Game writing internships - finding my first step into the industry.

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As I get closer to finishing college, not this final full year but two more terms after that (five terms total), where would I do to check out game writing internships? I'm looking to gain experience, as I have none. It would be great to find ways to write game reviews, test games, or start my career of writing game narratives. Ideally my ultimate goal is to write for 343 Industries on major Halo titles. I'd also like to give my hand to other series I like, recently established IP, or create new ones. But I need to take small steps first, or get very lucky and land working with Halo right out of college. That probably won't happen. I really want to find Xbox internships, to be honest. However, getting experience for both Xbox and Sony would be great. Xbox because I'm a big Xbox fan, Sony because of a few specific games. 

So what should I look out for? Advice? I'll start with talking to my English advisor. See what she says. 

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Be aware that the number of game writing internships worldwide can probably be counted on your fingers. Internships in the game industry are relatively rare, employed writing positions are very rare, and the intersection of those is rarer still. So by all means do pursue this, but do ensure your expectations are reasonable. You may want to focus on more common roles such as QA or designer (especially since designers often double up as writers).

I suggest:

  • work on your portfolio in your spare time, so that you have something to show companies
  • directly contacting companies of interest to ask about internships.
  • setting up Google Alerts for "game writing internship" and permutations of those terms
  • following the Twitter hashtag #gamejobs

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There are plenty of writing internships that aren't in the game industry, that could still be very useful in developing your writing skills and look good on a resume.  Just search "writing internship" or something similar on a  site like Indeed.com on you'll find tons of stuff from film studios, comic publishers, etc that might be nice.

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7 hours ago, Kylotan said:

Be aware that the number of game writing internships worldwide can probably be counted on your fingers. Internships in the game industry are relatively rare, employed writing positions are very rare, and the intersection of those is rarer still. So by all means do pursue this, but do ensure your expectations are reasonable. You may want to focus on more common roles such as QA or designer (especially since designers often double up as writers).

I suggest:

  • work on your portfolio in your spare time, so that you have something to show companies
  • directly contacting companies of interest to ask about internships.
  • setting up Google Alerts for "game writing internship" and permutations of those terms
  • following the Twitter hashtag #gamejobs

QA...thats just Question/Answer right? So that is all about testing a game and the developer's asking of my experiences, what needs fixing, what can stay? I'd love to find something like that. Testing in general would be great.

Designing would be great as well. However I have very little understanding of that. I can read books on game design for starters.

2 hours ago, JediEwok said:

There are plenty of writing internships that aren't in the game industry, that could still be very useful in developing your writing skills and look good on a resume.  Just search "writing internship" or something similar on a  site like Indeed.com on you'll find tons of stuff from film studios, comic publishers, etc that might be nice.

That can work too. 

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30 minutes ago, Matthew Birdzell said:

QA...thats just Question/Answer right? So that is all about testing a game and the developer's asking of my experiences, what needs fixing, what can stay? I'd love to find something like that. Testing in general would be great.

No, it's Quality Assurance. (QA is not the same thing as Q&A.) QA is not necessarily the best way in, but it is a way to get your foot in the door of the industry if you're not a programmer, artist, or designer. It is about testing games, and it involves writing. Read all about it at http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson5.htm 

30 minutes ago, Matthew Birdzell said:

Designing would be great as well. However I have very little understanding of that. I can read books on game design for starters.

Start with this video: 

 

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1 minute ago, Tom Sloper said:

No, it's Quality Assurance. It's a way to get your foot in the door of the industry. It is about testing games, and it involves writing. Read all about it at http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson5.htm 

Start with this video: 

 

Ohhh haha. I didn't think of Quality Assurance. Haha

Extra Credits...I've watched several of their videos. This one? I dont remember. Ill watch it anyhow.

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You have a few very specific goals.

It's one thing to be a super fan boy, and dream of writing for your favorite franchise/ game, It's another to just get in the door to be a writer.

Is your major English, journalism or something like that?

The thing is, writing is a tough gig to get, everyone who can type thinks they can be a writer. Often or not, it usually comes down to who has formal writing background/ experience. Writers often excel in English composition classes, and usually have their own private portfolios of work.

If you don't have that, I'd look into getting some words down somewhere. Although I personally don't blog, it can be a way of getting yourself out there. Blogging is not really serious writing tho.

Most writing jobs will require familiarity with script writing. (For creative writing).

If however, you want to write reviews and news articles, look at some of your favorite outlets, and see the style they have. 

Technical writing is also where a lot of the jobs are at now a days, that;s not really sexy work, but it can establish your cred as a serious writer. 

Are you good at research?

Writing and research often go hand in hand, it's expected that if you write something, you have the data to back it up.

The other thing to consider is that writing is an often denigrated role in the  game industry. I personally think it's because it;s such a masterful role in all other industries, where writing is king.

Also, It's important to note, that writing for games usually is writing all that is necessary for the game, like menu options, descriptions, it's not all boundless lore.

Unless you get in at the ground floor of a project, you also won't likely be the one who is writing the overviews and the major plot points. All that core work is done by the lead writer often then not. In other words, you often don't get to choose what your writing about. 

Not to mention, there is a whole style and form for writing interactive narratives, vs. the standard game narrative/ lore.

I'd start asking yourself more questions as to what kind of writing you want to do, rather than just where you'd like to do it.

 

 

 

   

 

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On 9/26/2017 at 4:26 PM, GeneralJist said:

You have a few very specific goals.

It's one thing to be a super fan boy, and dream of writing for your favorite franchise/ game, It's another to just get in the door to be a writer.

Is your major English, journalism or something like that?

The thing is, writing is a tough gig to get, everyone who can type thinks they can be a writer. Often or not, it usually comes down to who has formal writing background/ experience. Writers often excel in English composition classes, and usually have their own private portfolios of work.

If you don't have that, I'd look into getting some words down somewhere. Although I personally don't blog, it can be a way of getting yourself out there. Blogging is not really serious writing tho.

Most writing jobs will require familiarity with script writing. (For creative writing).

If however, you want to write reviews and news articles, look at some of your favorite outlets, and see the style they have. 

Technical writing is also where a lot of the jobs are at now a days, that;s not really sexy work, but it can establish your cred as a serious writer. 

Are you good at research?

Writing and research often go hand in hand, it's expected that if you write something, you have the data to back it up.

The other thing to consider is that writing is an often denigrated role in the  game industry. I personally think it's because it;s such a masterful role in all other industries, where writing is king.

Also, It's important to note, that writing for games usually is writing all that is necessary for the game, like menu options, descriptions, it's not all boundless lore.

Unless you get in at the ground floor of a project, you also won't likely be the one who is writing the overviews and the major plot points. All that core work is done by the lead writer often then not. In other words, you often don't get to choose what your writing about. 

Not to mention, there is a whole style and form for writing interactive narratives, vs. the standard game narrative/ lore.

I'd start asking yourself more questions as to what kind of writing you want to do, rather than just where you'd like to do it.

 

 

 

   

 

I was trying to enroll in my universities' BFA program last year. They created a new English degree that cut classes out and had more flexible requirements. So yeah I'm doing English with Writing Minor but taking as many writing classes as English. It gets me out of my long college career faster than the BFA would.

You bring up great points. What writing do I want to do? I want to write epic stories, simple stories, or experimental/mix mashing of genre stories. Science fiction, fantasy, military sci fi, futuristic/post-apocalyptic, action adventure. The styles of writing that go with those, and my own style.

Yeah I know writing it a tough gig. However, in the game industry its also very unique. There's nothing out there like writing game stories and working on them.

I'd be more than happy to write other stuff like menus, what you see in a world, objectives - the small things. Not just three act narratives.

I have a fantasy short story I'm revising. I revised it once during school last school year. If this can be published one day it would be fantastic. 

Edited by Matthew Birdzell

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