Have you worked on our kind of game before?
I'll bet you five dollars the answer is Yes. This ain't my first rodeo. I've worked on console games, mobile games and social games. I've worked on first-person shooters, action-adventure titles, RPGs, RTS projects, and open-world games. I've worked on horror stories, fantasy epics, adventure stories, crime dramas, sci-fi projects...well, you get the idea.
(Now give me my five bucks.)
We're committed to our creative direction for this game. Can you roll with it, or will you want to throw it all out and start over?
You are not hiring me to do what I want. (I'll do that on my own time.) My job is to give you what YOU want, in the best form and fashion possible. I will give you the full benefit of my expertise, and I'll flag any potential problems I see, but it's my job to follow your lead. I'm here for you.
We already have writing talent on staff. Can you work with our narrative designer, our other writer, our creative director?
All day long and twice on Sundays. I am a writer than loves to collaborate with other people. It truly is one of the greatest parts of my job. This industry is full of smart, creative, interesting folks, and I want to work with as many of them as I can.
We have no other writer on staff! Can you be a one-man band?
Without a doubt. But let's at least get lunch together, yeah?
Are you available?
I only work with one client at a time. That means that if we're working together, you get my full attention, my complete love and care. But it also means that my schedule fills up quickly.
Can we afford this?
You know what they say: if you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.
I bet I can write this thing myself. Why do I need a writer?
I bet you could write that thing yourself. But here's my advice: pull out your business card. Look under your name. What do you see? That is the role you are being paid cash money to perform. It has to come first.
When push comes to shove -- when you have 10 hours in a day and 20 hours of work left to do - your primary job description takes top priority. If you're a designer, and you deliver a great story but crappy design, guess what? You're fired.
Your team is counting on you to deliver the best [job title] you can. Give it your all. Don't stretch yourself too thin. Hire an expert, outsource what you can, and focus on your core badassery.
But if your heart is set on tackling this awesome challenge, I say mazel tov. Here's my number; I'm here if you need me.
Here are some ways you can leverage my expertise:
- Bring me in for a brainstorming session, to lay the foundation for your game.
- Bring me in for a story review, as a second pair of eyes to reassure your boss that Yes, your story is on track.
- If things go pear-shaped, you know where to find me.
I have worked with teams in nearly every capacity, from full-time writer to short-time consultant to oh-sh*t crisis manager.
Together, we can decide what makes most sense for you and your project.