07 June, 2017

First Steps into the Games Industry

I have some extremely awesome news.  At long last, I've gotten a foot into the door of a thriving, relatively new art form, and an industry that's constantly growing and trying new things.

I've been hired by a video game developer in my home town of Leamington Spa to write the script for a horror game. I've always wanted to work in games, and already I've learned a lot, just about how these projects are set up and how they get started.

In the space of a few days, my position jumped around so many times, the only way I could keep a cool head about it all was pretty much just to pretend the worst (which was still awesome) had happened and just move on. Allow me to walk you through my thought process.

First, I was going to be the lead writer, but a writer of many a published Doctor Who book was probably on board. (Hopefully he still is.)

Questions ran through my mind: Will I be his manuscript bee-atch? Maybe, and I'll learn a lot from him. Will we be equals? Awesome. Will I have free reign to make the game my own? Who knows?

Either way, the pieces were falling into place.

A few days later I learned some awesome news and some palatable news.

In awesome news, the Doctor Who writer I'm still possibly going to work with is Justin Richards, the creative director of the entirety of the Doctor Who novel series. Colour me impressed! I'd love to work with that guy, and I'm sure I could learn a lot from him.

The palatable news was he'd almost definitely get whatever creative control he wanted, even to the point of saying, "I ain't workin' with no punk-ass Canadian!" [inflection purely creative license]. If he's a nice bloke, I thought, I'll probably have the opportunity to work with an amazing writer, which is a great learning experience and, frankly, some serious publicity. Touble is, I don't know him, so when I got the news, I immediately set out preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. The absolute worst case scenario was I'd have a fair amount of influence on the concept and I'd get to write the trailer and opening scenes. Two weeks ago I didn't have a clue how I'd break into the industry, so even the worst case scenario was fantastic.

Then more awesome news came along.  At the end of last week I learned that I was 100% definitely on board in a major role writing this script. I realised, then, just how much I want to work with Justin. I'd much rather make this a joint project than do it myself, but knowing that I'm definitely involved is just great.

In palatable news, filming starts on the 12th of June.

The game's concept involves a lot of live actors, and that means the writing must be pitch perfect. Certain other attempts at making live actors and games mesh have been disastrous. Uttering the names of these games will, so I'm told, doom the speaker to eternal damnation, but you know the ones I mean. It'll work with this concept, but people might still see the real-life faces with an initial reaction of shock, which means disconnection with the narrative has to be immediately remedied with perfect dialogue. Next Monday is a tall order.

I'm even going to help direct, so I can let out all the tension I'll build up over this week by throwing coffee at actors and stuff. Kubrick is my hero.

I do hope Justin gets in touch, as it would be an absolute pleasure to work with an experienced writer like him.  I'm sure I'd learn a great deal, and it would be a tremendous opportunity and experience.  Either way though, this rocks.

I'll never give up on writing books, but this is very exciting. I've always wanted to branch into games.

I have news about books too, but nothing I can truly articulate, hence the long silence.

Expect many posts in the near future.  I've decided to basically keep the blog updated with events as they happen, as this is totally new, and everything I learn along the way, I'll of course share.

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