I got an interesting mail this morning from Daniel Erickson the principal lead writer over at Bioware Austin. He says they have an opening in their writing staff and he’s having a hard time filling it. Daniel wanted to know if he could put the word out here on Penny Arcade and I’m more than happy to help. So do you want to write for the new Bioware MMO?
So here’s the situation we’re in. BioWare games require a great deal of
writing. Storylines, world building, characters, journals - and about a
bazillion lines of dialogue. What makes my job harder is not only does
all of this writing have to be high quality - something not always
demanded in our industry - it can only be done by writers who understand
the complexities of interactive fiction. Take the average screenwriter
who doesn’t play RPGs, place him in front of the writing tool from
Neverwinter Nights and you’ll get a linear story with a complete lack of
Player agency and no interesting decisions. Just trying to explain the
concept behind writing without a protagonist to someone who has never
even been a dungeon master can be like showing card tricks to a dog.
Which brings me to the current problem. The BioWare MMO is the largest
thing we’ve ever done by leaps and bounds. We’re talking a double digit
writing staff working for years (yes we’ve already been working for well
over a year). Now I’ve realized I need even more writers and I’ve got no
reliable way of predicting where they’re going to come from. In the
history of the company, we’ve had published fantasy authors,
screenwriters and editors all wash out of BioWare’s training program. On
the flip side, we’ve had fantastic kids right of college, an ex CNN
producer and a former gift wrapping clerk from Singapore all succeed in
the BioWare writer family. Previous job of lead writer for Baldur’s Gate
2, the highest rated PC RPG in history? Travelodge manager.
So yes, we’re shaking the usual trees and our HR folks are turning over
all the rocks they can think of but I had to go through over three
hundred qualified candidates to find the team I have now so a lot of
those trees have done already been shook. With that level of challenge
around finding writers, I want to throw out an open invitation for
anyone out there that thinks might be the strange combination of RPG
fiend and talented writer to grab a copy of Neverwinter Nights and start
putting together a writing sample. I don’t care if you can script, just
put three guys in a field and attach conversations to them. Make the
plot compelling, write the NPCs as real people who could exist in a
believable world even if the PC wasn’t there, give me an interesting
choice or two and you’re done—easily something can be done over a
weekend and there’s a ton of great community support online if you’re
really tech deficient.
Anyone out there want to write for the game company with three of the
top five rated RPGs of all time on their biggest project ever?
Head here: BioWare Jobs