What Does A Game Writer Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Game Writers

Game Writers are typically responsible for developing the plot and assisting the Narrative Designer during the development of video games. Depending on their experience, Game Writers may craft the entire story or write the dialogue and text that appears in the game.

Interest Match

Video games are becoming increasingly complex. Developers spend up to $150 million and several years to develop a single game, which may include a staff of up to 300 individuals.

While many of the staff are responsible for programming the game, a select few individuals craft the plot and write the dialogue.

Game Writers help make video games more immersive and entertaining by writing stories that keep players engaged. It is a unique field of writing that is expected to grow in the coming years due to the success of the video game industry.

What they do

Game Writers are typically responsible for developing the plot and assisting the Narrative Designer during the development of video games. Depending on their experience, Game Writers may craft the entire story or write the dialogue and text that appears in the game.

Collaborate on Video Game Plots

Game Writers often work as part of a team to develop the overall plot of a video game. Large video game projects tend to employ a Narrative Designer that oversees the work of several Game Writers. The Narrative Designer may create the plot while the Game Writers help flesh out the story and subplots.

Small video game studios may hire a single Game Writer to handle the script. In these situations, the plot is typically developed by the creative team, including the Creative Director and Game Producer. The Game Writer then writes the script based on an outline provided by the studio.  

Write Dialogue and Text for Video Games

Writing dialogue and text are some of the main duties of the typical Game Writer. Modern video games often include branching dialogue trees with a wide range of options for players. The Game Writer needs to consider all the potential outcomes of each conversation.

Game Writers also need to consider the progression of the story to ensure that certain conversations move the plot forward or reveal new information to players.

Some Game Writers are brought in on projects to rewrite dialogue and text written by previous Game Writers. For example, the Game Producers may decide that the script requires improvements and would prefer to bring in a new Game Writer.

Watch Recording Sessions and Edit Dialogue

Game Writers may sit in during recording sessions with voice actors to provide input. The Game Writer may also be asked to write new dialogue or revise existing dialogue during the session.

Revise Scripts Based on User Feedback and Testing

Video game studios often complete extensive testing before releasing a game, allowing Game Writers and Developers to receive feedback. They try to improve the game based on feedback to ensure that they deliver the best game possible. For example, a Game Writer may revise the dialogue or details of the plot after reviewing user comments.

What is the job like

Sande Chen

I’m a writer and game designer who’s been working in the game industry for over 15 years. I was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award in Videogame Writing for my work on the game, The Witcher. I am delighted to help guide the next generation of game writers and narrative designers.

A game writer may be writing the voice dialog for the characters in the game, the item descriptions, the back story, or the overarching story.

Since I’m a freelance game writer/designer, I work project by project. My responsibilities differ by project. However, there are some game writers in the industry with full-time jobs and their responsibilities may run the gamut from creating back story and lore to writing dialog and quests to what we call “flavor text,” things like the names of different spells.

To give you an idea of what I might be doing for a project, I’m currently designing quests for a fantasy game. I come up with the overarching story for a section (which could be a chapter, a land, a world, etc.) and figure out what are the player’s obstacles. What does the player have to do or solve to get past this section? Since these are quests, I’m limited by what playable actions exist. For instance, the player may have to search for items or talk to a non-playable character (NPC) as part of the quest. All the quests need to make sense in the overarching story and also link to the next section.

The section also has to be populated with NPC’s who are quest givers. The player will talk to the NPC to find out what needs to be done to move on to the next quest. I need to envision what else the player might see: the buildings, structures, animals, land, etc.

After the initial draft is submitted, I do a rewrite. Maybe there’s something that’s hard to program or the artists have made different creatures. Perhaps the producer wants to re-use some artwork. Even afterwards, there may be additional tweaks that I may never know about. Video game developers are constantly improving upon their work.


I’m a freelancer which means I get to work on all different kinds of projects for different companies. I’m never bored!

Video game writing is generally a solo thing, which can be a pro or a con. There are some projects that are large enough to have a writing team and there are others where there is only one person to do everything. I would think that even within a team, an individual writer would get assigned tasks and those tasks would be written individually rather than co-written. Therefore, this is a job where you have to be responsible enough to get things done on your own and keep track of your own time.


Sometimes, a writer isn’t brought into the process until late in the development cycle. That means that there isn’t much wiggle room to create a story because the art or programming may be completed already.


You Get to Express Your Creative Side

Working as a Game Writer provides a creative outlet, which can be extremely rewarding and make the job more satisfying.

You May Help Improve the Quality of Video Games

Game Writers attempt to make games more enjoyable for players by writing compelling stories that keep the players wanting to play until the very end of the game. The content that you write for the game may make the difference between an enjoyable playthrough and a negative experience.

You Can Pursue Multiple Projects at One Time

Game Writers typically work on a contractual basis, which allows them to continuously pursue new projects instead of working for the same company year after year.

You Can Use Your Writing Skills to Find Other Work

Game Writers can use their writing skills to find writing jobs in other fields, such as writing for an online publication or publishing original stories or novels.


You May Work Long Hours on Some Projects

Game Writers occasionally need to put in long hours, especially when working in a small video game studio leading up to the release of a game.

You May Not Receive Recognition for Your Work

Game Writers rarely receive industry recognition for their work, as most of the praise for a successful video game goes to the Creative Director and other high-level members of the team.

Where they work

Video Game Studios
Video Game Production Companies
Video Game Developers

Game Writers mostly work for video game studios, often as freelance contractors. Game Writers also work for video game production companies, which then hire game studios to develop games. Some Game Writers work for independent video game developers. Game Writers may use their skills and experience to work as Script Editors and related roles in the movie and television industries.

How to become one

Step 1: Study Video Games and Writing

Aspiring Game Writers should play lots of video games and practice writing. Understanding how stories unfold in video games is essential for this career while practicing writing is necessary for learning how to craft interesting stories.

Step 2: Consider Earning a College Degree

A college degree is not required for this career but may help with job placement, especially when looking for writing jobs outside of the video game industry. Game Writers often need to supplement their income by working in other industries, which may require an Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree.

Step 3: Create a Portfolio of Original Work

Write short stories and compile a portfolio of all your original work. Many Game Writers have experience as Writers. For example, it is common for Game Writers to be published Authors.

Step 4: Submit Story Ideas to Video Game Studios

The most common path to becoming a Game Writer involves submitting story ideas directly to video game studios. Game Writers often create detailed submissions that include the plot and dialogue for existing or upcoming games.

Step 5: Volunteer to Write for Independent Game Developers

Game Writers can attempt to grow their portfolios and gain useful experience by volunteering for independent video game developers. Smaller game studios and individual developers may not have the funds to hire Game Writers but still benefit from your writing expertise.

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Artist

People with this personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

Creativity is one of the most important traits for Game Writers, as they need to create original stories and interesting dialogue. Game Writers are also often detail-oriented, due to the need to work on complex plotlines with multiple potential outcomes. Good communication skills are also useful for Game Writers, as they need to collaborate on stories with others and communicate specific thoughts to players. Game Writers should also be disciplined, as they often need to meet tight deadlines.

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