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!

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