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MrSquiffy

What should a portfolio for a narrative designer have in it?

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Hi there everyone, I hope this is the right forum to post this question in.

So a local games company is recruiting for a narrative designer position, and I'm interested in applying, but I'm not sure what they're looking for in the portfolio. What should the ideal portfolio consist of?

I know that videogame scripts are set out like screenplays, so I figure those are ideal, but would prose also be acceptable? I've never written a screenplay before, and while I think with a week or so over christmas I can fashion together a decent script, I would feel a lot more confident submitting some of my short stories instead. Should I submit my written work, or focus my efforts on making a decent screenplay? If the latter, how big a piece should it be? Any other tips in general?

Thank you for any help you can provide!

(Also, if it helps, I'm happy to provide links to some of my writing to demonstrate my style)

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If you're going to try to whip up something over the holiday break, see what you can do with the characters and storylines of that company's top game(s).

Videogame scripts aren't like screenplays exactly. In a screenplay, the actor can read the whole thing and figure out what his/her character's role is. But videogame scripts are often missing a lot of information that would inform an actor. Don't try to write the script for an entire game - just a couple of scenes that could show the depth of your writing.

To answer a question with more questions: the company is local, so where do you live? What degree do you have? What games have you worked on? Have you had any of your writing published, or used in media?

 

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Ah, thank you so much for your response! I'll do my best to answer your questions

 

  1. I live in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (it's Ubisoft Reflections that are hiring).
  2. BSc Games Design & Production Management, MA Creative Writing
  3. No games, at least not in a writing capacity (that said the job opening is explicitly listed as a 'Graduate' title, which I am, and also means that prior experience isn't needed (nor wanted, I think)
  4. Some short stories published in my uni's magazine, and a couple journalistic articles

 

Do you know of any sites to, say, get a hold of some videogame scripts? I think having a couple examples would definitely help me!

 

Thank you once again!

Edited by MrSquiffy
forgot to close bracket

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So you're applying at a triple-A company. Tall order! Your published stories definitely belong in the portfolio. Do try some dialogue for some of that studio's past games (especially the ones they'd likely continue with). https://reflections.ubisoft.com/games/ shows a wide variety of IPs. Try some dialogue for Tom Clancy, Far Cry, Watch Dogs...  Go get your hands on as many games as you can from that page. Read a real Tom Clancy novel or two. Understand what makes the characters tick, and how they talk (in those games, they're American tough guys mostly, but what life experiences made them that way?). Master American idiom (Americans say "elevator" instead of "lift," and "intersection" instead of "junction" or whatever Brits say - you can find info online). 

And no, I don't know offhand where you might find some scripts. You can try Googling, but don't count on finding much. You can also ask in the Writing forum. 

 

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