Interview with Debuffed: Out of the Box

I did a live interview yesterday with the Grievance Gaming clan, on their Debuffed: Out of the Box show. I wasn't sure what to expect, but they were very cool people. Thanks, Steelheart and Ehvayne! John Ryan and I had a lot of fun.

You can see the videos here:

Things to look for as you're viewing:

  • Codille's attempt to become internet famous.
  • John Ryan's reaction to some hidden dirt about the British Museum.
  • The sun slowly setting as the interview went on, leaving me in darkness by the end.
  • Nixy turning my camera off.
  • Fangirling by multiple people.
  • And this:

Thanks a lot for having us on your show, GG! 


Only a few weeks remain before I start working on my book full time. Happily, my hiatus coincides with NaNoWriMo, so I signed up. This is my first year participating officially; I hope it's as motivational as everybody says it is. 

nanowrimo participant.png

I'm trying to get a lot of the structural and prep work out of the way now, so that I can sit down and simply write come November. I already have the characters figured out, and I know the overarching structure and flow. Seven interwoven short stories, connected by theme. Here are the working titles:

novel start.JPG

I took this picture last night and already two working titles have changed and the order has shifted. So much to figure out; so much that could go wrong…or right. To quote Willy Wonka, "The suspense is terrible. I hope it lasts."


So…I’m leaving the game industry. I’m going to work on a personal project that is far removed from what’s happening in the triple-A universe these days.

As you may know, my contract with Airtight Games ends next month.  I’ve considered my job opportunities carefully, but I don’t feel excited about any of the projects that have come my way recently.  Coming out of Murdered, I want to work on something meaningful that aligns with my personal philosophies about the future of gaming. Luckily for me, I’m at a place in my life where I can afford to take a break. I don’t know when—or if—I’ll have this chance again, so I’m seizing it. I’ll devote the next few months to my own work and hope to have something ready for publication by the end of the year.

This doesn’t mean I’m leaving the industry entirely. I’m acting as consultant on a few small indie projects while I’m on hiatus.  And maybe the perfect major project will come along and tempt me back. Who knows? In any case, I won’t be gone long. 

NOTE: Some of you have responded with concern about my decision, so I want to clarify that this is good news. It's a luxury for a creator to be able to focus exclusively on her own work. I'm incredibly lucky to have the option of taking time off for a passion project.

I didn't make this choice lightly; I've been agonising over it for weeks. It's a scary step. However, I am absolutely confident that I've made the right choice. I hope you all will trust my judgment and support me.

NOTE 2: There is nothing wrong with the project opportunities available to me. I'm not casting judgment on the state of AAA titles or the current games industry. I simply prefer to work on my own project while I have this chance. 

Telling the Story

Great article from IGN that discusses how complex our storytelling system is in Guild Wars 2.

" ArenaNet uses a personal story system threaded throughout each zone, which takes you to instanced areas and uses voiced dialogue sequences to tell the most important parts of the story, more in the style of a single-player game. These stories won’t be the same for everyone, but tailored to the decisions made through character creation as well as decisions made at crucial moments throughout leveling and questing."

Playing the GW2 beta

I've been playing the Guild Wars 2 beta this weekend. I've mostly been showing my brother around and bragging, but I also jumped in with a fan and played in the norn starter area. I'm glad I did, because I had a blast and got to see events that I wrote in action. Some of them, like the Snow Leopard event, I had never seen implemented in the game before. Some of them, like helping Grimarr Molesmasher, I've seen before, but I remembered how much fun I had coming up with the phrase "kick 'em in the comrades." Peter Fries and I giggled all day about variations on that line. 

It's always fun to see how the designers flesh out something that you've seen only in outline or written form. I had no idea that the Snow Leopard event was going to be such a slaughter fest. I was more focused on cuddling the cubs, I suppose. I did feel like a bully as harmless, little creatures fled from the safety of the brush and I butchered them with a single claw-swipe. Lizzie of Kryta said it best: "Snow Leopard thanks us. PETA does not."



Occasionally, a bit of content gets added at the last minute and somehow slips by the writing team without an editing pass. That happened recently, much to the glee of our fans.

As embarrassing as the charrtender is, I'm kind of glad we missed it. It shows how rough the text is that we start with. Sometimes we start with only the barest bones: "[INSERT LORE ABOUT THE REGION HERE.]" Then we have to research what's happening in that part of the game world, who's there, what points of interest there are, and then dream up a history for it. I love telling stories about the people and places of Tyria. It's the best part of my job.