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Katie Bennett

Game Writing test

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Hello, first time posting - and doing this at work - so do let me know if there's an introduction thread I should be posting in first.

I've been asked by a studio I massively admire to submit some writing samples to them - 3 samples, 10 or fewer pages. I have a prose sample prepared, which they've expressed interest in, and the other two should ideally be game writing/'screenplay'. My question is... what kind of 'game writing' is suitable for situations like this? I have a sample I previously prepared for another writing test, primarily testing character concept ability and battle chatter. 

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It's impossible to second-guess what the studio is looking for, but some ideas might include:

  • Conversation/dialogue between characters. Bonus points for alternative responses or a branching conversation tree.
  • Flavour text on characters, places, items, etc., suitable for display in-game on the inventory, tooltips, etc.
  • Diary or journal entries as found on items in-game.
  • Cut-scene screenplay/shooting script.
  • A treatment of a full game story, focusing tightly on character development and structure.

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Katie, write samples geared to the kind of games the studio makes. If they make WWII games, write squad dialog. If they make cartoon games for kids, write kid cartoon scenes.

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Hmmm... I know a lot of AAA devs request a sample of narrative script (typically about 10 pages).

In these sample pages it is ideal to do as Tom Sloper suggests and gear the narrative towards that studio's specialty.

You might also want to show some form of character development within these pages, just so the characters aren't bland and 2d.

It also wouldn't hurt to include a summary of what the game you are making is about. (about 1 page long) 

It would help even further if you include character bios for any of the people in this sample script, as well as backgrounds to any fictional places, factions, events, etc. 

Since these are going to basically be a part of your resume, make sure you type out and print your work using a clear and concise font. Put it in a 3 ring binder, with the little plastic protector sleeves so it looks nice and neat. Oh and don't forget a title page. Good luck and congratulations! :)

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Hello everyone! Thank you so much for your pointers, thanks to them I've got a good little battle plan and some drafts I think will really go down well :)

 

@Kylotan Regarding branching conversation trees, how might that be formatted/presented? I have a sample which, while starting with a short cutscene, would really go well multiple dialogue options.

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5 hours ago, Katie Bennett said:

Regarding branching conversation trees, how might that be formatted/presented?

The same way a "choose your adventure" book works. Depending on a choice the reader makes, send them to a particular page or numbered section. 

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On 11/16/2017 at 3:11 PM, Katie Bennett said:

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for your pointers, thanks to them I've got a good little battle plan and some drafts I think will really go down well

 

@Kylotan Regarding branching conversation trees, how might that be formatted/presented? I have a sample which, while starting with a short cutscene, would really go well multiple dialogue options.

When I had to do the similar thing I first made a draft of the branches in one note and later took into illustrator and arranged them neatly. If at all you come across another way of presenting it do let me know !

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You could also make your branching dialog into a simple HTML site where you click links to choose the lines, or make a Twine game from it.

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I agree with what many have said here, and as for formatting, if nothing else, Google up some game scripts of this nature, you might be surprised by what you find.

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