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Narrative News September 2023: Jobs, Events, and Resources!
Your monthly roundup of narrative design and game writing resources.
Hello fellow narrative designers!
It’s Labor Day long weekend here in the United States, a time to pause and appreciate the hard-won rights of the American labor movement and support the strike by the Writers Guild of America for fair wages and working conditions. It’s also a great time to ponder how we can make changes in the game industry, a young and under-regulated/under-unionized field.
If you’re interested in getting involved or looking into labor groups and unions, take a look at the links below:
Game Workers Unite: a US-based labor rights group that aims to help workers unionize.
IWGB Game Workers: A UK-based union advocating for game workers’ rights.
Writers’ Guild of Great Britain: A UK-based writers’ union that advocates for writers across all industries, including games. Here in the US, game writers aren’t as comprehensively folded into the WGA, but hopefully that’ll change!
International Cooperative Alliance: If you’re curious about cooperatives, take a look at these values and principles.
It’s disheartening that there aren’t more American game union options, but that just means there’s lots of work to do. Let’s get organized!
In the meantime, enjoy your weekend!
They will be playing Aspel, a Seltani game by Emily Short.
Jams + Competitions
Last day to upload your submission to the site if you’ve already submitted your intent to enter!
A full-motion video jam taking place in NYC! Great opportunity to write for actors if you’re in the city.
A month-long established visual novel jam that sees some impressive submissions. Great opportunity for eyeballs on your writing.
News and Resources
Writing Test Example from Kelly Bender
If you’re not following Kelly Bender on LinkedIn, you’re missing out. He posted some screens of a writing test he might assign and gave some notes on what he’d be looking for.
Soapbox moment: This is all extremely useful but I want to underscore that if you are in the position to, you should always ASK to be compensated for tests and REFUSE to do free tests. Establishing your boundaries can pay off — the last time I did so I was paid for my test and eventually hired by the company. This had the further benefit of showing me that they are a company that respects their workers. What’s more, you’re doing your part in discouraging this exploitative practice in the industry.
Five Game Writing Exercises by Dr. Greg Buchanan
A BAFTA-winning game writer shares some writing exercises to hone your skills.
FAQ — Writers and Narrative Designers in Video Games by Sarah Beaulieu
Interesting insights from the narrative director on Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
Watch of the Week: Endless Stories, Impossible Structures by Luciano Salerno
This Narrascope 2023 talk focuses on the challenges of writing for narrative-driven F2P mobile games. This kind of gig is one of the most stable writing gigs you can find in games, so it’s worth getting to know the genre!
Junior Writer at Martian Brothel
Narrative Design Lead at Netflix
Gameplay Writer at Squanch Games
Lead Writer (Video Games) at Skycastle Studios
Writing Intern at Black Forest Games
Narrative Designer at People Can Fly
Screenwriter at HoYoverse
Narrative Designer at InXile Entertainment
Creative Writer at QuestStudio
Senior Narrative Designer (Frostpunk 2) at 11bit Studios
If you’ll be in Montreal between September and November and are a marginalized gender, apply to this amazing free program!
That’s it for this month! As always, if I missed anything please let me know in the comments of this post!
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