Home > Gaming > Writing a Game Guide: Part 1 – Choosing a Game

Writing a Game Guide: Part 1 – Choosing a Game

There’s a lot to do in front of me.

With summer here, and an abundance of free time now on my hands, I have decided to try a type of video game-related writing that I never have before. As you may have guessed from the title of this post, that type of writing is a guide.

Now there are many different kinds of guides, each with various levels of difficulty when it comes to writing them. For example, there are the simple “Boss Walkthroughs” where the reader is only helped through boss battles; the “Character Guides”, something usually associated with listing the moves/giving tips for one particular character in a fighting game; and, (the most difficult to make), walkthroughs that cover the entire game.

For my first foray into the tedious and often thankless world of writing a guide, I feel like I should stick with something easy… something that I’ll be able to finish easily. Instead of telling a player where to find every last pigeon in Grand Theft Auto IV or a full combo list for all 56 characters in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, perhaps I should do a Boss Walkthrough of some old platformer, or maybe a full walkthrough of a very short and very easy game. The only problem with the latter is that nobody really has any need for that kind of guide, so I’ll be writing to a nonexistent audience.

Another thing I need to keep in mind while choosing a game is the number of already available guides out there on the internet for it. If there are a dozen or so published as it is, I probably won’t be able to top them all, so there really isn’t much of a point to even trying to write my own. I thought at first that I should pick a game that’s so obscure that no guides have been written on it; originally my idea was A Bug’s Life for the Game Boy Color. It’s short and easy… enough. The only problems are that it’s not a ton of fun, not many people are playing that anymore, and even fewer would even consider looking at a guide for it.

With A Bug’s Life scrapped, I moved onto some other ideas – namely, two Playstation 1 games I have just recently beaten. You might recognize the names if you’ve read my post “Playin’ My Playstation”; they are Disruptor and Heart of Darkness. Disruptor has a few guides written on it, but none of them are very good. It’s also the kind of game that people might want a guide for if they’re trying to find all the secrets in every level. Only problem? I don’t think many people are playing it nowadays, although that could change if it becomes a downloadable “PS1 Classic” on the Playstation Network. The same can be said for Heart of Darkness in this respect – it’s not on PSN, so until then a guide on it probably wouldn’t be read by very many people.

So yesterday another idea came to my head – I should do a guide on Crash Bandicoot 2 for the Playstation 1. It’s a popular and well-loved game to this day for many people, and the fact that it’s already on PSN means that people might still be consulting guides for it. I’ve always liked Crash 2, and have beaten it a couple of times already, so my insight into the secrets of the game wouldn’t start from scratch. I just have to decide if I really want to attempt a full walkthrough, which I imagine could get very difficult, to the point where I would want to quit. But I suppose that’s just part of the experience of writing a guide, right?

Look out for some more posts in the future about me working through this epic task, or at least further deciding if I should even take on this epic task. And be sure to leave some encouragement, because without it I might get bored and quit.

Oh boy. What am I getting myself into?

By Josh60502

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