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Herakuraisuto

How can a writer distinguish himself/herself while looking for a job?

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Herakuraisuto    101

Pretty much what the title says. I'm hoping to gain some insight into what game developers look for when they receive resumes from -- and interview -- writers.

 

What skills sets are they looking for? What differentiates a good video game writer from a writer in another entertainment medium?

 

Specifically, I'm wondering how to play up a professional journalism career. I've been at it for more than a decade and I work for an exceptionally great newspaper, the kind of newspaper people spend their careers trying to reach. I'm very, very grateful to be where I am, especially in this economy, and I don't plan on leaving my job any time soon.

 

But at some point I'd like to leave the grind of journalism, and I'd love to be part of something like the Mass Effect series.

 

Any project directors or hiring managers around who can offer some tips?

 

Cheers

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Tom Sloper    16040

1. What skills sets are they looking for?

2. What differentiates a good video game writer from a writer in another entertainment medium?

3. Specifically, I'm wondering how to play up a professional journalism career.

4.Any project directors or hiring managers around who can offer some tips?

 

1. Awesome storytelling/script-writing chops, proven through credits and reviews and samples.

 

2. Obviously, knowledge of games - especially game stories -- all the way from Professor Layton on up through Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2.

 

3. Journalism is the wrong background.  A background as a screenwriter, TV writer, comic book writer, or even novelist would be MUCH better.

 

4. Yes. You just heard from one.  See http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson32.htm and http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson41.htm and http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson54.htm

 

Edit: I just noticed that I didn't answer the subject line question.  Best way to distinguish yourself while looking for a job is to get yourself credited as a writer in some games -- indie games would do.

... Hellachrist?

Edited by Tom Sloper

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DaveTroyer    1060

I'll add a little snippet in here, 'cause that's what I like to do. biggrin.png

 

I'd also look into other avenues of creative media like comic writing, novels, writing for indie films/animations; anything that needs a creative writer. Where ever you can get some more of that creative writing on your resume, the better.

 

I'm no expert, but when I think of hiring a journalist to write for my games, I think they'll be pretty good at typing, but either be real opinionated person or want to work strictly on their previous field of expertise. So if you wrote a retraunt and food review, then I'll think you want to write about food. Now that's not saying that that's what you or anyone wants to do, but that's how some could see it. So by broadening your portfolio and resume, you let them know you aren't a one trick pony.

 

And who knows, you might have written for a graphic novel that your dream developer had as a major influence in their game, making you really valuable to them.

 

All in all, it's a numbers game. The more things you try, the more you have to offer. The more you offer, the more likely you're to do what you want. biggrin.png

 

Hope I was some help and best of luck!

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Amadeus H    1180

Build on your strengths as a journalist as you branch into other areas of writing. You write short, snappy and easily digestable pieces of work compared to many novelists. And you're a rockstar with deadlines. I think with a little training it is easy to transfer these skillsets to games, movies and TV (and, of course, books).

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