"Being a kind person who is easy to work with is a massively underrated career hack." - Daniel Abrahams
No matter what we dream of becoming in life - a game writer, an astronaut, a candlestick maker - we all need to have the same set of foundational skills in order to succeed. These are the infamous "soft skills" that employers love to see in applicants - things like communication skills, time-management skills, problem-solving skills.
Game writer & narrative designer TJ Mota has these skills in spades. It's the reason he is able to do so much good work, so quickly, both in game studios and in our masterclass. I suspect TJ has never missed a deadline in his life.
He learned a lot of those traits in academia, where you have to become the master of time management - or risk flunking out.
In this wide-ranging conversation, we talk about:
- The surprising parallels between teaching and writing for games
- How writing for games is like college
- The importance of time constraints (which are no joke in game dev!)
TJ is moving to Seattle soon. I'm excited to see what he does next!
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Susan’s first job as a game writer was for “a slumber party game - for girls!” She’s gone on to work on over 25 projects, including award-winning titles in the BioShock, Far Cry and Tomb Raider franchises. Titles in her portfolio have sold over 30 million copies and generated over $500 million in sales. She is an adjunct professor at UT Austin, where she teaches a course on writing for games. A long time ago, she founded the Game Narrative Summit at GDC. Now, she partners with studios, publishers, and writers to help teams ship great games with great stories. She is dedicated to supporting creatives in the games industry so that they can do their best work.