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I need a scenario for a small dialog-based game / interactive story. The game would be used as an example to be shipped with a middleware tool we're developing.

I would like to buy an existing story (it should be dynamic of course — with branching dialogs etc.), or hire someone to write a new one.

Please advise, where to go to find such person / service? We're based in Russia, so getting a talented enough native English writer locally is a bit of a problem.

Update: To be extra clear: We must get all necessary rights to reuse the story and make a derived work (i.e. the game we're talking about) from it. This is a commercial product. Borrowing someone else's work at random and using it just not going to work.

WARNING: Please do not post "I can do it" answers here. This is not a job board! You will get downvoted and your answer will be deleted. If you really want to contact me, look into my profile.

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Maybe you should post this on english.se? Just a thought –  Joseph Weissman Jun 19 '11 at 2:25
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Wouldn't it be off-topic there? It is an off-topic on writers.se. –  Alexander Gladysh Jun 19 '11 at 2:26
    
@Alexander good point, you're definitely right. –  Joseph Weissman Jun 19 '11 at 2:27
    
@Alexander Gladysh: It might be a good place to find freelance writers. I suggest asking in the "meta" over there first if such a request would be appropriate though. –  Randolf Richardson Jun 19 '11 at 3:07
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@Randolf: It is explicitly marked as off-topic at writers.se FAQ, and nothing close to it is listed as on-topic on english.se. I highly doubt that it would be welcome there. –  Alexander Gladysh Jun 19 '11 at 5:10

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Mea culpa. Should have done more research before posting.

Alexander, you can check out the IGDA's Game Writing Special Interest Group -- there, you'll find information about freelance writers in the industry. You can also sign up for the mailing list, which will allow you to get in touch with game writers directly.

http://www.igda.org/writing

GameGuzzler is a good site for posting ads for contract writers. I believe someone else may have mentioned Gamasutra already, but I'll emphatically add a recommendation for that one as well.

http://www.gameguzzler.com

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+1 for the correction and good link –  Jonathan Connell Jun 21 '11 at 9:24
    
Cool, some good links! Thank you! And finally a chance to get some use from my old IGDA account! :) –  Alexander Gladysh Jun 21 '11 at 10:44

I've found this web of a game writer that has an article: how to find the best game writer for your game

Edited:

In this web there are scripts from movies or unproduced scripts uploaded by his authors. The web FAQs says that the scripts are links to other sites. You can see the unproduced scripts and contact the author if the script has copyright. Make sure that the script hasn't been post illegaly in the web. I'm not sure if the web ensures the legality of his content.

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Thanks. But maybe there is some easier way for this? Hunting for people individually as the article you linked suggests will take a lot of time and effort — likely to be out of proportion for the small thing I need. –  Alexander Gladysh Jun 18 '11 at 19:07
    
Yes, it's true. I've been searching and it's difficult find a freelance writer or something similar. I've seen this web and I thought that could be useful. But you are right. –  momboco Jun 18 '11 at 19:11
    
I suspect one of the challenges is that writers may often be very deeply engaged in the stories they're writing, and consequently not have much time for the internet (can you imagine someone like Stephen King putting a lot of effort into online forums?). –  Randolf Richardson Jun 19 '11 at 3:05
    
@Randolf: I guess that many of Stephen King's assistants do that. <g> –  Alexander Gladysh Jun 19 '11 at 5:21
    
@Randolf: Jokes aside, there should be some infrastructure for getting the work done! Most computer games do get some kind of scenario writer somehow, after all. –  Alexander Gladysh Jun 19 '11 at 5:22

If all you're after is demo content, consider borrowing a plot from an existing source such as a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, or a game that you like. If you're not selling the content, I doubt I will cause copyright problems (but i am not a lawyer).

To clarify: I'm not advocating stealing someone else's work. As someone who makes intangible things for a living, I don't advocating stealing intellectual property.

If I'm demoing, say, an audio channel separation tool to a client, I'm not going to pay a musician to compose and record custom music for the demo. Using one of my existing MP3s or CDs is just fine - I'm not reselling (or distributing) their content, and am in no way harming the copyright owner ( financially or otherwise).

Now, if I were putting the same demo on a website or distributing it in some other way, the circumstances are very different.

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No, sorry, the content has to be clearly available for reuse (like being under appropriate Creative Commons license). –  Alexander Gladysh Jun 18 '11 at 20:32
    
Why the down vote? You didn't specify that it needed to be available for reuse and the poster makes a valid point. +1 –  Amplify91 Jun 19 '11 at 3:37
    
@David: Of course example would be distributed along with the middleware — what is the point otherwise? –  Alexander Gladysh Jun 19 '11 at 4:58
    
@Amplify91: I'm sorry, but this is plain common sense! What is the use of an example that I can not show to anyone because it violates rights of a third party? –  Alexander Gladysh Jun 19 '11 at 4:59
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@Alexander its not obvious from your question; a demo in a meeting with a client or potential customer, or over WebEx for instance, is very different than a publically available download. –  David Lively Jun 19 '11 at 19:34

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