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Larian looking for a writer

Discussion in 'Larian Studios' started by MRY, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    In case someone here wants to throw in. He may be serious about experience, or may not -- often it's just used to discourage mass applications.
     
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  2. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    Codex 2014
    Looks like he's really looking for a writer already shipped a few RPGs.



    Um, Neal Hallford?
     
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  3. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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  4. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    He's at Nexon working with Kevin! No poaching!
     
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  5. Lostpleb Learned

    Lostpleb
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    Good luck to all applicant. ©
     
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  6. shihonage You see: shelter. Patron

    shihonage
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    Bubbles In Memoria
    "I am looking for a middle-aged man. Have you seen him?"

    Ok that's my demo tape, can I have the job now please?
     
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  7. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Remember: more is more!
     
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  8. SniperHF Arcane

    SniperHF
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    "gone through hell a few times before".

    Sounds like rewrites.

    Or writes (indirect dialog going bye bye?)
     
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  9. They need a new writer.
     
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  10. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
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    Because their current cuck-squad is very "experienced".
     
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  11. hivemind Guest

    hivemind
    can i hav jobb

    pls
     
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  12. TZ3K Arcane Patron

    TZ3K
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    JarlFrank become the codex mole in Larian.
     
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  13. Zorba the Hutt Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
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  14. Jokzore Savant

    Jokzore
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  15. vortex Fabulous Optimist

    vortex
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    MRY , how to get writing experience for adventure game or RPG game ?
     
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  16. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    If I had the experience, gladly!

    ... this is all like this "need experience for job, need job for experience" thing :(
     
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  17. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

    Self-Ejected
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    These people never learn. Fire all your writers and put someone knowledgeable in charge. If Avellone doesn’t want the helm, he should hire sser or Darth Roxor.
     
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  18. anvi Cipher Village Idiot

    anvi
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    I am an experienced games writer. Can someone please forward him my resume?
     
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  19. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    anduin It's tricky. But as I said before, very often "oodles of experience required" is a way of screening people through voluntary avoidance. If Bioware says, "We're looking for a writer to help us with the next Mass Effect game!" they will get thousands of applicants from their fans. But if it says, "We're looking for a writer with 3-5 years' experience and at least two AAA shipped titles and a B.A. degree in Creative Writing, Communications, or an equivalent field" it can reduce the number of applicants to a manageable pool because 99.9% of the prior applicants won't satisfy the criteria, and 95% of them will pay attention to the criteria. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Bioware needs or wants someone with that experience -- they just don't want thousands of unqualified applicants to sift through.

    At least two of the game-writing jobs I've gotten, the only two that had such experience requirements posted (TimeGate and Bioware) hired me despite my lacking the experience required. A third, Stormfront Studios (what a name!) brought me in for an interview and seemed to be suggesting they'd offer me the job if I'd drop out of college, but I can't tell if the design director was just being nice or what. (She was very nice, although I remember being appalled that she'd never played PS:T or any of the other RPGs I rattled off -- this was when they were about halfway into making the ill-fated Pool of Radiance game.)

    The thing is, you need something to get them to treat your application as "otherwise qualified" rather than "lunatic or idiot player who stubbornly persists in thinking he can make games because he plays games." In my case, I think it was probably (absurdly) my academic pedigree. I'd like to believe it was also the quality of my (short story) writing samples I provided, but I'm skeptical since I now realize that fiction writing is almost wholly unrelated to game work, especially RPG work. I think they basically said, "I dunno, he seems to know how to perform under arbitrary rules and show up and check boxes well, at least we can be relatively confident he won't be a total screw up."

    A friend of mine who applied for a job at CD Projekt got far into the process, too, without the required experience, though he didn't ultimately get hired.

    My general suggestion is that you should make hobby games that showcase the skills you want to sell. There are ample options now for doing that (RPG Maker, Twine, Choice Script, NWN2 or whatever the current equivalent to that is). You can also try gathering up unrelated credentials that nevertheless show you're not a total screw up -- like Gavin seems to have gotten his start writing Cracked.com articles. I think Darth Roxor's thoughtful editorials would possibly put him in the same camp, but I will say that pseudonymous RPG Codex articles probably are entitled to less weight in this regard than other things might be. Basically what you're trying to do is put together a resume / c.v. that at a glance looks non-bullshit. "Under the name anduin wrote the following seven posts on RPG Codex" doesn't really work in that regard, even if the posts are brilliant.

    (Thus, for example, my article about Age of Decadence, which I think is probably one of my better pieces of writing, is essentially worthless professionally, while the random short story I wrote and published in a random fiction zine for $5 in college has considerable worth because it rounds out my "published two dozen stories" on my resume, and when people ask, I can say, "Yes, those were all paid, and 10 of them were print." "I wrote something on a site called 'Gamasutra' about some game you never heard of" is cringeworthy.)

    If anyone is seriously interested in applying, I'm happy to read a writing sample and offer a letter of introduction/recommendation -- even though I don't know anyone at Larian, the absurd nature of the world is that such things are sometimes enough to get you out of the slush pile.
     
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  20. Alienman Arcane Patron

    Alienman
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    I would hire you for that excellent background story.
     
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  21. sser Arcane Cuck Developer

    sser
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    Question is, can we still apply if we don't have Twitter?
     
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  22. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    I am sure you can apply via email.
     
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  23. v1rus Arcane

    v1rus
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    While I'm not looking for a gig right now, this sort of knowledge should come useful in the future - experience in writing in related fields worth anything? Talking about theater/film here.
     
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  24. Alienman Arcane Patron

    Alienman
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Did the writing for Battle Brothers take a big toll on you?

    He is looking for grizzled veterans :)
     
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  25. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    I've never been in the position of hiring a video game writer, so I may be totally wrong about all of this. But IMO, yes, it would be worth a fair bit. At the initial stage, I think what's going on is that you need a quick and easy way of going from a potential applicant pool of 2,000 to a meaningfully reviewable pool of 20 or whatever. "This guy has been paid to write" or at least "this guy has proven experience that resulted in a delivered product" is such a tool. Especially if someone was interposed between you and the market. So, "I've written five novels" is, in my opinion, worth less than, "I have published two articles on Cracked.com for $50" (or whatever they pay). The latter case means that the employer is outsourcing part of the initial cut to the editors ate Cracked.com; when it's just novels on your own computer, the only thing that shows is that you can (claim to) finish a novel.

    My sense is that the analysis goes something like:

    (1) Presumptively trash unless something gets you out of trash.
    (2) If not in trash, do you have something that makes you stand out as brilliant? (A reference from someone we trust, a great body of experience, some ludicrously awesome life story.)
    (3) If not brilliant, let me glance at your writing sample and see if it immediately reads well. If not, trash.
    (4) If brilliant, let me glance at your writing sample and see if it immediately reads poorly. If so, probably trash, but maybe not.

    For example, during my first stint as a law clerk, we would receive ~2000 (IIRC) applications for 4 slots. The first thing the judge did was throw out every application that wasn't from one of four schools she trusted or sent personally to her by someone she trusted. The next thing she did was have us throw out everyone who didn't have great grades unless someone she trusted vouched for the person. Then we actually did something like a "holistic analysis" -- maybe 80 people reached that stage. Of those, maybe 40 came in for interviews. Of those, four got hired. People hate that the dehumanizing way they are treated in hiring and the nepotism and it's totally unjust, but there's no real way it can be done without those kinds of mechanical tests. "Holistic" and humane review of 2000 applicants would've taken all our time all year long.

    I assume basically the same thing goes on when a gamer-beloved company is hiring for a non-technical job (i.e., for a job at which people without ability can think they have ability).
     
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