Monday, June 22, 2009

Welcome to the Team

Several months ago, I identified the members of the Shattered Dreams team, all of whom have contributed their unique talents to our creative undertaking. While a few have since left to pursue other projects, most are still active with us. Since then, we’ve had some noteworthy additions to the team, whom I’d like to welcome in this blog post. Here they are, arranged according to when they joined us:

  • Henry Solberg, Composer. I first met Henry online when he messaged me with an offer to compose music for Faithless, the module that is supposed to be this blog’s reason for being. (Ahem.) It became obvious that I wasn’t about to release Faithless any time soon, so Henry asked if he could be a part of what was then known as the “secret bouncyRock project.” After listening to samples of Henry’s music, Dirtywick said yes. Henry joined the Shattered Dreams team last December, but it’s only now that I finally got around to blogging about his involvement with us. Thanks to him and Gallaen Frost, we’ll have new music for our players to enjoy.

  • Wyrin D’njargo, Writer. Last April, Dirtywick posted a request for a writer to join the Shattered Dreams team. It is well known among modders that the two major bottlenecks in module building are area design and writing. While we have some really awesome area designers, Dirtywick (being our lead writer) was the only one who was active with writing at the time. This was on top of his activities as project leader and area designer, which put a strain on his writing duties. A day after posting his request, Dirtywick informed me that he got an offer from none other than Wyrin D’njargo, creator of the popular “Dark Avengerseries. I emailed Dirtywick with the following response: “Wyrin? Wy rin’t we hiring him on the spot?” Dirtywick emailed back, saying that he was looking to fill only one writing position, but he had received a second offer from someone else. My eyes nearly popped from their sockets when I found out who the other guy was.

  • Amstradhero, Writer. It turned out that Amstradhero (aka Shadowbeast) had also offered to join the writing team. Amstradhero is the creator of “Fate of a City,” which was one of the modules that won the Neverwinter Vault’s 2008 Gold Award for module of the year. In an unprecedented move, “Fate of a City” shared the gold award with another module – Dirtywick’s own “Subtlety of Thay – Chapter 2.” (Have I mentioned that Dirtywick is our lead writer?) Anyhow, I pleaded with Dirtywick to let both Wyrin and Amstradhero join us. Dirtywick wasn’t sure at first if he could handle two writers at the same time, but he eventually decided to welcome both of them to the fold. Woo hoo!

  • Baron, Writer. Some weeks back, Barry the Hatchet told a friend of his named Baron that Dirtywick was looking for additional writers for Shattered Dreams. Baron (not to be confused with Baron Rosencheckl of Robinson Workshop) was highly recommended by Barry the Hatchet, who enjoyed his stories. I got a chance to read samples of Baron’s writing when Dirtywick forwarded a module that contained some of his conversation files. While the context of the dialog remains hazy to me, I did find the writing entertaining, and several lines brought a smile to my face. It seems that Baron has an affinity for comic writing. Anyhow, Dirtywick has already brought Baron to the team. Judging from Baron’s work, I’m sure it’s a decision well made.

Welcome to the team, guys. Glad to have you aboard.


E.C.Patterson said...

Did you really write "Wyrin? Wy rin’t we hiring him on the spot?” LOL.

Looks like you guys put a great writing team together. Congratulations.

Depends on the builder, but for me too, writing is definitely the principal bottleneck. For some it's scripting, for others area building. Yes, area building takes time, but at least I have much more fun usually doing that than writing.

dirtywick said...

Hey E.C.,

I suppose like anything, if it's all your doing it can get tedious. Part of the problem with working on a team like this is that people are specialized and get less time to do other things to help break the tasks up, which for many can be difficult to stay motivated.

With the writing though, we kept the plot somewhat loose to afford the writers more opportunity to be creative, such as designing a whole quest instead of just writing what we tell them to. Like, you need to go from point A to point B and we need a cutscene here with X and the PC needs to accompish Y, but other than that have fun.

Anyway, it can get pretty dry at times and I hope that helps mitigate that "dread" and keep our team motivated to continue and feel like they have some creative input.

But regardless, thanks. The writing team is doing great work, and so is the rest of the team for that matter. It's been pretty quiet publicly but the amount that's been done so far is looking great.

Frank Perez said...


Ha ha, yeah, those were my words exactly. ;)

As Dirtywick mentioned above, the entire team has been doing a lot of development work. Most of us have been pretty quiet about what's been going on, with the exception of me, obviously. :P Although the NWN2 community hasn't been hearing much about what the rest of the team is doing, I can attest to the fact that everyone is producing amazing work. What people read about at my blog is just the tip of the iceberg, and what an iceberg it is. I'm proud to be working hand-in-hand with these guys.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Looks like a strong team ... so hopefully some great projects. :)

All the best.


Wyrin said...

Well at least it wasn't "Wy rin't we running a mile?" ;)

It was interesting to be given the work so far and open up to the toolset and see what was in place - there's a lot of cool content in there.

I agree that all too often people focus on the area design bottleneck, when good writing (and the plot/quest design that goes with it) is a very involved process.

It's been strange to focus on just the writing, as DW says, without the minor diversions into other areas. Although, I've been happy to forgo any area building and being able to request an area specific to your needs and have it delivered a day or so later is pretty sweet ! ;)

I'm hoping the very different style of this work will appeal to a lot of players

Nacaal said...

Oh, no!!! If you guys are all working on the same thing, the Vault will not be able to run a 2009 Mod of the Year contest!

Just kidding, of course. Great team and much awaited project!

Frank Perez said...

Hey, that gives me an idea. Why don't we all work on each other's modules? That way, we all stand a better chance of winning module of the year. :P

Nah, just kidding. Somewhat. :P