Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Developer Appreciation Week: The Storytellers

A few years ago, Scarybooster over at Scary Worlds founded a celebration in the gamo-blogosphere. A celebration of the men and women who create in this wonderful medium and genre we call MMORPGs. Thus, Developer Appreciation Week was born. I've written a couple of posts devoted to DAW myself, over the years, and this is no different.

This year as I contemplate the things that are most important to me in the role-playing games I have been involved with, I want to thank the storytellers, the lore keepers of these wonderful worlds we occupy. The scenery designers make beautiful locales for us to explore; the model-makers create grotesque and wonderful creatures for us to kill (or protect). But the storytellers make us care—or at least they make me care—about those worlds. They give the worlds and their inhabits history—a raison d'être.

The Rift lore team, led by Lindsay Lockhart (sadly, no longer with Trion) and Nicholas McDowell, fleshed out a world being torn apart by supernatural forces. They created two major societies and several constituent communities with their own cultural values. They provided backstories for myriad individual characters, giving them motivations, prejudices, personalities.

The Warcraft creative team, led by Chris Metzen, tell a story of warlike humans, noble orcs, righteous demons, and magic-addicted elves across thousands of years of history on a planet far removed from our own, yet full of pop culture references that make me laugh and sometimes scramble to figure out what I missed.

The writing team at Bioware, [EDIT: formerly led by Daniel Erickson and currently] led by Alex Freed (special shout-out to Hall Hood, who answered my query), working within an expanded universe rivaled only by that of Star Trek, has woven a history into one of the gaps of that Galaxy Far Far Away, making me personally like or dislike computer generated companions, care about pixel children who are pilfering pixel water in the underbelly of a pixel city, and hunt down virtual villains for personal vengeance, like a Charles Bronson or Liam Neeson movie.

There are more, too many for me to name. Thank you all for your tireless efforts. No one appreciates you for what you do the way I do. Even I don't appreciate you the way I should.

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