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What job(s) should I look into if I want to create video game concepts?

Hi! My name is Anina and I'm a high school senior interning at Career Village. I have a friend who wants to make storylines and plots and designs for video games, but doesn't want to deal with the actual programming part. Is there a job for this? #design #video-games #video-game-design #video-game-development

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Blaire’s Answer

This is a very demanding a competitive field to get in to. No game company really needs an "idea" guy. That sort of gets split between the writers and the designers. Your friend sounds like a writer, and at the moment there is no real clear path to becoming a writer for a video game. You have to be an established writer in other mediums (books, shows, plays, etc) and basically get lucky. A much easier entrance point is as a designer. You can get a degree to become a video game designer, but it is much more mechanics and experience focused and doesn't deal a ton with story lines or plots. I'm sure some designers become writers, but like I said, it's really hard to get your foot in the door from the writing angle.

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Will’s Answer

I don't have personal experience on this, but have read that it is much like being an author of a fantasy book series or movie franchise. You need to be able to create worlds that have compelling features, history and dangers for the game to be built within. A great novel that has a plotline line about this is "Reamde" by Neal Stephenson.

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Simeon’s Answer

You'd probably have to get hired on as a writer, making storylines for TV Shows, Internet blogs, etc. You would probably need a background in either journalism or some other kind of career writing and build a portfolio as a writer. Then, you might be able to snag a gig as a writer for video games. I'm not sure if video game companies hire writers full time or just give pay them per storyline written. If you ended up with a large video game studio, you could end up having a hand in writing the stories for multiple games and might have a more consistent salary.
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Matt’s Answer

Strictly speaking, creating "video game concepts" isn't a full job. It's a component of the job of a Game Designer though.


Here's an interesting article / guide to getting started:
http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/1508/so_you_want_to_make_video_.php

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