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The Day With the Baby-Steps

By on May 31, 2015 in gaming, writing |

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This week’s been intensely busy, but fun, too.

I wrote my first long-form piece for IGN. I had an email from my Games Ed late Friday asking if I could cover a call with FIFA that same afternoon. I said yes. I thought it was a presentation or somesuch, but by the time I was on the call I realised that I was covering a bloody interview. It was only brief – just 15 minutes – but it was with the head of the FIFA franchise, which amazed and delighted me in equal measures. I managed to get through it with a handful of insight questions (shaped on the fly, of course) and some good quotes.

Had a freelancer colleague check over the copy (<3), and I submitted it the afternoon before the news embargo was up. Article went live and I realised my editor didn't change anything - not a single bloody word. He said it was the right amount, led with the information and digressed in a meaningful way. I am so freakin’ proud of myself.

I like interviews. They can be awkward as fuck, naturally, but there’s something really satisfying about talking to people who make games, and I love peeking behind that curtain. So this week marked another first for me – I reached out a dev I’ve admired for a long time (he worked at Irrational Games for 10+ years) and asked if he’d talk to me about a new horror game they’re developing. He came back to me on the same day, and we’d arranged a Skype meeting within two. The interview went on for over an hour, and it was fabulous. He said he’d read and loved my work, particularly a preview I did of Bioshock Infinite. There’s every chance he’s just being nice and polite, but the idea of a dev team reading my thoughts about their game… it’s amazing stuff. I still can’t believe I get to do this now.

I’ve never pitched to an outlet before – everything I’ve done has either been for my own site, or assigned by another place – so my boss at IGN said he’ll take some time this week to help me shape the pitch, for which I’m outrageously thankful. As I write this, I’m taking a break from transcribing the 75min interview (always the most painful part of the interview process!). I have a metric fuckton of info from which to shape the interview, and idea’s are already percolating.

I’m also now on GameSpot’s books, which is amazing too, of course. I submitted a few samples, after which I was asked to detail what I suspected my specialisms were, and what liked to do best. He replied and said that he loved my work, he could tell that there’s some subjects I’m particularly interested in, and as he really “wants to work with me”, “hopefully the right opportunity will come soon”.

There’s been a lot of luck with this stuff, but there’s been a lot of hard work, too. I’m writing for the world’s biggest sites. I don’t even know how this has happened.

Other things are happening – things that aren’t quite so fun. But I can’t write about those publicly, so I’ll drop this obscure sub-message and tackle it in a passworded post later this week. Heh.