January 19, 2008

Writer, Cartoonist... Game Designer?

I've written a full novel, with dozens more in development. I've written a few comic strips with about a hundred more in reserve. But I never would have dreamed that my first paid writing gig would be in interactive media.

A little bit more than a week ago, I received an e-mail from a man I've never met before, but a man I knew plenty. Without giving away too much info, I'll just say he is the promoter of a product that I'm a fan of. I posted quite a few detailed comments about his product on a web site petaining to it, thinking nothing more of it than just showing my support. But the promoter himself read what I wrote regarding his product and decided to contact me. The e-mail he sent asked me nothing more than to call him, supplying both his land line and cell numbers.

So I called the guy up and he told me that he liked the stuff I wrote, thinking I had a good mind for his product. He revealed to me that he was planning on creating a video game based on it, and thought I would be a good choice to take some core ideas he had for it and expand it into a story he could use to sell the game idea to game developers and publishers. I was quite taken aback at being given this opportunity, especially since I'm an unproven commodity in the writing world. Still, what an opportunity it was, so I accepted his proposal. I took an afternoon to flex my creative muscle, and I had to because this was the first time I wrote a story based on someone else's ideas. After crafting five pages of story, beefing up the existing ideas with some of my own, I submitted it to the promoter. It was only my first effort and I am fortunate that he liked what he saw, saying he would show it to some associates. Hopefully my work will go a long way in helping to gain approval for the project.

In the end, the promoter told me that he would like to keep me on the project when it goes forward, on a creative level. He's also cutting me a check for the story treatment. I don't know how much, but it blows my mind that I'm finally getting paid for doing something I love instead of from some spirit-draining 9-5. And it only too me an afternoon to do it. I always figured that, somewhere in my writing career, that I would end up aiding in the development of video games based on my own intellectual properties. I just never dreamed it would take place this soon, and for someone else's I.P., the owner of which liked my writing enough to take a gamble on me.

A little bit more into this promoter's future plans for his product: as of now, it's only seen within a limited area, but aside from this game, there's also plans for a reality TV show, possibly shown on Spike, E!, MTV, or one of several other channels. The show could go a long way in promoting the game when it's ready, and the publishing company being tossed around as accepting rights is Electronic Arts, the largest producer of video game software. The promoter told me there's a good chance I could make a lot of money from this when all is said and done.

And just when I thought I couldn't get rich doin' this shit.

And that's just the way it is.

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