Writing For PAYDAY 2

The people have spoken!

For this blog post I asked my twitter followers what subject they wanted me to write about. I gave them three alternatives.

  1. Novel edit update #2
  2. Writing for PAYDAY 2
  3. What’s the novel about?

And as the title suggests, writing for PAYDAY 2 was the winner.


Some of you may know that I was actually a Producer at Starbreeze/OVERKILL before I started working as a Writer, and thus I worked very closely with the people running the whole company  (both from a business and creative aspect). I believe this has given me strong edge for my current work on PAYDAY 2, because I know what kind of things motived the creators of OVERKILL when they made Payday: The Heist back in 2011.

The sequel, PAYDAY 2 was released in 2013 and is still wildly popular. We have a huge amount of players and fans, and that close relationship with the PAYDAY community is definitely one of the coolest things about my job.

As a creator, I would–naturally–have loved to be a part of PAYDAY right from the get go; setting the tone and theme of the game, but that’s not the case. I simply have to do the work to the best of my ability, while respecting the IP (intellectual Property) as we go forward. One of the challenges for me as a Writer on PAYDAY 2 is that there’s been a few different people before me doing the writing and setting the “voice” of characters.

The new characters I have helped bring to life are rather easy ones, because I have helped mold them into what they are, from start to finish (a certain Australian heister might be one of these). I have written their backstory and I know them very well. When I have to write lines for Bain for instance, I have to try and capture the voice of a very established character, and be true to who he is. For instance, Bain does not remotely swear as much as the other people in the game, and I have to remind myself of that constantly when I write his lines, otherwise the fans of the game (and my colleges) would react negatively to that change of voice. One of the first thing I did when I started as a Writer on PAYDAY 2, was to create a “project bible” where I collected all the lore of both games, and also made bios for all existing characters. This is very handy for me, because I can always reference things if I’m uncertain about something.

So what is it I actually do on a day-to-day basis? It’s too much to break down thoroughly, but I can try and give you the bigger picture.

Firstly, we have the heisters – the playable characters of PAYDAY 2. We are always looking to create more unique individuals from all parts of the world and these characters need a written backstory that can be shared with the team, so everyone understands the vision we’re going for. We have a lot of voice-lines in PAYDAY 2, and they need to be written and revised before it’s time for the actors to go into recording.

Secondly, we have all the new levels we make for the game – these require a large amount of written voice-lines and, sometimes, we introduce new minor characters as well, filling a special function for one specific heist. Borisfrom the PAYDAY 2: Goat Simulator DLC is one of these characters, and most recently, the Reapers, the Russian special forces we created for the PAYDAY 2: Hardcore Henry Packs DLC.

Up until a few weeks ago I was writing all text for PAYDAY 2, but we recently hired a copy editor that now works with the marketing team. His focus is on the text for websites and promotion material, giving me more time to focus on in-game related things.

Lastly, we have the FBI Files feature, descriptions for masks and weapons, Contact Database text and so on. Smaller things that still requires some time.

If you guys have any questions or anything, just leave a comment and I’ll reply.

Have a good Sunday! 🙂


4 thoughts on “Writing For PAYDAY 2

  1. Cool! Sounds like a LOT of writing though! ^^ What do you think your daily word count would be if you also include what you write at work? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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