• West Cork Literary Festival 8-15 July 2022

Writing for Computer Games and Virtual Reality by Ray Ronan

Writing.ie | Resources | Developing Your Craft
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Ray Ronan

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Why would any novelist want to diversify, to reach out into other writing media such as Film, Games, Comics and Virtual Reality?

I don’t know about you, but the idea of writing anything but thriller novels did give me the jitters, it was a pain point I didn’t want to touch. But, several years later I am, exploring the incredible world of being a trans-media writer. The rewards are far beyond what I’d imagined. And here’s what I mean.

When you diversify, let’s say into being a story consultant for computer games, you’re exploding your creative horizons, and that is where the fun of being a writer really starts to go bananas.

You’ve all heard the saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

It’s true for stepping outside of your comfort zone and writing for other media, you may think you can’t do it, but I bet you can. You may think it’s not all that, but it is. And with that stepping out comes an exhilarating excitement which is hard to put back into the box.

But why would you, a novelist, or a screenwriter, a playwright or journalist, even think about levelling up your game and learning the art of game narrative design for computer games?

The challenge of being a published author is just that, being published. And any author can find their well drying up if the publishing contracts take a turn for the worse for whatever reason.

Take for instance, list building. They say don’t put all your eggs in one social media basket, such as Facebook. Build a list, everywhere you can. It is now the same with writing, diversify to insure your income, but diversify to expand your skills and your enjoyment of your craft. You’re in this for the long haul so make it a fun one. How?

Writing computer games allows you to stretch your creative muscles in ways you have never imagined, and as for writing for Virtual Reality, a visit to the next Raindance film festival VR strand will have you addicted to this medium.

A Game Narrative Designer, which you could be, can help create the introductions to the game, teasing the audience with the story beats that are shown in trailers online, to the campaigns, getting into the hearts and minds of the audience before they even get to explore the world that you have helped craft. You intro the characters, the mythology of the story, the theme. And as you work into the game itself, a whole new way of portraying story is open to you. It’s a highly collaborative way to write too.

“You’re going to learn how to write in a nonlinear way, to explore all the different outcomes that a character could experience, and in this case the audience.” Karen Hunt, Narrative Hunt.com

The crosshairs associated with gameplay are no longer the overriding attractions as almost 50% of game players are female, and this has had a wonderful effect on the type of games, the depth of story lines.

Even the big screen actors are seeing the possibilities as they diversify into a games industry now estimated to be worth $150billion, about ten times the publishing industry.

So, why can’t you be a part of that?

Have I diversified since starting up WRITERS GAME, the vehicle allowing me to explore, to be a trans-media writers? You bet I have!

Expand your horizons, diversify to succeed.

(c) Ray Ronan

 

About the author

Ray Ronan is a published and self-published thriller author and founder of WRITERS GAME.COM

  • allianceindependentauthors.org
  • www.designforwriters.com

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