Another month has gone by since we presented you the position of the team leader of Mindworld. Recently, we have been working out a lot of things, but we still found some time to give you the next interview we have told you about last time.
Meet the Writer
Introducing the second article of this series, we are going to present you the writer of Mindworld in an interview.
What is your position in the team?
I'm the writer of Mindworld. My main task is to develop the story, but I am also involved in some decisions, for example the recruiting of the voice actors or a few elements of the levels. Of course I'm also developing the characters and already provided some ideas for the concept artists, although it's mostly them who give me food for thought.
How did you get involved into the project?
I was bored, and browsing on moddb, when I stumbled upon Mindworld. A position for the writing department has just opened because Mindworld had lost their main writer due to problems in his real life. Writing was more and is still more of a hobby for me, and I joined the project without any real experience. Except for the core idea, there wasn't much developed yet, but a lot of changes happened over time. The team leader and I mostly had a similar vision of the game and sometimes even the exact same idea, and I guess that's why I got involved into more decisions.
Storybible wrote:The shrill sound of the alarm clock wakes me up. I open my eyes. I recognize a few shapes but can't see any details. I reach for the lights and realize a shape that doesn't belong into the room. It's the shape of a human. "You've lost yourself". The voice is deep and calm but decisive and dominant. I feel a shiver running down my spine as I rush to the switch. A click and the lights are turned on. The shape is gone. Frightened I search the flat for the shape but it's gone. [...]
How are you working?
I'm more the lazy kind, but when I work then I am trying to get the best out of it and won't rest until it's done. When I start writing I'm just writing down whatever comes to my mind. The outcome is mostly of low quality so I start rewriting paragraphs, adding new stuff until I'm happy with the final product.
What inspires you?
I have never really thought about what inspires me. I have never been looking for some kind of inspiration either. However I think that I'm heavily influenced by my surroundings, just like everyone else.
What advice can you give people who want to start writing for a game?
Just start writing. Don't think too much about what could go wrong. If you don't like the outcome then work on it and try to improve it. Of course there are bad texts, but you can always work on them.
Storybible wrote:[...] "Well, I guess we've been waiting long enough. Anybody who wasn't willing to make his way through the snow has bad luck." The professor says as his voice breaks the silence. As he speaks I drift off, getting lost in my thoughts. A movement I hardly recognized bails me out. It's the shape, standing in sourceless shadows. [...]
Do you work with music?
I'm listening to a lot of music, but I don't work with it. Sometimes it functions as an inspiration or the
What helps you to come up with new ideas, if you're feeling stuck?
Leave the whole thing for a day or two. I don't bother sitting around hours just to think of something, because it doesn't help anything. Just neither rush nor try to force something.
Do you have an artist/writer you look up to?
Nope. I'm reading a lot of books but there isn't any writer or artist in particular I'm looking up to.
Storybible wrote:[...] Unable to move, I'm forced to squint into the face, which seems to be enlightened by an aura of twilight. I blink the last time, finally closing my eyes. "This time you can't hide in another dream. You ran enough" The voice echoes through my mind, reflected by invisible walls. I am surrounded by darkness. [...]
How do you experience the position as a writer on Mindworld?
There are only positive things to say. I'm getting a lot of feedback, which is great to improve myself, and it is fun to work with the team.
Where do you see this project going?
It would be great if we reach our first goal, to develop the prologue and the tutorial and publish it
as a beta/demo. However this will take a while, and I guess that the whole game will take at least two years if not more, but we have the potential to do it and we will.
How important are writers on a project?
That depends. Even if a game is focused on a story, it doesn't mean that it necessarily needs a
writer. It also depends how the story is presented. Having a writer in the team has various benefits though. If there's someone who develops the story, then it rounds up a good game.
Storybible wrote:[...] I can feel the heat of a panic rushing through my body, driving cold sweat onto my hands. The train cuts the distance to me short, only fifty metres away from me. Dust crumbles from the walls lying like a carpet on my lungs, making it hard to breathe. Everything around me shifts into deep vibration, pressuring my ears and stunning them like a thick wall. 10 metres, 5. Suddenly everything slows down. I can move my body at last, but it’s too late. I raise my arm in slow motion, trying to protect myself, in a useless act. The train hits me with the whole strength of its massive body, throwing me back into the cold darkness. It again leaves me with nothing, but cold emptiness. [...]
What do you think about the current situation about how most teams treat their writers?
I have never been in a team before, but I came to realize that most teams don't have a writer. Maybe most of the teams already have one, but it's hard to find someone who is looking for a writer. Naturally, as a writer, I think that more indie game developers should have a writer in their team.
Do you want to become a professional one day?
Most certainly not. I enjoy writing as a hobby, but I have other plans for my future.
More articles covering other positions in the team are going to be published monthly, every second Friday of the month.
- Kjell 'iQew' Bunjes
(Team Leader and Art Director)