Game Development Reference
Many people who attend conferences have a very tight schedule, so it is
not always possible to find people to talk to on the day. Try to work out a
schedule of your own and arrange brief introductory meetings in advance.
Call up the developer or publisher, find out who will be attending the event
and make an appointment with them. Only ever ask for ten minutes of their
time - if you cannot sell yourself in ten minutes you may need to work
harder on pitching your skills. If the potential client is interested you can
always follow up with more details after the show or you could arrange a
further meeting over lunch or in the evening.
Ensure that you have a plentiful supply of business cards and a number of
folders containing writing samples. However, never give away your samples
unless the other person specifically asks. Not only is there the likelihood that
they will get lost or left somewhere but they may fall into the wrong hands,
you may also risk alienating the other person by giving them something they
did not ask for. Most visitors to conventions are given a lot of stuff they carry
around all day and may resent you adding to their burden.
During the week following the convention you should send out e-mails
or make follow-up phone calls in which you thank the person for their time
- even if they showed little or no interest - and expand on the conclusion of
the meeting where relevant. Even meetings which did not go well should be
followed up courteously because you rely on the network of developers and
publishers, who often know each other, to make your living. Offending
people or being rude to them will probably be passed around very quickly.
Keeping yourself marketable
Reading this topic alone is not going to turn you into a games writer - you
must also play games to understand how they work. If you do not enjoy
playing games it is difficult to see how your writing skills can be applied to
game development in a convincing way.
Playing a large number of full games is not always feasible for a busy
writer, but as most games have a demo version, either downloadable or on a
magazine cover disc, it is possible to get to play a huge variety of game styles
at little or no cost. Be sure to play games on both PC and console, to
understand the different approaches to the interface that are necessary to
adapt to the controllers for each platform.The handheld consoles have some
similarity to the larger consoles, but it is worth being aware of how they
work, the limitations of the platform and how they use new features like
touch sensitive screens.