Welcome new readers! I’ll be writing Shop Talk features a few times a week going forward. While I’ll be covering many different topics related to freelancing in the video game world, I’d love to hear from you!
Do you have any specific questions you’d like answered or topics you’d like covered? Comment below and I’ll do what I can to work your requests into my future articles. Thanks!
Love Shop Talk, naturally – all of the articles given so far are extremely helpful and give a fresh, realistic side of freelancing in the game industry. It’s nice to read a blog that doesn’t crap on the whole idea for once!
I think one thing I’d like to know is if specializing in a niche within the game industry is ideal over being a generalist. I like playing specific genres, don’t own nor want an Xbox (so I can’t review Xbox games), and love discussing videogame culture as well. It seems like being a generalist is preferred, but in other freelance writing (such as copywriting) getting into a niche is a better idea.
Seeing some feedback on that for the game industry specifically would help me and others a lot, I think. 😉
Today’s post should touch on that a bit, though I’d say it’s good to be a generalist AND also specialize in a specific niche or two.
This may be too specific of a question, but: I’ve been writing for a few online outlets (reviews, mostly), but haven’t really broken into print, and have never done a preview outside of an event (namely QuakeCon). I’ve heard mysterious legends of debug consoles for previewing (and occasionally reviewing) non-retail code for console products. Is that necessary for doing previews/mag stuff (since they tend to handle stuff way in advance), and if so, how would a freelancer go about getting the necessary hardware?
Keep up the good work! I hope to someday be where you’re at, so it’s really nice getting these advice features from you.
Thanks for stoppin by! Actually, it’s a great question. I’ll probably write about it in greater length in a full post at some point, but for now:
The short and sweet version is debugs are awesome and they’re very hard to come by. Despite my best efforts and being on all the right “lists” with PR, I haven’t had any success in obtaining one much less all of them.
Do you need them for print? It certainly helps. I’ve managed to break into three print outlets without one. If you’re doing reviews and preview for print, you pretty much have to have access to one except for a few rare cases. But you can break into print with features and other pieces, which is what I did.
Sometimes PR send out retail-playable discs of review and preview games well ahead of time, which is awesome.
I’ll rap more about it in an upcoming post.
Thanks for the awesome feedback and question!