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three games, one year

So, 2010 is the year I got to have three games I worked on released. I guess after ten years I was overdue, eh?

My name's under "Platform Technology" for two Blizzard titles, and though I couldn't find a credits page for Fantasy University, I know my work's in there, mostly in the earlier content (i.e., what I'd finished before I left).

What didn't survive? Quests, mainly. When I left the "voice" of the game was still in the formative stage, so I expected they'd be revised or ditched completely. (And for the record, "Mad Willy Jack" is far more awesome as a tutorial NPC than "Captain Arr" ever was.)

But many of the starting creatures, NPCs, and some of the lower level, non-"Hero Shop" items and drops are my writing. The rough area stubs I came up with for the Game Design Doc also still seem to be intact, a la "Hey, you know what would be funny? A zombie town named Pleasanton!" or "I think we should work Maynard James Keenan into the game. SOMEHOW."

(I'm actually really happy with that last one. A great deal of DragonRealms was coded while listening to Ænima, and I feel like I owe Tool a debt for keeping my sanity intact while creating Bards. Whoever did the art (I'm suspecting Tracy Butler, but it could have been Candy Janney) did a great job.)

Very weird to be speaking about my partial contributions to gaming, but that's life for you. Game studios are iterative environments by nature. We build. We play. We learn. We refine. All of those steps are important. Empathy for the player is what leads to greatness.

So much of the humor of F.U. was collaborative that it's at times impossible to say what was my idea, what was someone else throwing something out to the crowd. That's how it was: all of us throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what would stick. Then the artists spinning it into gold. Pure magic, when you nail it right.

And speaking of life: I need to figure out what story Wil (not Wheaton) wants to tell. Preferably before the story deadline is up. C'mon, Herald! Hurry it up!

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