Is game story really your dream job?

A key reason that I’ve chosen to start The Player’s Story is that I’m frequently asked to recommend resources for folks who want to break into a career in video game narrative. While there are books and sites out there, I haven’t found many that are comprehensive and offer a realistic look at what this industry demands of its story professionals. It is an amazing industry, and one that I feel very fortunate to be a part of. But bluntly, it isn’t for everybody, and it is best to know that early.

So, to kick this blog off, I’m going to focus the first month of posts on diving into the realities of a game story job, and explore the characteristics that I’ve found make someone successful in a career in the games industry. Moreover, having these traits will make it much more likely that you will actually be happy in this career, which should be a concern for anyone looking to spend the next ten, twenty, thirty or more years doing anything.

At a high level, I find these attributes to be invaluable for developers of interactive story:

  • You are an amazing storyteller (you might think this would be obvious, but apparently it’s not)
  • You not only love video games, you dissect them
  • You enjoy collaboration
  • You can deal with uncertainty
  • You know how to take feedback
  • You can be the advocate for story, and for yourself
  • You can tell story without using words
  • You have a thick skin
  • You constantly think about the user

In the next post, I’m going to dive into my favorite point above: the focus on the user. This site is called The Player’s Story because I feel that the number one rule of game narrative is that, while you might have crafted the experience, it is always the player’s story. That is a tough perspective for a lot of folks who write stories in other media, but it is essential to have this outlook if you want to make stories for games.

I have much more to say on this, so look for at least a couple more posts on how the user perspective is core to the role of the interactive storyteller. If you want notifications of future posts, consider subscribing or following me on Twitter @LeahHoyer. I’ll be sure to send updates on new content. I’m also eager to get comments and questions, and might use those as inspiration for future posts. I’d love to have this be a dialog and a place for the game writing community to learn and share ideas.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to diving into the awesomeness that is game story with you!

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