My Two Cents: Writing for Games and Actually Liking Games
So in line with all this Hepler Hate, I just felt the absurd need to think out loud. Bear with me please.
Does one have to like games to write for games? No.
But will the outcome be good? I don’t know.
That’s the thing. I think it’s mostly difficult for someone who doesn’t love a certain medium to be able to do their best at it. It is possible to write for games without liking games but you have to, at the very least, like what you’re doing.
Creative endeavors are mostly personal. You’re giving birth to a strange entity and you present it to the world in the hopes that they will understand it and love it as much as you do. And writing, for whatever medium, is still a creative endeavor.
Things change depending on requirements of the higher-ups (you know, the ones paying for your creativity) and then you will have to revise, change the style, change the characters to come to a pleasant compromise. You still need to get paid after all.
You can’t do all these things without liking what you do.
This isn’t a reaction to what Hepler said or how the Internet responded but considering that I’m now sort of writing for a game, a simple one but a game nonetheless, this issue hits home.
It is true that writing for games is completely different from let’s say writing for a TV show or a movie. The treatment is completely different and I learned that the hard way. However, the technique is something that you can learn. The story, the dreams that you weave remains constant wherever you are.
Stephen King said in his book On Writing, ‘If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.’ This is true. This is true because how else are you going to get the necessary tools to write if your vocabulary is limited to grade school textbooks?
So how about if you want to write for games? Is it still true? Is it completely necessary for you to like playing games for you to write for it?
Let’s first answer the question what do you get from playing games. Well… you get gaming skills, you get exposure to different gameplay techniques, you get to have fun.
But does it improve your capability as a writer for games? Maybe.
You get to see how gameplay interacts with the story and that will certainly help you craft better dialogue choices. However, your skill as a writer is still by and large, improved by the appropriate toolset: vocabulary, grammar and an insatiable hunger for the unknown.
You get to understand more about how a normal person may interact with characters by playing lots of games. This is something that books, movies and TV shows do not have and this is what makes games occupy a completely different standard.
So let’s go back, do you have to like playing games for you to write for games? No, but it’s certainly going to be help.
Okay I’m done.
[Original post from: His Geeky Girlfriend: Writing for Games and Actually Liking Games]