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How to get a writing job at a studio?

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Do I need to send samples? How many pages? Or do I need to have a written book launched already?

Do I need to be NATIVE to the english language? Do I need to work in-house?

What makes them choose me?

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Um, they probably have a list of requirements somewhere on their website. If they have any business sense at all. Go Google a bunch of game companies and look at what they ask for. Then, you can put together a general application package and tailor it for each comapny you apply to.

ETA: Also, what the mod said. XD

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Couldn't find a draft of a job posting for a writer on the FAQ so thought I would post this as well so you have an idea of what to expect:

Position Overview:
A member of the writing team, involved in the creation and of written, spoken and FMV content in Total War games, and in continuing the AAA status of the series.

Key Responsibilities [color="#0000ff"][This will be the part that changes a lot depending on the company/job but the gist is usually the same]:
Research and create written content to maximise clarity and flavour of gameplay features.
Work as part of the writing team to resolve text issues as they emerge during development.
Critically review written content at every stage of a game’s development.
Level of seniority and responsibility will be related to experience and performance.


  • A strong academic background (including 2:1 degree or equivalent) [color="#0000ff"][All I have seen have asked for some sort of writing degree or a degree in general as a requirement or a bonus]At least two of the following:

    • A very good standard of written English [color="#0000ff"][All have said something similar so no you don't need to be a native speaker you just need to good at writing in English]
    • A creative, practical and self-critical problem solver
    • Resourceful, self-motivated and organised
    • Good communications skills to work with artists, programmers, producers, management and marketing staff [color="#0000ff"][Aka you just need to be able to work in a team but that goes for most jobs really]
    • Experience in working on at least one published strategy or RPG game (or critically acclaimed modding/fan-created additional content) [color="#0000ff"][They either ask for this or some proof you can actually write (a portfolio) - They often say something like "X years on a published AAA title" but from what I know it's just about proving you can do the work]
    • A fan of the Total War series [color="#0000ff"][They often want you to be a fan of the series or genre you will be working on]
    • Working knowledge of MS Office software [color="#0000ff"][All of the ones I have read have required this]
    • Enthusiasm for many types of games (not just PC or console titles) [color="#0000ff"][I have seen this a lot, but its also in posts for any job in the industry. So like Tom said in the FAQ just play games]For a more senior position, the following is also desirable [color="#0000ff"][These are pretty much an advanced version of the previous requirements. If you're new to writing don't expect to hit any of them but keep them in mind as this to work towards as you work your way through the industry]:

      • Experience as a writer on at least two full games from inception to successful launch of a strategy or RPG title
        And ideally:
      • An excellent grasp of game mechanics, especially within the strategy genre, so that you can explain them clearly
      • A body of published work showing a proven ability to deliver text of a commercial standard
      • A good understanding of the game development process, including technical limitations and opportunitiesThe above job description is a guide to the work you may be required to undertake but does not form part of your contract of employment and will, in all probability, change from time to time to reflect changing circumstances.


        • Experience managing other designers & creating design schedules beneficial
        • Using an intranet or Wiki for design documentation.[/quote]The Creative Assembly job posts, of which this is an example, tend to give a very good idea of what other companies will also want. I have made anything I have seen regularly, which pertains to writing jobs anyway, bold. The rest will crop up in one way or another in any job postings but they tend to just be "go to" requirements companies put in so keep them in mind as well. Anything in blue is me commenting.

          I know these posts tend to be kind of ominous to a new writer but most companies only require a candidate to hit a certain number of the criteria so there's often no harm in applying even if you aren't a perfect fit.

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I have heard many times and read many cases that a relevant degree can be bypassed with strong work experience. Build a portfolio by doing work for companies and work your way up - start with a free trial arrangement then negotiate pay later.

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