That’s the dream, isn’t it?
General Advice for Anyone
The problem with writing and/or game development as a career is that it is too enjoyable. Which means there are way too many of us dreaming of writing full-time.
I am 39 years old and began writing seriously when I was 16. That’s the first time I wrote a longer-length work, which placed well in a national writing contest, and I figured I’d arrived as a writer. It took me another fifteen years until my first novel was published! (The fifteenth full-length novel that I’d written.)
Because learning ChoiceScript makes a lot of writer brains go “eep! computer stuff!” and flee, it is muuuuuch easier to write and publish a Hosted Game than a novel. That small barrier cuts out a lot of people, yay!
As far as earning potential goes, the official “Choice of” label offers an advance of $10,000US, which indicates that a seriously good Hosted Game has the potential to earn that amount. (Official “Choice of” games get a whole lot of promotion, and have a better reputation and a more consistent style than HG, so a successful HG would probably need to have a writer who has the skills to self-promote… which I really don’t, despite pouring thousands of hours into social media, blogging, geek markets, etc.)
Maybe you’re the one in a million writer who can earn $10,000 per game. That hope keeps a lot of us going But to get the best idea of how much you can actually earn from a game, the best way it to write and publish a HG. In my opinion, whatever you earn in the first two months of release is roughly the same as what it’ll earn over the next few years.
On the other hand, some games gain momentum over time. That’s unusual, but possible.
And, every HG you publish will give a little bump to all your other games.
So, in conclusion, write a game and see how you go. It’s VERY unlikely you’ll be able to make a living from game writing, but it’s POSSIBLE.
Keep in mind that if you’re a machine who churns out 1000 words per hour (all in flawless code that never requires editing, lol) then it’ll still take 100 hours to make quite a short game. The most I ever earned in a year, writing full-time, was $20,000AU. (And the year after that I made MINUS $10,000 while still writing full-time.)
(I should mention here that I’m financially supported by my husband + a disability pension.)
So, if you don’t write for love, don’t do it.