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Zummy

Premise for an MMORPG and a question.

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I'm going to start by saying: Is there a great resource online that explains what a writer does on an mmo team, as well as what the usual requirements for this job are? I'm interested in learning the more practical and business side of this career.

Now, I've been half messing with game development out of boredom and it's pretty fun. While I won't be able to actually realize any of these ideas into a real game, I'd appreciate your feedback and criticisms on my creations.

The story starts off with some lead scientists accidentally opening an inter-dimension rift. After some further studies they are able to create reliable and stable connections to the otherside. That's where you, part of the able-bodied pioneers of the new frontier, come in. With a government provided firearm and some money pension for your volunteering, you're off to explore these strange lands. After helping set up your base camp, you decide you should explore to get a look at the flora and fauna of the new world. The creatures that inhabit the world happen to be sentient and sociable, often forming tight bonds with those they consider friends. Shortly after their discovery, scientists develop a translator to give to you. After communicating with these creatures, they start to see you as equals and you eventually get two that follow you. They help you fight in this world and provide you with interesting customization and fighting options.

The Otherside, as it's called, also has magic running through it. The creatures use this magic to help power their houses, cast spells, grow, evolve, etc. The human scientists that have ventured to the Otherside have started engineering this magic, and can now make simple tools with powers in them to give to you, mostly in the form of bullets and extra storage, curative powers and other such spells.

There is an overall steam-punk feel to the game. It is largely realistic, as in you're not some super human or any menacing war hero. You're just someone that volunteered to pioneer the new lands with a gun. Your main strengths in combat come from the magical pets that you bond with.

You progress through a central story arc that is segmented by Chapters and the game plays out in a narrative format. There's a narrator that talks and describes events as they unfold and transitions are done in a story-book type format. Therefore the only voice you hear is the narrators and the rest is told by text.

I don't believe now is the time or place to put the full story line up, but that's the basic premise. Anything that you would like me to elaborate?

Anyway: Basic premise sound good? Would it make for a fun game? (mostly action based, relying on aiming and strafing, using your pets for spells and the mmo feel) How do you feel about the creativity in this story, is it unique?

Thanks for the reviews and your time.

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"A" writer does everything. Before a game feature, quest, story exists it quite mostly starts out as a document of some sort. Are you looking to do technical writing, story writing, etc?

Your premise sounds okay enough. It's all in the implementation. ;)

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What about people that like to hunt?

More often than not, I believe that humans would aim to kill these creatures rather than to befriend them.

Rift: Planes of Telara has proven that using a portal method to have players enter a game is feasible. I am not saying the game overall is feasible, but that players are capable of coping with that part of a story mechanic. I personally did not like the way it was handled in Rift. You had to complete the same quests and kill the same monsters with each character you created for the side you had chosen. I feel that if you want to make it work you need to provide a method with more replayability built in or it will grow stale as I found myself replaying the same content over and over and I didn't quite like it. Less theme park and more player decisions involved with where to go would be best, in my opinion. In Everquest I remember going to Field of Bone several times on various characters to level. It was a great place to group up and gain some experience or to tackle them on your own. It was always a different experience for me each time I was there even though it was the same mix of creatures.

As mentioned in the post above, it is all in the implementation.

As for writing you could be a technical document writer, a quest writer, a lore writer, a website writer, there are just so many things to be written. I find a lack of proper proofreading on public documents to be a poor sign of quality control for a game so make sure you do it properly if you get into the gig.

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[quote name='Caldenfor' timestamp='1306162421' post='4814608']
What about people that like to hunt?

More often than not, I believe that humans would aim to kill these creatures rather than to befriend them.


[/quote]

Well of course you're going to be slaying [i]some [/i]of them, just not [i]all [/i]of them. Every game has enemies. Thanks for the portal parallel, it does shed some light on what I am thinking. The different kind of writers is what interests me, I had no idea about some of the specialties or the different branches of work involved with writing for these games. Is there perhaps a site that gives an overview on the different types as well as a brief description on what they each do? Been doing some random Google searches but nothing really satisfying yet.

As to your proofreading comment, did I miss something in my first post? I usually proofread and check for grammatical mishaps, but I suppose I can't be 100% correct all the time. I'll double check and fix the faults.

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[quote name='Zummy' timestamp='1306169507' post='4814646']

As to your proofreading comment, did I miss something in my first post? I usually proofread and check for grammatical mishaps, but I suppose I can't be 100% correct all the time. I'll double check and fix the faults.
[/quote]

Haha, no. Nothing jumped out at least. I just see some "professional" websites with some sloppy mistakes so I question their character. It was not directed to you, but to the aspect of writing online in general. We use computers to type and yet things still aren't spell checked? Not words being misused, but words not being spelled right at all. I think the latest one I saw was in an MMORPG.com official posting.

I hope you didn't spend too much time rereading.

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[quote name='Caldenfor' timestamp='1306174471' post='4814686']
[quote name='Zummy' timestamp='1306169507' post='4814646']
As to your proofreading comment, did I miss something in my first post? I usually proofread and check for grammatical mishaps, but I suppose I can't be 100% correct all the time. I'll double check and fix the faults.
[/quote]

Haha, no. Nothing jumped out at least. I just see some "professional" websites with some sloppy mistakes so I question their character. It was not directed to you, but to the aspect of writing online in general. We use computers to type and yet things still aren't spell checked? Not words being misused, but words not being spelled right at all. I think the latest one I saw was in an MMORPG.com official posting.

I hope you didn't spend too much time rereading.
[/quote]

Haha, only 5 minutes. 5 minutes isn't a lot to ask for professionalism.

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Well, if this were a single player RPG I would be asking, what is the playable character's inner conflict, their emotional stake - what is the actual _story_ as in the part that people care about and want to find out what happens next? With an MMO that's harder to do. Some games create one of these sort of stories per race or starting location, or one per class; WoW does some of both. Other games, for example Wizard 101, tell each player they are the one and only hero and introduce a recurring villain for the player to pursue through the levels of the game. So my question for you is, how are you going to use story to get the player into their identity within the game world and get the player caring about what's going on in the game world?

Now, writer positions in game development teams. Many game development teams have a single writer. Sometimes this writer gets to have a hand in designing the story from the beginning, other times the designer creates the basic outline then hands it over to the writer to develop. Other game development teams have multiple writers. Typically one would be the lead writer or head writer, while the others are staff writers or assistant writers. The staff or assistant writer(s) would submit their work to the lead writer for approval or revision. The lead writer in turn could assign one of the staff writers to edit anything the lead writer wrote. However the work is divided, in an MMO someone needs to name NPC, places, and items, someone needs to write NPC quest dialogue and any monster/villain dialogue, someone needs to write item flavor text, someone needs to write tutorial/help text, someone needs to write website content, someone needs to write advertising copy, and someone needs to proofread everything.

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[quote name='sunandshadow' timestamp='1306214357' post='4814885']
Well, if this were a single player RPG I would be asking, what is the playable character's inner conflict, their emotional stake - what is the actual _story_ as in the part that people care about and want to find out what happens next? With an MMO that's harder to do. Some games create one of these sort of stories per race or starting location, or one per class; WoW does some of both. Other games, for example Wizard 101, tell each player they are the one and only hero and introduce a recurring villain for the player to pursue through the levels of the game. So my question for you is, how are you going to use story to get the player into their identity within the game world and get the player caring about what's going on in the game world?
[/quote]

The story starts as you creating a character that is essentially a nobody, you signed recruitment papers to venture into unknown territory for fame and fortune. From there, the story branches out from finishing your first encampment to being a liaison/diplomat for the native race of creatures there. From there you recruit teams and help with their struggle versus whatever sort of enemies that happen to arise. As you level up your character becomes stronger willed and is able to do more. I'm hoping for player actions to have a large impact on the world they are in. It's their world and I would like to see how they individually shape it.

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