Re: documenting games redux

Subject: Re: documenting games redux
From: Beth Agnew <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 07 Jan 2007 18:04:39 -0500

Good grief, I hope so! There have been enough game companies that have gone down in flames, sometimes spectacularly so, that only those with a manageable process have been able to survive and continue in a highly competitive industry. Along with maturing technology, maturing attitudes about what it takes to get games produced and purchased are evident in companies such as Blizzard and Ubisoft. The massive failure of the dot coms contributed to making every high tech company aware that they must have a solid revenue model and business plan in order to survive. Game companies have embraced good software development methodologies, developing systematically to market requirements instead of just what they think is cool.

While management has changed, the corporate cultures are still as fun-loving and as stressful as I described back in 1997. If they advertise "work hard, play hard" you can be they have some great parties, but that is to compensate for the brutal overtime and punishing deadlines.

Very few of them go looking for "technical writers" for documentation help, although there are a few. Ubisoft is currently looking for a technical writer - production. Documentation often evolves out of the game design, level & character graphics, and marketing as well.

They look for multi-talented people, so having a broader background (i.e. writing + graphics + multimedia) is valuable. If you cannot demonstrate that you are already a hard core gamer, getting any kind of consideration at a game company is unlikely due to competition. Don't forget that there are other entrees into these companies for someone with technical communication skills -- business analyst, product manager, marketing, player relations, QA tester, and producer.

Milan Davidovic wrote:

Back on Oct. '97 someone asked about jobs documenting
games, and Beth Agnew replied:

Has much changed since then?

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documenting games redux: From: Milan Davidovic

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