UniJam 2012. The Writer’s Viewpoint.
The briefing may have been for gaming programmers, but I was amazed at the similarities. The concepts of the competition and suggestions for a portfolio for potential employers would have resonated with a writer.
I’ve tried to equate these points to writing.
ALWAYS follow instructions. If you don’t your work will NOT be considered.
The competition aims
- Completed Game (or at least completed task) – Publishers can’t do anything with a sensational epic novel unless they have the whole of it.
- Well structured/well documented code – A book is a nightmare to read if it’s all over the place and the only way to get through it is for the reader to mentally re-write it.
- De bugging/attention to detail – Although publishers employ copy editors and proofreaders, a well presented manuscript saves time and money. A poorly produced book with inaccurate details and lots of grammar and spelling mistakes puts a reader off.
General career advice
- Make sure it is your best/most up to date work – This goes back to poor presentation and quality of writing. Nothing turns a reader off more than sloppy and uninteresting writing.
- Easy access (online portfolio link on CV) – Writers need to demonstrate they are able to write, keep writing and have an audience for their books, whose needs they understand.
- Taking part in competitions is an important part of getting noticed and honing their skills – No need for translation here.
Points the competition will be judged on
- How accessible is the game? – Can a reader get into the book quickly?
- How innovative is the game? – Has the writer produce something new and exciting?
- How good is the game play? – Is the novel keeping the reader’s attention?
- How good are the game graphics? – Is the novel creating a vivid picture in the reader’s imagination?
Themes for the competition
Sounds like something out of a James Bond or Austin Powers movie.
EXPLOSION, FLOOD, EVIL, GENIUS
Not a happy ending then!
At the moment there is a hubbub of conversation. Ideas are flying one side of a table to another, fingers are tapping on the keyboards. Communication is a vital part of this process.
As none of the competitors have been allowed to bring coding with them they have had to down load various programs that allow them to begin writing.
Discussion as to what devices the games are going on and the quality of the graphics adds to the jigsaw of ideas that needs to be completed.
The coding sometimes contains very long sentences, sometimes not. It is colourful. Blue, black, red, are all visual representation of the architecture of the program. A means of helping the writers to see where various commands start and end and what kind of commands these are; rather like paragraphs or different fonts in a book.
Some of the competitors are busy drawing models or pictures that will be driven by the words.
This is not going to stop until about one o’clock tomorrow.