October Gamedev Update!

Busy month, as always! Life in the Dorms has gone through a few more script revisions now, thanks to the support of our testers in rooting out nonsensical bits and injecting more hilarity. We’re a bit delayed and might not be able to push the game out the door until January—but don’t take that as a warning sign. The game is ostensibly finished; it’s just the polishing phase that’s taking longer than anticipated. Plus our programmer/project manager is in the midst of moving to a new home in California—from Australia. So that’s taking some time.

To keep myself (overly) occupied, I’ve started seeking out new clients to work with. I’ve got one potential big project on the horizon (a big paying project—that’s right, they exist!), and a bunch of little baby ones that mostly involve me writing descriptions for people’s indie games for the WP7/XNA/iTunes app stores. This was inspired by my work with the Nook store a few months ago; I figured if the Nook developers would pay me $5 for 100 words on why you should buy their game, other people would, too, and it turns out I was right! By the way, if YOU want me to write a description for your game, e-mail me! You know you don’t really want to do it yourself.

One of the games I wrote a description for is a free iPhone app called Falling Lemming, so go download that if you have an iThing, because if they get big numbers, they might be tricked into thinking it’s cause of me.

Also this month, I learned about one of the unexpected perils of being a freelance games editor: Sometimes, the developer ignores your changes in the final product, and typos and grammar mistakes that you thought you’d corrected go un-fixed. I worked on this one project last month in which I sent in about five pages worth of re-writes and grammar fixes, none of which were implemented in the final game. …Which, is a problem. For the game itself, of course, but also for me, because then prospective clients could play that game, see the typos, and think I’m not a very good editor.

If the developer can’t or won’t fix the mistakes, there’s not much you can do about it besides be sad, and then DEMAND that they take your name off the credits…and then hope that they get around to doing that at some point. I’ve also been going back-and-forth about a disclaimer on my website that says something to the effect of:

Note: It’s up to the game developer to implement any changes I’ve suggested for the script. I generally have no say over the final product; any grammar mistakes or typos that are ignored or introduced by the developer are beyond my control.

But I play-tested that on Facebook, and a few friends suggested that it makes me sound like a jerk. I’ll keep thinking about it.

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