2nd Edition

Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing





ISBN 9780367184773
Published April 27, 2020 by CRC Press
318 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

USD $49.95

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Book Description

This second edition of Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing is updated with new chapters and new authors, but it’s still a no-nonsense guide to the professional craft of writing for video games. Not only does the text cover story and narrative elements, but it also addresses dialogue, documentation, and strategy guides. Seasoned video game writers each address a different topic, including the best way to break into the video game industry, how to be an efficient part of a team, and the principles of narrative design. The book also offers script samples, technical writing advice, effective writing tips, and suggestions for how to innovate in game narrative.

 

Key Features

  • Comprehensive enough for veterans and accessible enough for novices
  • Goes into detail about how to write tutorials, script doctoring, and writing for AAA games
  • Delivers invaluable experiences directly from writers in the games industry
  • Full of practical advice from industry pros on how to get a job, and then how to get the job done

Author Bio

Wendy Despain has more than two decades of experience spearheading digital media projects. She has worked with teams around the world as a writer, narrative designer, producer, and consultant on interactive experiences ranging from video games to augmented reality. She’s worked with EA, Disney, Ubisoft, Cartoon Network, PBS, Marvel, and Wargaming. Currently, she’s a Production Director at ArenaNet, makers of the Guild Wars franchise.

Her books include:

  • Writing For Videogame Genres: From FPS to RPG
  • Talking to Artists/Talking to Programmers

100 Principles of Game Design

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 ◾ Getting Writing Jobs in Video Games 1

Wendy Despain, NCSoft, Quantum Content, International Hobo

Chapter 2 ◾ Game Script Formatting 11

Wendy Despain, NCSoft, Quantum Content, International Hobo

Chapter 3 ◾ Documentation for Writers 21

John Feil, Paizo

Chapter 4 ◾ Writing Instructions, Helptext, Walkthroughs,

and Manuals: Text to Train the Player 37

John Feil, Paizo

Chapter 5 ◾ Writing Tutorials: Write “Start” to Start 53

Andrew S. Walsh, Guerrilla Games, Sony

Chapter 6 ◾ Practical Techniques for Productivity:

Getting the Work Done 89

Wendy Despain, NCSoft, Quantum Content, International Hobo

Chapter 7 ◾ Collaborating with Art, Design, and

Engineering 99

Anthony Burch, Santa Monica Studio

Chapter 8 ◾ Writing for AAA Games: Playing in the

Big Leagues 105

Marek Walton, Crystal Dynamics

Chapter 9 ◾ Writing for Indie Games 121

Wendy Despain, NCSoft, Quantum Content, International Hobo

Chapter 10 ◾ Game Writing Remotely: How to Pay the

Rent Working from Home 127

Tracy A. Seamster, Independent Contractor

Chapter 11 ◾ Game Writing On Staff 139

Samantha Wallschlaeger, Monolith Productions

Chapter 12 ◾ Keeping Localization in Mind: When Game

Narrative Travels Abroad 153

Ross Berger, Electronic Arts, Amazon

Chapter 13 ◾ Writers in the Recording Studio 165

Haris Orkin, Independent Contractor

Chapter 14 ◾ Writing for Existing Licenses 185

Heidi McDonald, Independent Contractor

Chapter 15 ◾ Writing for New IP 197

Rhianna Pratchett, Independent Contractor

Chapter 16 ◾ Script Doctoring 219

Richard Dansky, Central Clancy Writer, Ubisoft

Chapter 17 ◾ Writing Compelling Game Characters 235

William Harms, Narrative Director, Hangar 13

Chapter 18 ◾ Hiring Philosophies: We Can Do Better 243

Tom Abernathy, Studio Narrative Director, ArenaNet

Chapter 19 ◾ If It Works, Break It: Game Narrative Tropes

and Innovation 257

Maurice Suckling, Independent Contractor, Professor of

Practice, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

APPENDIX A ◾ CALL OF JUAREZ: GUNSLINGER SCRIPT

SAMPLE–SCREENPLAY FORMAT, 271

APPENDIX B ◾ BRATZ: FOREVER DIAMONDZ SCRIPT

SAMPLE–MODIFIED SCREENPLAY FORMAT, 289

APPENDIX C ◾ BARKS AND TASK SPREADSHEET, 291

APPENDIX D ◾ CASTING SIDES FOR CALL OF JUAREZ, 301

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Author(s)

Biography

Wendy Despain has two previous books in game design with CRC Press (and one with New Riders), teaches game design at Full sail Unversity and is a sought after contract game designer. Her also writes for Gamasutra and is formewewer Chair of the IGDA's Game Writign SIG.