Yeah I want to write video games!!
Recent here on Medium, I ran across, (and shared on Facebook) an article with the title
“I Want to Write Video Games”
and then right below it
Do you? Do you really? Be honest with me.
It’s all right here. Well worth the read. The Tips are pure gold.
A challenge! Well that’s what went through my head anyways. My head went to retort “Look fucker, you think I don’t know my own mind? You shut up. I know what’s what and I know what I want” and well you get the idea. Then I noticed it was written my David Gaider, as in Dragon Age grand pooba David Gaider, as in I will sit at you feet and learn from you for 50 years and then unleashed, to walk the earth. This is the shit. I mean he’s really been there, he’s not some computer programmer that that shoe horns a story into some pretty pixels. There is a plot and character development and a whole story arc, and this was created whole and everything was created around it.
Well not really.
The fact is writing in any industry is always going to be dicey. Most of the time you have to perform your art in a little box, and maybe do it over several times until it works to some project managers satisfaction. Eventually you may gain enough credibility to get that golden key which opens all the locks and then everyone will leave you alone in peace to write what you want to write…but probably not. Mr Gaider really has been there and can say with experience, (and not a small amount of sarcasm) that it’s tough, there are not nearly enough jobs to go around, and your heart will be broken. You better know your shit, constantly be submitting and be prepared to get a lot of rejection. So do you still want to do it? In light of the difficulties that any writer is going have under any circumstances, it’s a fair question. Writing as a job is tough, in the sense that you have to use it to pay the mortgage and the gas bill. And getting yourself into that teeny tiny niche of game writing is AND GET PAID FOR IT, is kind of like winning the lottery.
So why put yourself through it?
Because you love video games.
Look folks, I fucking love games. And not just story driven games but all kinds. In the 70’s I was a fucking pong wizard by the time I was 8 years old. I could bump and grind a Black Knight pinball machine for hours. (heh that’s what he said) The Defender game at the 7–11 had my initials all the way down the line. (and I checked it daily to make sure it stayed that way) No matter what I do in my professional life, hell no matter what I do in my life I will always play games, and and most of those games will be video games. Long, story driven Mass Effect, Deux Ex type games, but also indies, and shooters and puzzle games. Because I like to play games…so check.
Because you like to write
When I was 10 years old my dad asked me what I wanted be when I grew up. And I said, a writer. My day job is far from it. I work in the IT industry, (better known as tied to a phone and computer for 10 hours a day) but I do write and writing stories, poems and my daily experiences has always been a part of my life. Hell, in school I would write reports for extra credit, without being asked. In my most stoned angsty teenage years I still wrote, badly. I still have my notebooks from highschool. I get them out when I need to feel better about the work I have done, because holy shit that stuff I wrote in the 80’s was such utter crap. I hope I didn’t cause any of my high school teachers to gouge their eyes out with some of the worst teenage angst that ever existed on the planet….umm yeah anyway… I love stories, and I love to tell them. Most people don’t want to hear me tell stories, but they seem to enjoy reading them. But even if they didn’t, I would still write because it’s what I do. More Check
Because you want to make video games.
With RPG software anyone patient enough to learn the software can make a game. But making games is not about one persons vision. It truly is collaborative. And I am not that good at collaboration. In college when we had to do group projects, I would cringe…it just takes so much energy to get yourself on another wavelength, or to get them on yours…I was never very good at it. But when Metty asked me to look at his project and wanted suggestions, and then later asked me to beta test…It seemed natural for us to collaborate. And it’s been and continues to be a joy and pleasure. And then when Minatoa wrote a mission it added energy and some excitement. Plus the added feedback is so valuable. That feeling when you and your collaborator look at a project that is taking shape, and you know it’s yours together, it’s like…strawberries and ice cream, pizza and beer, D&D and cheetos. It’s glorious, and it’s ours…so checkumundo
I don’t need to write to feed myself, although it has supplemented me from time to time. I don’t have to play games, but it’s an important part of my life. Even as I head into middle age I can’t imagine my life without them. Collaborating can and should be a great and rewarding thing. and for me, finally it’s really working out, this collaborative thing. I guess my point is you don’t have to work for some big company. Do it yourself. I mean really why not. Metty and I are not officially a business or a company, and we may never be…but that isn’t going to stop us, we are learning and doing. Playing games and bouncing ideas off of each other, what else are we going to do, watch Grey’s Anatomy? ( I’ve never seen it, is it any good?) I believe the minute you stop challenging yourself is the minute that you begin to die. And bitches, I intend to live forever. So hell yes I want to write video games. And if we make can make a living doing it, what have lost?
so goes my first post on Medium. I hope to stay around a while
Till next time. Taa