So you play video games and maybe you are pretty good at them. Maybe you have thought about making video games but the task seems a bit daunting. If you have some ability to write and keep a lot of information organized you might want to try writing your own game guide. Here are some tips to help you write terrific video game guides.
If you are interested in the pursuit of making video games but dont know where to start writing a game players guide is a good first option. It will give you a good understanding of the playability of games and how they are structured. You dont have to be a great writer to create a great guide but you do have to know some basic rules. It will also give you some great insight and experience toward making your own games in the future.
Decide which type of game guide you are going to write
There are many different types of guides and the first thing you need to decide is which type you are going to write. There are four different types and the first type is the walk-thru. This is the most common type where you guide the player through a series of steps in the game. This could be a complete guide or just a guide to a certain portion or quest. The second type is the character guide, which explains many of the different skills, options, and abilities of a specific character type. The third type is the beginners guide, which helps beginners get familiar with a game, how it works, and how the interface operates. The fourth type is a performance guide, which helps players achieve certain levels and goals within a game.
Once you have decided which type of guide you are going to write you need to embark on the most important step of the process you need to start a notebook and take notes. You might have a great understanding of the game but your reader doesnt; and when writing your guide you may leave out small details that are simple for you but are not known by your audience. Take a lot of detailed notes and never make assumptions as to what the reader of your guide knows. If your guide is going to be long and complex you may want to use flowcharting techniques to help you understand the choices and decisions that are made in the game. Flowcharting is a great way to manage complex tasks with lots of decisions.
Get a second opinion
Another critical thing you should do when writing a guide is to get an impartial opinion from somebody else. This can be a friend, colleague, or even an anonymous person that you find on a forum or website. The important thing is that you have the person actually try to use the guide without you giving them any hints or tips. This person will give you feedback and tips about sections that were hard to understand or that didnt seem to make sense. Consider any feedback to be the most important part of the process. It is easy for you to go through your guide after all you did write it. But another person going through it doesnt have the same understanding as you do. So get some feedback and make any changes that would clarify things for other players. An important thing to think about here is that if you have to explain anything at all to the test user of your guide then something needs to be fixed in the guide. It should be completely stand alone and understandable without you explaining anything. You wont be able to explain things to all your readers right? If your test reader has questions you should write them down and incorporate your answers into the written version of the guide.
Some Final Tips
You should always write spoiler alerts at the beginning of your guide or at different sub-sections. Let the reader know that you are going to solve very specific problems and tasks in the game. Some people like the problems to be solved for them but many players like the challenge of figuring certain things out for themselves. By writing spoiler alerts you give your reader the option and the control over how he or she plays the game.
If you are attempting your first game guide you should consider doing a small one. Take on the challenge of only a small portion of the game or only a certain task or quest. This will help you build some writing skills and will help you avoid the discouragement of not finishing the guide. Writing a large guide can be a daunting task and it can be easy for you to give up on it. Start with a small guide and complete it so you get the satisfaction of having the project done.
Chances are that you are very passionate about a particular video game and you have a lot of knowledge about it. You probably enjoy playing the game a lot and by writing a players guide you can show off your expertise and get even more enjoyment by helping other people play the game. You dont have to be a great writer to put together a great guide but you do need to follow some simple rules: keep the information organized, communicate clearly to your audience and get somebody to test your guide then pay careful attention to any feedback you are given.