An Ideal Melding: How My Love For Writing and Gaming Came Together
My Experience as Lead Writer for a Video Game Script
The day this article is published (October 1st) is the same day that a Kickstarter campaign launches for an indie video game that I’ve had the pleasure to work on as the lead writer. It’s been a surreal experience to work with Vision Games LLC. (an indie video game studio out of New Hampshire) and watch a story concept go from a simple idea to a full-length script that three people poured their hearts and souls into. From there, the script came to life through the voice actors, art team, programming team, and beyond to create a game that we all hope others will enjoy.
The Kickstarter page can be found here.
Go watch the trailer, read about the game, and see what I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of.
My History with Gaming
I’ve been a casual gamer for years. I remember spending hours on the computer playing a number of CD-rom games in my family’s makeshift computer room: a closet that was big enough to fit a desk, a clunky desktop computer, and a couple of office chairs. I would sit there for hours (or at least as long as I could until my parents kicked me off) playing various games. The game I remember the most fondly was a “Madeline” game where the player had to click around to find pieces of a ticket that were scattered around Paris, among other obstacles. There were different scenes, characters, and dialogue that brought the story to life. I think I remember it so fondly because it introduced me to adventure and storytelling in video games, something of which to this day I’m still madly in love with.
Ever since I got a Gameboy Advance for Christmas, when I was about 8 or 9, that love for storytelling in games grew exponentially. I would play until my hands were numb because I wanted to beat the levels and see what would happen next. I always put more time into the story-based games and left the racing games as a sort of intermission when I was too frustrated with the other ones. As a child, I enjoyed playing games but never thought about the people who made them.
Growing up, I knew I wanted to be a writer and, while in college, I met a lot of game design majors which sparked an idea: someday I wanted to write a video game storyline. If people had to design these things, it meant that people had to write these things as well! I appreciate games with deep backstories and lore and I love playing through an active storyline. I thought maybe I should try my hand at writing my own. The only downfall was that I had absolutely no idea where to start. So, that dream sat idly at the back of my mind for years. I would casually mention it to friends from time to time, in hopes that I would pursue that dream someday.
Meeting & Working With Vision Games, LLC
All of this leads to the present. I’m still a casual gamer who is always trying to find an immersive gameplay experience where story comes together through well-thought-out plot points, good voice acting, attractive physical renderings, and even backstories that don’t necessarily make it into the game. But one thing has drastically changed: I’ve officially written a full-length script for an indie video game. And, man, has it been amazing.
Things just kind of fell into place and I was able to make this dream come true. I was introduced to the Co-Founders of Vision Games LLC. around a year and a half ago, give or take. They were looking for a lead writer to join their team and I was eager to delve into a writing project after a much-needed break after grad school. When I met them to talk about the project and to see if we would be a good fit together, I could tell that this was a project I needed to be a part of. It can be hard for me to artistically click with other people but our personalities, drive, and various backgrounds were the perfect mix. I couldn’t ask for a better team to have co-written and edited a script with.
What I Learned
This project was a first in many aspects: It was my first full-length script ever; it was my first video game storyline; it was my first major collaboration project outside of school and a first in writing in the game’s respected genre. I can’t even begin to explain how much I learned working with the CEO and the Art Director and it blows my mind that the Kickstarter campaign launch is already here!
The biggest thing I learned was how to work in a group. I was always the kid in school who would take over school projects and just do them myself so that they would be done right, and so that the slackers wouldn’t bring my grade down. I wasn’t a team player; I was a control freak. Luckily, my time in college made me more a team player and I was able to take what I learned in writing workshops to the project.
This project was the first time I was able to take constructive criticism and writing critiques at face value and not take them personally as well. A mixture of working with people who I knew liked me personally mixed with the goal of making the best game we could. This helped me keep an open mind which, in turn, allowed me to mold the script into the final form that it’s in now. When we brainstormed as a group, there were no wrong or stupid ideas. We all supported one another and kept the goal of creating the best game we could in the forefront of our minds. This drove us to create something that we’re all so proud of being a part of and taught me how to be a better writer and co-creator.
The best thing of all, on top of creating something that I’m proud of and that others can enjoy, are the relationships I’ve formed while working on this project. I’ve made best friends and acquaintances with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. I’ll tell you one thing, each and every single person working on this game is going to go far in life. The amount of sheer talent I’ve had the pleasure to work with has been inspiring, to say the least.
The Kickstarter Campaign
Seriously, go check out the game trailer right now. The Kickstarter Campaign can be found here.
Feel free to back it, share it with your friends, and stay updated on the game’s goals, stretch goals, news, and more.
Stay in Contact with Vision Games