Saturday, July 25, 2015

Open Call!

Hey, folks! I'm still trying to get a larger pool of applicants for my Variant Writer position, and it looks like it's time to open up the application to the public! So if you haven't heard about this yet, or just were shy to email me without knowing a little more about what the work would involve, read on!

The basic idea of a variant writer is to look at my existing writing for MVOL, line by line, and come up with ways that it could be changed slightly to reflect things like the avatar's species, or Lith's dominance, or the size of either character's anatomy. I consider MVOL's smooth prose one of its strengths, but compared to games like CoC, it doesn't really go out of its way to acknowledge that this is the player's own unique experience and not just a solid block of writing that's the same for everyone. It needs to be unique to the player! It needs variance! Hence, we need to write in more variants, to make the experience more rewarding for the people playing the game.

I can give you the tools to make that happen, but it's up to you to get creative with where to put these changes and how to word them so that they slip smoothly into the writing without interrupting what's going on or changing the feel of the scene. It's important that it's the same scene, just with subtle changes to reward the player and enrich the experience. It's hard work, and it's easy to get worn out trying to work with so many restrictions, but I believe some of you will be much better at it than I am.

You can get the full details of what the job involves by downloading this document. It spells out your goals as a variant writer, then goes over all the tools you have for adding variants to my work. Once you've got the basics, you can take a look at an example I made for adding several variants to a short scene. This site highlights all the differences between the before and after versions. It can be kinda hard to read the game as raw code at first, so you may want to get in the habit of selecting text as you go to keep your place.

And once you've looked at all that, you can get samples of scenes from the game in this file to take a look at and try your own hand at writing variants! It'd probably be a good idea to focus on just one to start, and add as much as you can that you think fits in well and follows the goals before sending it to me. Or, if you get to the point that you feel like you could add more but you're not sure how you're doing so far, you're welcome to send me a partial and I can give you some feedback on what you're doing well and what you should work on.

When you feel like you've got something ready for me, or even if you just have some questions about the work or the position, email me at ! I'm hoping to get lots of applicants to choose between, and if enough of you look especially promising, I'm thinking I'll have a second round for making the final decision, with much larger samples, and I'll pay for the work! Once I have made my final selection, we can figure out a scheme for making sure you're well compensated for your time and effort. I hope I'll see you in the running!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Looking for a Variant Writer!

The Patreon has been going well, I'm happy to say! We've hit several of our goals, opening up a new tier of rewards for patrons, as well as raising enough support that I've gone ahead and cut my hours at my day job so I can focus more on writing for the game. Maybe most significantly, however, we've hit the goal for hiring a variant writer. This should help get more content out for the game faster, and also satisfy a lot of requests I've been seeing from players.

So what is a variant writer? Sort of a combination of an editor and re-writer. My Very Own Lith has a lot of choices and variables through which you can customize your play experience, but my personal strengths as a writer are focused on crafting a single, powerful narrative experience. As such, I often don't make as thorough use of these variables as I could to custom tailor the experience to the choices each player has made. The idea is that a variant writer will take the scenes I've written up and carefully add in alternatives and references to smoothly fold in acknowledgements of things like the player's species and anatomy, Lith's anatomy, and the nature of the relationship between the two of you, into the narrative. The goal is to keep the same quality of writing, but better acknowledge players having knots or being submissive or giving Lith big knockers or what have you-- to make it feel like a more personal and rewarding experience, more often, in subtle but pleasing ways.

Obviously, this will take a careful and patient touch. I'm not going to say it will be an easy job. It will require a mix of dogged creativity, attention to detail, patience, and passion for, ideally, all the aspects of the game that we want to reflect.

I get offers now and then for help with writing for the game, but the fact is that this game is a work of exacting precision for me, and I don't think anyone else can write up full scenes that would accurately match Lith's nature, the portrayal of which is MVOL's primary goal. MVOL is all about Lith and helping you get to know him better, so only someone that knows Lith as well as I do can really write it. But this aspect, writing in variants to reward players for their choices, is something that I actually don't feel very qualified for. I've never been very passionate about species, and I get a headache trying to find places to cram in all the little details often enough to make players happy. So I earnestly believe there's somebody out there --one of you-- that can do this job better than I can. And I mean to find you.

So if you have a strong grasp of writing, a dedication to thoroughly working over a text, and a ready font of creativity to tackle problems in interesting ways, I invite you to contact me. You don't need to know how to program, so long as you can learn to format your submissions to roughly match the templates I give you.

I'm preparing an in-depth explanation of the work that needs doing and samples, but if I can keep this behind closed doors so I can avoid putting too much raw game text up where everyone can see, that would be ideal. I'm hoping to get a number of applicants to consider. I'll be making my selection by offering a small sample of writing to try your skills out on and see how you do, and if need be, I'll pay for a larger sample of your work on scenes I have to offer as examples, before making my final decision. My goal is to hire one main variant writer, but I'll be happy to consider as many people as want to apply, and even if you don't get the position, it's possible I'll come to you later if things don't work out with the winner, or if I end up wanting to get the work done faster and take on multiple variant writers. So don't be afraid to apply!

I'm not certain under what terms I'll be paying the variant writer. Maybe something like a set amount per thousand words of the original copy, or per hundred words of content added, depending on how things work out. It's a bit of an odd position, really, and we'll have to feel out some of it as we go, but I have no intention of leaving you feeling you got short shrift for your contribution to the game.

If this sounds like a position you might be interested in, email me at ! If I can get enough applicants straight away, I won't open the application to the public, so if you're excited to help write for MVOL, email me now! Similarly, if you have any questions about the position and what it might involve, don't be afraid to ask!

I look forward to hearing from you!