View Full Version : writing for video games....
August 3rd, 2005, 09:13 PM
Here's a thought. I was thinking my newly completed trilogy today and I had one of those
light bulb moments the kind that make you go, "Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.........." What I think is that my books have all the earmarks of a REALLY great video game RPG...original story, swords, guns, bows, cross bows even dinosaurian bad guys and a NASA style space adventure.
Now, my question: Where/how do you go about submitting work to game companies for consideration? :cool:
August 3rd, 2005, 09:28 PM
When I was younger (like 8) I tried sending a letter to the company... that doesn't work, so you've eliminated one option. ;)
August 3rd, 2005, 09:56 PM
....Now, my question: Where/how do you go about submitting work to game companies for consideration? :cool:
This is what you really need an agent for. Let them market your trilogy for you to the gaming companies.
August 4th, 2005, 05:47 AM
Even that is unlikely, most developers have in-house writers who have specific qualifications for creating/adapting stories to storyboard and visual media. It's a massively difficult industry to get into because you have to consider that three games would be very expensive, almost all of the top-developers won't sanction more than one game at a time unless it's LOTR or Narnia. I'm not saying don't try but be sure that you will get a lot of knock-backs assuming you even get your foot in the door.
August 5th, 2005, 12:39 AM
If you want to see your story as a game, you'll have to make it yourself, or team up with some game developers and see if they're willing to work on it independently.
I know one game designer who spent two years making his own independent game ("Shantae" for Gameboy Color). He really wanted to see his story and characters as a game. Keep in mind, he worked at a game developer as the lead artist for ten years or so, and even in that position, he couldn't get a budget or a publisher for his independent game until the very END of the project. His team worked on it in their spare time. When the game was 90-95% complete, he shopped it around again, but most of the publishers didn't want to risk their marketing budget on an unknown title. One company offered to finance it ONLY if the characters were changed to the cast of "I Dream of Jeannie". He refused. Finally, after many months, Namco picked it up. But this was just before Gameboy Advance came out, and this guy (and his team) had developed for Gameboy Color. So his game was nearly obsolete by the time it finally came out.
On a happier side-note, the game sold very well, and he's just completed his second independent title, and may be able to do a sequel to the first.
If anyone's interested, here's his website:
The games are fun. I game tested "Shantae", and did some animation on "Sigma Star Saga".
August 5th, 2005, 07:17 AM
Yeah I think the best recent example is Alien Hominid which started life as a free flash game gaining massive amounts of hits on the internet and ended up as a console game. This is where the problem lies with gaming at the moment, it is very much a locked box in terms of allowing new people into the industry. The budgets are massive and as a result every game has to produce the sales or it's money down the drain, so there is no chance for young writers to cut their teeth - it's all or nothing. Added to which, as I mentioned, there really is a different skill writing for a game - you have to keep the gamer happy for 10+ hours not three or four in a book. Plus many of the set pieces and dialogue you have in your novel/s just wouldn't fit into actual gameplay, so the template would look sparse to begin with, which is when people start 'adding' to your work. There is work to be had but you really do need someone taking a chance on you unless you have the mother of all ideas :D
August 5th, 2005, 09:32 AM
I know that Orson Scott Card worked with a game developer for a FPS that recently came out - Advent Rising. I also briefly played a game based on the Wheel of Time series (it used an existing game engine, and wasn't very good). Finally, I remember Clive Barker put together a pretty slick game (Undying) awhile ago. I only played that briefly, but it was pretty good, very gothic. For the most part, though, games are based on movies (and usually suck) much more then books, or created by writers.
August 5th, 2005, 05:23 PM
Yeah Undying is now in the bargain bins unfortunately, I don't think Barker qualifies as mainstream enough to really sell games on name alone. A few other notables were the Feist Krondor game and Terry Pratchett's Discworld games, which were actually pretty good and kept very closely to what you expect from a TP book.
August 5th, 2005, 06:02 PM
I also briefly played a game based on the Wheel of Time series (it used an existing game engine, and wasn't very good).
I read some awful reviews for that game.
I think there are so many game ideas out there that pretty much no one has a chance anymore.... :( It would certainly be a tough job.
August 10th, 2005, 10:39 PM
Clive Barker has good marketing potential, and his game is in the bargain bin because it came out five or six YEARS ago. He's now working on an Xbox 360 title called Demonick, which will also be a major motion picture next year.
I haven't played Jordan's game, but it seems very bizarre to make a FPS based on WoT--unless it's like Morrowind--and I can tell from the reviews it just doesn't have that scope.
Advent Rising had tons going for it, and could've been great, but it was such a classic example of a game with potential but that has so little development and debugging that it's falling apart at the seams and can barely keep together, like a really old used car--the graphics are rusty, the voices sound pretty well oiled, the story is half-on the fender (and about twenty years to late--sorry, Card, David Brin and other people were here first), epic wheels that have treaded all over the galaxy, you can barely drive in a straight line, the lights don't always work, but man, she sure has a sense of humor! Oh yeah, and the radio is pretty good too, but they seem to play the same three songs over and over again interspaced with long periods of silence. Yep, Card's game marketed very well (especially if they had that "win 1 million dollars!" prize going on for a while), I'm pretty sure it sold a lot, but it didn't really deserve it. Not at all. I'm sad to say I bought that game, full-price.
Anyway, abou the OP's question: yep, it's hard getting in the door, but you could do several things:
1.) Publish and become a famous author that sells tons (or at least modestly.) Shop around and see what people think then.
2.) Form your own design house--you write the scripts, design characters, and outline stories, and they do all the other work--then shop out to publishers. (If it's like an RPG, Square, Enix, Square-Enix, Namco, Crave, and maybe even the official Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo publishers. The last three have been known to take new teams and give them a spotlight, though you won't have any sort of huge budget unless it has good marketing potential/you sudess the President of the company. They do so in hopes of making a franchise, like Sony with the awful game Killzone--that was supposed to be a huge FPS property. Well, it still is with the sequel, but not nearly as much.)
3.) The easiest one: join one of the new video game colleges or take specialized classes. For the former, people from the industry actually support the video game specific colleges and often shop around for hirees there, more so now than before--they love to go and pick out a few of the promising designers, a bunch of good programmers, etc. This should get better as games become more mainstream and sales grow, and the industry gets more respected.
By the way, OP, I think you just wrote the book version of Star Ocean 1, 2, and 3. Except I don't recall any dinosaurs.
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