Any use for a writer?

Apprentice
Posts: 18
Joined: 2003.12
Post: #1
I browsed the "Help wanted/offered"-category and I noticed that there aren't any announcements for a story writer. Of course most of the games made by the jolly people here need no or very little extra content outside smooth gameplay, because they tend to be arcade games or RPGs/action-adventures small enough for the programmer to write his own story.

The stories I write tend to be pretty long, so I was wondering is there any use for my services? How I'd write them would work so that I complete a story of my own and then ask whether or not people would be interested about it. Even though I've received a lot of positive feedback from my rpg's plot, it was my first attempt ever to write fiction. I'm not confident enough that I could work under a deadline to write something that just about anybody else could accomplish by themselves. I wouldn't even ask money, because I'd do it for the sheer joy of writing and seeing my work accepted and put into a game. I've noticed that an interesting story can make even a bad game playable, because it forces the player to see it to the end.
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Post: #2
Rincewind Wrote:I browsed the "Help wanted/offered"-category and I noticed that there aren't any announcements for a story writer.

You are right, and that fact came up in a recent discussion:
http://www.idevgames.com/forum/showthrea...ge=1&pp=15
Very interesting thread, once someone who actually knew something about writing stories showed up.
Quote:The stories I write tend to be pretty long, so I was wondering is there any use for my services? How I'd write them would work so that I complete a story of my own and then ask whether or not people would be interested about it.

This sounds like fun, but one might consider whether writing a story and then trying to make a game out of it might be less than ideal, much like writing a game and then tacking a story onto it. The best trick would be to collaborate on story and game together. Or, maybe your stories are best be left as stories?

Having said that, most of the industry doesn't use story in their games very well so the bar is set pretty low. By all means, carry on! If nothing else, maybe if you post a sample you will inspire someone with it, or get asked to write some background story or dialog.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Post: #3
Yeah, please post a sample or a short story or something.

I'm actually working on a RPG engine(altough it's not exactly a "normal" RPG engine, more like a point-and-click mixed with action RPG engine), altough it's a project that I'm just working on a bit once in a while so I doubt it will be ready anytime soon, but I don't have any good story to go for it. Then again, I'm not that bad at writing myself.

And as MattDiamond said, the story of most games(including "story-rich" games as RPGs etc) are rather lousy.

"Gameplay Uber Alles. And if you can make it psychedelic too, great!" - Jeff Minter
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Post: #4
MattDiamond Wrote:This sounds like fun, but one might consider whether writing a story and then trying to make a game out of it might be less than ideal, much like writing a game and then tacking a story onto it. The best trick would be to collaborate on story and game together. Or, maybe your stories are best be left as stories?

Having said that, most of the industry doesn't use story in their games very well so the bar is set pretty low. By all means, carry on! If nothing else, maybe if you post a sample you will inspire someone with it, or get asked to write some background story or dialog.

I phrased my first post badly. I have several stories, but there are only two of them. The first one is my rpg, for which I have even designed all the gameplay elements. The story is still in writing stage and it will probably stay unfinished till early 2005, because my 362 days of national military service starts on January 10th Sad . I'll be home for the weekends, but you get three guesses about do I have enough strength to do anything else than sleep and rest. The second one is an idea for a science fiction story and I already have the beginning and the end planned out.

Why I've chosen to concentrate on writing is because of some advice that I shouldn't even bother designing games, if I don't know programming. That way I'd always be asking the impossible and wouldn't be able to write design docs accurate enough. I've received praise for both my rpg's story and game mechanics and you can read an idea for another game I planned out. It took me a lot of time to get rid of my n00bish idea of making the next great game in 3D right away. Heck, I even realized that I could ought buying a 12" iBook instead of a 15" Powerbook, because I'd have enough challenge with 2D-games for years to come. But when I finally realized it, it was too late starting to learn programming, so that I'd still remember it after my army service.

Summare summarum, I'd be willing to put together all the gameplay features too for my stories, because I love to do that too. But as long as I don't know much about programming (thought I'd buy BlitzMax or DreamCard to fix that), any game designing, except to make some progress in my japanese rpg is put on hold to finish my stories.
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Post: #5
Rincewind Wrote:Why I've chosen to concentrate on writing is because of some advice that I shouldn't even bother designing games, if I don't know programming. That way I'd always be asking the impossible and wouldn't be able to write design docs accurate enough.

Pure Rubbish. I don't know programming and I made Antack and DeadDays, with the help of a programmer of course Smile Such advice reminds me of my entire childhood:
"I want to be a chemist when I grow up"
"You have to be good at math"
"I want to be an astronmer when I grow up"
"You have to be good at Math"
"I want to be a game designer when I grow up"
"You have to be good at math"
"I've been programming BASIC since I was 10, I'm 22 I want to take the BASIC college class"
"You have to pass algebra as prerequisite for BASIC 101"

Yeah well I'm 34 now and my math skills still suck hard enough that light can't escape from it. But now, after only three years of actively particpating in game design, I'm an "award winning" game designer and I've learned Revolution hands on by building a 3D game editor so.... foooie to people with bad advice. If I had accepted other peoples view of my personal limitations I'd be stuck designing crappy print ads until I died.

Definately keep writing, you will be able to turn some of your ideas into games.
Writing is all about the editing, nothing is ever perfect in the first draft, so variations of your plots to fit game mechanics are to be expected, just like editing a five hundred page novel, or fifteen page short story to make a script for a ninety minute movie.

If you get DreamCard I'll license the iGame3D external, then you will have the full power of a 3D engine at your disposal, and you can learn programming with it by fixing whatever random bugs I send you in the stacks. Cool
At the very least, if you can't build a full fledged game from that while learning, then you can make Machinama movies, something I wish I had the time and concentration to do.

Good luck in the military, hope your country doesn't get suckered into supporting American Imperialism in the next 12 months.
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Apprentice
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Post: #6
Thanks for your post, Bill. Guess I'll just continue working with whatever I wish then. At the moment Dreamcard feels like a very strong candidate. TransScript looks very easy to use - probably more easy to use than BlitzMax - and iGame3D external indeed sounds awesome. However, I had thought about concentrating on 2D-game development first. I haven't found any other use for the third dimension than it would make everything maybe a little lifelike and a lot more difficult to design/program. I can't even imagine how much work would Modular Boy be in 3D instead of 2D. Oh, and I can't believe I'm finally thinking like this compared to what my expectations were for any game I wanted to create, when I first arrived here Grin
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