- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- How to Write
Write for Video Games
5 Differences between Screenwriting and Video Game Writing
So... I'm trained as a screenwriter. And, I've also written creatively for years before that. Recently I started writing for a game. As this is my first video game, I've been going about my own research for the project.
Just wanted to share some of what I've found.
1.) When you're writing for a game, you're communicating with the game developers, as well as the audience, just as you would in a screenplay. In a screenplay, moreover, action describes what the director, crew, art director, costumes, makeup, ect. etc needs to construct and achieve to form what the audience sees on screen. Alternatively, the dialogue are the words that the audience will hear. For a videogame, you must also write the "action" so that the game designers can construct the look of each character, the setting, objects... ect. But, the dialogue or any written story is the what the player will see and/or hear.
2.) As a video game writer you are also writing descriptions of the game. These descriptions could be on the back of the video game package, or on websites, or wherever. If you're a screenwriter, your job stops with the script. So that's a little different.
3.) As a video game writer you're there as the writer through pre-production, production, and post-production. In film, your job ends after the script is done in pre-production and handed off to other writers during production, or the story can be edited in post. As a video game writer you are there with the story until the end.
4.) Instead of fixing errors in post, like you would do in film, errors are "fixed in story." Meaning the writer comes up with a way to explain away errors in the story of the game.
5.) Video Game Writers are wanted. There is a need for creative writers on video game teams. So if you're interested, start writing! Read Wendy Despain's book "Writing for Video Game Genres" to learn the lingo, and the craft so you can get your first gig.