Game Development Reference
aspect compared to design, programming and art, but if their game is one that
uses story and dialogue as part of its gameplay you should attempt to
convince them that what you offer will add enormously to the quality of the
game, improve the review scores and help the overall sales.
Of course, there are plenty of developers who value good writing but may
feel that they have this covered by their in-house staff.This may well be the
case, but if you approach them diplomatically you may convince them that
your additional experience will add further richness to their game. Often in-
house writers have a dual role and do this work alongside their main role as
game designers. While this does not preclude them from being a good and
experienced writer, their design duties may seriously reduce the amount of
time they are able to spend on the writing which could suffer as a result. One
possible approach when in discussion with a developer is how a dedicated
writer has none of the other, highly important, tasks that could act as a
possible distraction from producing quality writing.
One of the hardest parts of obtaining writing work is getting yourself in
front of the developer. Be very wary of how you approach developers and
always do your research so that you understand the type of games the
company creates and you have contact names to approach directly.
Sending cold calling e-mails can be fraught with problems because with-
out the right approach it may be seen as spam and you have lost your
opportunity. Not only will you not get any work, you may not even get a
reply, which is not necessarily rudeness on their part but a failure on yours.
If you approach the developer by e-mail, make sure you word it so that it
does not read like a form letter - not only would this show you in a poor
light, it would also be rather insulting to the person receiving it as most
people have the ability to spot a form letter.
Cold calling is never going to be a good way to find work as most people
are very unreceptive towards it.You therefore need alternative ways to look
for the writing work: consider becoming involved in the gaming community
to some degree or other.
Joining the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) can be
very useful, particularly if they have a chapter which is local to you. The
IGDA is an excellent resource for all kinds of game development infor-
mation, and also has specific information for writers in the form of the Game
Writers Special Interest Group, which gives the opportunity for game writers
to chat with each other online or to meet up at organised events during
game conferences and shows.