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GCG: 'How I Became a Game Writer: An Interview'

GCG: 'How I Became a Game Writer: An Interview'

October 3, 2007 | By Jill Duffy




In the latest feature for sister educational site GameCareerGuide, 'Writers Cabal' partners Anne Toole and Sande Chen share their stories of how they landed their first writing assignments in the video game business.

Between them, they have worked on such games as Terminus, Pet Pals: Animal Doctor, Zoo Vet and collaboratively on Atari and CDProjekt's forthcoming fantasy role-playing game The Witcher.

In this excerpt, the two women share their stories of how they landed their first writing assignments in the video game business:

Anne Toole: How did I get my first writing gig? I walked maybe 200 feet outside my front door. I live next door to a hotel that was having a networking mixer on the roof. It turned out that Legacy Interactive had a display there. At the time, they were doing the Law & Order games, a TV show I was insanely nerdy about. I introduced myself as a TV writer educated in games through GDC. The man I spoke to seemed receptive and I ended up sending him a script I had written for West Wing. Later, I followed up with him only to find he had left the company.

I sent the script to my new point person and expected to hear nothing more of it. Then, one Friday evening, I got a call from the man. He asked me what I was doing that weekend. It turns out he had read my script, liked it, and was in a bit of a bind. He needed the dialogue for a game rewritten, but they were recording the dialog right away. Could I rewrite the game by Monday? ‘Of course!’ I said. Fortunately, he liked what I did, and I've written quite a few games for Legacy since then.

Sande Chen: A friend of mine attended a conference in the San Francisco Bay area and told me she had met some folks from a game company. The only word she could recall of their company's name was the word ‘vicarious.’ After finding the web site for Vicarious Visions, a start-up then, I sent off an introduction. That's how I got my start in the industry as a writer...


You can now read the full interview with more from Chen and Toole on the joys and frustrations of working in the industry.


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