N7 Daydreams and a Change in Perception

It’s Saturday, my day off, and I’m sitting here, awake before 9. So much for sleeping in. I think I might still be battling that flu, but I’m feeling much better.

Anyway, yesterday was N7 day. For those of you not quite on my level of nerd-dom, that’s a Mass Effect reference. N7 is a special ops rank for the Systems Alliance (the Earth’s military), of which the lead character  Commander Shepherd was a member. So, us super nerds get excited when November 7th rolls around. And with good reason.

Bioware has made a habit of announcing/revealing awesome things on N7 day. There were rumors floating around the interwebs about a trilogy remaster, not unlike the Halo: Master Chief Edition. But, that was wishful thinking. While I think a remastered edition of the trilogy on Next Gen consoles is definitely a possibility, I have it pegged for a Holiday release sometime in the future, probably the season before the new game is launched.

Speaking of new game, that’s what they showed us. Ok, not any actual gameplay, because everyone knows they’re nowhere near that stage, but they showed concepts and initial designs for some really neat architecture. And they finally talked a little, tiny bit about the game.

They keep emphasizing exploration. They want the player to be able to explore the galaxy in a really open way, but with a great story at its heart. And now I have visions of of an open-world/galaxy game, where you can land on a planet and just explore and see what you find.

Like Skyrim, but with aliens and space ships and a story that drives you to play. And who wouldn’t want that?

So, as is often the case when I think about Mass Effect, I daydream about being a game writer. So, during my morning perusal of the internet, I looked up some articles on tips to becoming a game writer. And, though most of it is vague and highly dependent on circumstances, I learned some valuable info.

For instance, I need to get more comfortable with computers. Like beyond the basic functions of Word and the internet. I should take a basic design class, and get myself at least comfortable with the terminology, if not downright familiar. I need to play more games, and not just RPGs and Bioware games, because the odds are I’m not going to land that dream job right out of the gate. I need to prepare myself to write for any type of game, even if it’s just to get the experience.

Also, I should try my hand at making a game, or joining in with folks who are. A great suggestion I read was to inquire after college students, who may be working on a game and in need of a writer.

And of course, write, write, write. And write some more.

So far I’ve been really proud of my achievements in the last two-ish years. I’ve written two novels, started a third, and am now working on a really cool collaborative world, where the writing helps build the world as well as dictate its history. And I think working on Caladria is a definite step in the right direction.

Caladria will show that I can work within deadlines, can accept and respond to feedback, as well as make necessitated changes to a piece of work. It will show that I can and do work well in a collaborative setting, that I’m communicative and helpful. And that I can do all of that while working full time and going to school full time. While still maintaining a smidgen of a personal life.

And most of my sanity.

But, I was sitting in my living room, just finished reading and took a moment to reflect on my work from the last few years. And don’t misunderstand me, I’m proud of it. I’ve edited three short stories for publication, and found a home for them all. I’ve written two novels, and am half way through the first round of edits on one of them. I have a third manuscript under way. These are major achievements.

But, I broke down the math, the word count over time, and I was pretty disappointed.

It took roughly 15 months to write both Vessels and Cards. I divided that total word count by that time, and I was only writing an average of 7,500 words a month! That’s terrible! I can and should be writing so much more than that.

And for a brief moment, I was upset. Downtrodden. I’d thought I was doing so well, had been so driven and productive. What was I thinking?

Then I realized that what had happened was I had a change in perception. There was a time when 7,500 words a month seemed impossible to me. A time when I was convinced I’d never be able to write a full length novel. That was only two years ago. Now I know I can write novels, and that I can write entire chapters in one sitting. I took a short story assignment with a minimum required word count of 3,000 words, and I thought, “I can bust that out in a couple of days.”

And so far I’m right.

My session with Hunting Storm yesterday added another 1,000 words, bringing it to 2,074 words. I start work late Monday, and though I have a French exam, and a bit of homework for English, I expect to finish the rough draft that afternoon. I’ll do some basic edits, looking for any typos or spelling errors, and checking clarity before I send it off to my content editor.

It sounds so official. And I guess it is.

I want to leave this random post on an inquisitive note. Bioware announced and introduced the lead team members working on the new Mass Effect game, and not one of them is a woman. I’m not getting all aggressive and wound up about it, but I wonder if there are any women on the writing team?

If not, I want to change that.

Have a good weekend Blogland! See you Monday.


2 thoughts on “N7 Daydreams and a Change in Perception

  1. Please do change that! I am a guy who wants to turn himself into an author, and I love gaming. I have a tendency to choose/design female characters for games, simply because I think the gender diversity is a *little* unbalanced in every aspect of the gaming world. It isn’t really getting better at a notable rate…. I feel like if some female writers were on the Bioware writing teams the relationships might be a little more realistic – i.e., not just pick a few conversation choices and yaylovescene! :-} I appreciated the forced wait time for games like Dragon Age: Origins and KOTOR 2 that made you work on getting a measurable disposition up to speed and maybe helping out with a quest or gift. Not that I can fault Mass Effect for trying to keep up Bioware’s bar they have set high for themselves…. Overall, I appreciate that Bioware even includes things like relationship dynamics and interplay, and sometimes even a few homosexual/bisexual situations as well! I just always love to see constant improvement. As in, there was NO improvement in Dragon Age II…..

    • This comment just a made my night! Thank you so much! I think there’s so much room for improvement in when it comes to gender equality in gaming. That’s not to say that the gaming community is aggressive toward women, or purposefully non-inclusive, but there are a lot of places in the gaming world that aren’t inclusive by accident.

      Does that make sense?

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