Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Big Guys

I've been obsessed with computer games for as long as I can remember. Eventually, I progressed to MMOs, or Massive Multi Online games where players can meet others online and play together. These games became legends and I dreamed about one day making a game of my own.

I go to the websites of these big games and listen to what other players had to say about them. Many of them were negative. Many complained about the tiniest detail, and rarely did any of the complainers do it politely. I went to a BBQ for a game company called Cryptic Studios. I asked one of their main designers how he could stand to have kids constantly insulting him and his work. He said you just had to have thick skin and roll with it.

So I was going for a second BA degree--something more game related than Anthropology, when in October of last year, I decided to start looking for gaming projects. I found a lot on I figured out most of them were kids with huge dreams and little to no skills to be able to make it happen. But out of all of them, there was one that was a lot more organized. They weren't looking for a writer, but I replied to them anyways. I talked my way into the job. After all, I'm a good writer and was willing to work for free. How could they say no to that?

It seemed so promising, that I dropped out of my programming classes. Well, I already had a BA in something. I decided that I made no money going to college. So why not make no money working on a game instead? I want to be a game writer. So instead of spending 4 years in school to get a job that I didn't really want in the first place, I could spend that time working for free as a game writer getting experience. Made sense to me.

So, for almost a year now, I've been writing lore and creative fiction for the game. My Anthropology degree turned out to be really, really helpful in designing an alien eco system based on unique science fiction elements. Because I understand culture like I do, I'm able to make really weird alien civilizations that make sense without being Earth Culture rip offs.

A couple weeks ago, I designed a few monsters and how they fit in nicely with the eco system. One of the very talented artists on the team created concept art for it. It's going to be then modeled, rigged, animated, textured, and put into the game. It's really exciting to see something that came purely out of my brain and put into a game.

Speaking of the team, we have several people that have worked in professional studios in the past. And as we get closer and closer to getting funding, we're getting a lot more attention from talent wanting to jump on board. Now we don't have funding yet, but we passed a lesser, but still important milestone tonight. We got our first bit of press.

Joystiq wrote a very vague article on us. Joystiq is a very popular gaming website. As a result of this article, over a 12 hour period, the number of our Facebook fans have doubled. We'd been getting a thousand unique hits to our website a day, but that's greatly increased with this article.

Immediately after, several other gaming websites have been talking about our game on their forums. Much of what's being said about the incredibly vague and limited information that people have on the game to form their opinions have been really negative. One guy said that if the high number of typos on the site was any indication, the game probably sucks. Maybe others had negative things to say about the game mechanics.

But you know, all that made me really happy. I feel like we're being insulted by whiney little kids just like all the other big companies get insulted. It makes me feel like we've made it.

Next stop--funding so we can get paid and I can relocate to where ever we're relocating to.

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