Fielding writer questions saves money

Got your attention? As US tax time heads into the final stretch, I know I’ve been thinking about the money I spent — all of it wisely, I assure you — in the last year. At the same time, we’ve started working with a new game developer where we agreed from the outset, due to time and money constraints, to only go as far as a first revision. How could we get it right nearly the first time if we weren’t familiar with their likes and dislikes? Simple — we asked lots of questions! But how can you make sure your game writers ask the ones that save time and money? Try these tips:

1. Be available — Our client e-mailed us to ask if we had any questions. If we didn’t ask any questions, they called to ask us for questions. We even had personal mobile numbers — which was helpful when we were trying to make a 10pm deadline.

2. Be thoughtful — No need to rush to answer. If you need to think about it, do so. I asked the client a question. Without an immediate answer, he hung up so he could think about it. When he called me back a half hour later, he had a reasoned, articulate answer.

3. Be cool — There’s such a thing as being too available — give your writer space to get the job done. Saying, “Call or e-mail” if you have any questions should be sufficient. If you’ve shown you’ll keep the door open, the writer will walk through it.

With all of these in place, I had no problem pre-approving script ideas before I set them on page by asking specific questions. Whether you want to save money or just want a better first draft, you can follow these steps to get the script good faster. Have any questions?

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Published in: on April 15, 2008 at 3:47 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Questions, Receiving Answers Being open to questions doesn’t begin and end with the game writer-developer relationship.  When I go to game expos, […]

  2. I really enjoyed this post, especially the final rule: be cool. It’s nice to know someone’s available for you, but won’t loiter around your desk to ensure you meet deadline. I think this has a lot to do with trusting the writer, and when that trust is available, productivity (and money) is more common.

  3. Trust may be part of it. Sometimes the constant checking in is just anxiety and not realizing how distracting it can be.

    It’s like in dating. Some people will call someone a couple times, not realizing they’re doing it, and push their match away.

    It’s better, if you’re prone to anxiety, to schedule times to check in, or indicate you’d prefer the writer to check in once a day.


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