Bryan Patrick
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I have a bachelor's in Professional Writing, and I've been doing communications/speech writing in politics for the past three years. Before that I worked as a copy editor and marketing assistant at a brewery.

I would be interested in writing for Board Games. By that, I mean editing/organizing rule books, helping with content, etc... I'm not trying to make a living off of this, but I'd like to garner some experience in this field. With no experience I'm not expecting much.

To those who have done editing/writing for games, how did you find a way to break in? I'm worried that this is another area where (excuse this if it comes off wrong) everyone thinks they can be a writer and it waters down the actual work it takes.

I'm just trying to find a way in right now. Any thoughts or experience would be great. Thanks.
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Robert Wesley
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Welcome too BGG! "and then?..." shake Don't: quit your Day Job; nor even any "night-time" 'stand-up comedy routine'! In your spare time, THEN find anything or whichever made you 'passionate' about theirs. What interested YOU is what mattered the 'mostest', and being 'firstest' regarding SUCH!
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Nate Bivins

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My advice for a possible newcomer to boardgame rulebook writing is to be very familiar with existing rulebooks. This will provide plenty of examples of good examples and what to avoid.

The most difficult part of writing a rulebook for someone else is that you really need to know how the game works to be able to write the rulebook. You need to know the exceptions, how to write examples, etc. in order to write well in this hobby.
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Matthew Proper-Lee
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I think there may be a difference in skills needed for rulebook writing than you have experience with so far. This is not a knock on your skills, but I think you should know what to expect and where your potential weaknesses lie.

Rulebook writing is more akin to technical writing than speech writing/copy editing. You need to be able to analyze things that are already done (the rules) and deconstruct them and rebuild them into a format that is more accessible to the average person. Most of the skill comes in being able to analyze the rules and developing the best way to organize and present them understandably and also to give a good feel for the flow of the game you are writing about. Examples almost certainly will have to come from your experience with the game and being able to use them to illustrate the rules already presented without overwhelming the reader.
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Bryan Patrick
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I agree that there may be a gap in my skill set vs. what I may encounter with rulebook writing. I'm doing a good amount of research on my own in regard to familiarizing myself with what constitutes a good rulebook and taking a look at both good and bad examples of rulebooks.

My concern is being able to apply the skills I learn to an actual rulebook, and the process of actually getting some experience under my belt.

Thank you for the comments, they are very helpful.
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Nate
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I think the key here is to play a lot of games and study a lot of rulebooks. You might have to start with some free or discounted work to build up your resume. Try to focus on games that are likely to get published. A personal website with links to the projects you worked on might help. As you build your portfolio and references, you could begin charging reasonable prices that fall within the industry standards. I'm sure it will be a long process but if it's something you're passionate about, don't give up and good luck to you.
 
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Mario Lanza
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Take rulebooks that are notoriously bad and rewrite them. Make a habit of this just to prove your writing chops. Rules writing is technical writing that requires an uncanny ability to disambiguate. If you earn notice the way anyone does who sticks at something long enough and does a reasonably good job, I imagine opportunity would follow. In the meantime, fellow geeks will enjoy the fruits of your labor.
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Robert Wesley
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here is something to look into about: Edit Rules Translations cool
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David McKenna
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From my (limited) experience, I've come across 2 main styles:

1) Technical writing, with cases and sub-cases (eg rule 4.3.6 ... )
2) More flowing discourse style of writing

I find both to have their advantages and disadvantages: the latter (to me) is usually a better (easier) read, but the former makes it easier to actually find the rule you are looking for.

Of course, your mileage may vary!

(If it was me, I would stick to the style you are more comfortable with, at least at first!)
 
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Paul DeStefano
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bucky926 wrote:
To those who have done editing/writing for games, how did you find a way to break in?
I've had multiple companies contact me due to my writing on this site.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Geosphere wrote:
bucky926 wrote:
To those who have done editing/writing for games, how did you find a way to break in?
I've had multiple companies contact me due to my writing on this site.
I have as well (not trying to blow my own horn, just want to underscore Paul's point). Put a note in your profile page that you're looking for work as a writer, then start writing reviews for games about which you are knowledgeable and participating in conversations generally. If you do that effectively, you'll start getting geekmails.
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Daniel Newman
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Gil Hova and Geoff Englestein did a great panel on rulebook writing at Metatopia last weekend.

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Bryan Patrick
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Thanks for the advice everyone. This is very helpful.
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Thomas Baumbach
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GROGnads wrote:
Welcome too BGG! "and then?..." shake Don't: quit your Day Job; nor even any "night-time" 'stand-up comedy routine'! In your spare time, THEN find anything or whichever made you 'passionate' about theirs. What interested YOU is what mattered the 'mostest', and being 'firstest' regarding SUCH!
whistle
Wat.
 
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Robert Wesley
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The_Sultan wrote:

Wat.
You know, 'moi' at least "checked/delved out/into" your background some just now, and that took maybe less than an entire minute, as it didn't 'concern' myself further for whatever you HAVE performed, by NAUGHT even close in comparisons. shake
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Yashar Basseri
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Are you good at writing fictional back stories of characters? If so, I may need some help that requires a good writer! Send me a geekmail if interested!

In any case, I wish you the best on this site; I'm sure you will find something that will suite your needs/desires. Good Luck!
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Daniel Newman
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The_Sultan wrote:
GROGnads wrote:
Welcome too BGG! "and then?..." shake Don't: quit your Day Job; nor even any "night-time" 'stand-up comedy routine'! In your spare time, THEN find anything or whichever made you 'passionate' about theirs. What interested YOU is what mattered the 'mostest', and being 'firstest' regarding SUCH!
whistle
Wat.
dude makes no sense. i have him perma-hidden.
 
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Robert Wesley
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petrix wrote:


dude makes no sense. i have him perma-hidden.
You know, their 'policy' HERE for such as yourself openly 'admitting' upon THAT is being 'banned'? 'Ignorance' upon THUS, ought to 'work' to your "advantage", while, they're v-e-r-y 'lax' about any whence these WERE directed specifically at/upon 'moi'! whistle
 
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Dean
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Lots of folks here write variants for existing games, such as single player or solo variants. Find games you are interested in and try to put a new spin on them. Post your finished work here on the Geek and ask for feedback. I agree with Grogs, find your passion and it will show in your work.
 
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Johnathan Morton
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Curently writing rules for my own game and that rule book video helps out a lot. Thank you
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