identify with

A game writer needs to effectively endow a game with these attributes to finish the quest. This combination makes it likely that the player will be ready to invest himself emotionally with the game. If you can do this, you have successfully carried out your part in the video game writer jobs.

 

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