Forming a game writing team

You know about joining a writing team, but what if you’re planning to form one?  It may take more work than you thought.  You’ll sort through writing samples, administer tests, and run a few interviews.  When all is said and done, you’ll have a writing team to be proud of.  The end, right?  Not so fast.  As with joining a team, getting the team together is just the beginning.  To get the team working together smoothly, you’ll have to manage a few expectations yourself.

Many of the suggestions on joining a team will be helpful to you when you work with other leaders on your project.  These suggestions will also help you manage your team as well.  When a new member joins your writing team, explore their expectations with a few questions.  Be sure to explain in advance that you’re on the writers’ side; you want to support them by putting them in situations where they will excel.  If you don’t couch these questions in these terms, your new team member may wonder if he’s in trouble and may unwittingly shoot himself in the foot.

  •  How do you prefer to write?  For example, collaboratively or alone?
  •  What is your career goal or goal on this project?  How can I support you in achieving it?
  •  What are you most excited about in this project?
  •  What kind of feedback is helpful to you?

You may have realized that these questions will help in motivating your team.  Sometimes words of encouragement only go so far.  Fortunately, as a game developer, you already know a little bit about motivation, and that a purple will move a team when mere gold won’t. 

Naturally, you will want to tell your team what you expect from them and what they can expect from you.  Even if your writers don’t ask them, you may want to answer the questions from “Joining a team.”  Not only should you be honest with them, you should also be honest with yourself.  If you want your team to check in with you every day, don’t say “Check in with me when convenient.”  In this as in all things, you get what you ask for, whether you want it or not. 

Anyone else have other experiences in forming a writing team?  Do tell!

Question Mark Guess that game dialog! Today’s line: “We are the police, you moron! We got helicopters!” Check back next week to see where it came from.

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2 Comments

Filed under Collaboration, Guess that game dialog!

2 responses to “Forming a game writing team

  1. Pingback: Giving feedback on game writing « Writers Cabal Blog

  2. Pingback: Giving feedback: Successful TV producer agrees « Writers Cabal Blog

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