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GameDev Writing for Newbies

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Hello, everyone. I'm new in the GameDev community, and I'm an aspiring video game scriptwriter (preferably for plot and/or character development). I've been gaming virtually my entire life, and I'm fairly knowledgeable about the industry, but I'm pretty green as far as game writing goes. Does anyone know any good resources I can utilize while I'm just getting started? Thanks.

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I'm no professional by any means when it comes to writing for games but I can give you advice based on a consumer view point. When I read or hear a story in any game I want it to be very involving, something that's going to make you want to keep moving forward to know what happens next! Very much like the Metal Gear Solid series, very well known for their movie like experience. Cliff hangers in stories are a great way to keep gamers thriving for more story, assuming it's a good story to begin with. You must, have some sense of emotion with every character and a distinctive personality.

What I would suggest if you're not a programmer. Get Game Maker, learn it well. It's very basic to use and understand. Then write your story up and start making games using your talent of writing. Move your way up from there, join teams as a writer using your games for reference, ect...

Best of luck!

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If you are an aspiring game writer than you need to work on getting a writing degree and finding projects that need writers to donate your time to. Use experience with indie teams to show that you can work within groups and write for a game, not just yourself. School projects will help in demonstrating this as well.

Also note that game writers don't often start out as full-time positions. A lot of times you'll start off doing contract work with various companies and then if you find a company that really digs your work and has appropriate projects lined up, they'll hire you on full-time.

I'm not a game writer per se, but I'm a game designer who has had to do a bit of writing and story development as part of my job. If you haven't read it before then you should check out The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. It is a must read for ALL writers.

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Thanks, I'll be sure to pick that up!

One thing I'm especially interested in learning about is just all the steps in writing for a game, or for just parts in a game. What are the formats one needs to learn to write for plots, storyboards, character bios, etc.?

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Almost all writers will tell you that you aren't a true writer unless you read, so make sure you read. Working on your writing by any means helps too. Even writing short stories will help (in fact, I've written short stories to help create a background to the world I was creating).

Often times though for any voice actors or even readings you'll want a script, not a 'story'. Look up scripts online and get a feel for how they flow and try writing like they do (include how characters say things, camera angles, etc...). Scripts are a very different style of writing compared to a basic story, I've never gotten the hang of them.

For plots just make sure you understand inciting incident, build up, climax, resolution. Character bios are nice but won't always be necessary, if it helps you write then definitely use them. And storyboards are good and typically are always used, but if you're a writer and not an artist you might hit a wall and just have a bunch of stick figures. Storyboards help solidify the position of the camera and what the player sees and if you write that into the script you should be good.

That's my 2 cents at least.

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