By Nina "Aythem" Sund,
Content Designer/Writer for Anarchy Online
Happy New Year from Rubi-Ka!
I hope that all our readers had a great New Year’s Eve and
Christmas was nice and relaxing. Personally, I had a great holiday and
got to meet with some friends I don’t see very often.
always nice to get up to speed with old acquaintances over parties or
at the favorite café rather than only over an instant
Now it’s back to the office and into the right frame of mind
getting down into the challenges ahead. Just before the holidays we had
internal presentations of the early builds of the new rendering engine
that is being developed for Anarchy
Online, so it was a great
motivation knowing how great our gameworld is going to look when
it’s released later in the year. As someone who first and
foremost loved Rubi-Ka as a player I can’t wait to start to
people what our graphics gurus have been conjuring up! (I think the
first teaser trailer isn’t too far away so keep your eyes
style="font-style: italic;">A screenshot from
The Longest Journey.
So now that 2008 is well and truly greeted, it’s good to be
back at work as well. Having followed the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=21779">Ten
Ton Hammer forums, I am only too happy to address some more
questions you guys have asked.
What other games/game
genres do you like?
Apart from MMOs, my favorite games are usually in the RPG
action/adventure genre. Some of the most precious memories from games
come from Planescape:
Torment (the first game I could be bothered to
actually finish and that moved me to tears), the style="font-style: italic;">Tex Murphy series
Funcom’s own The
Longest Journey, which I played before I
knew Funcom was Norwegian and to this day stands as a pinnacle of
storytelling in games.
I have also to an extent, and quite self-torturingly, enjoyed some
‘horror’ games where I must list style="font-style: italic;">Phantasmagoria: A
of Flesh and Silent
Hill (for Playstation 1) as my all-time favorites.
In recent years, I’ve enjoyed console games a lot too, and
I’m currently playing Mass Effect, another game that scores
You may notice the lack of FPS games here, which is solely credited to
the fact that I am absolutely rubbish at them. I have played some style="font-style: italic;">Quake
Wars though, and enjoyed it. Plus, I see how popular style="font-style: italic;">Team Fortress 2 is
among my colleagues, so I might give it a go sometime. Just
expect me to ever hit a Top 100 list of players. Hah!
As a writer employed in
industry, do you need much technical knowledge to be successful? Did
you have any technical knowledge before entering the field?
I was a gamer before writing stories was part of my job, and I
don’t have any official background as a writer, so I see
more as a game designer that writes than a writer that designs games. I
wouldn’t say you need a lot of technical knowledge to be
successful. Of course, you must have some computer literacy and be able
to use whatever tools you use in your work, but don’t let any
that stop you if you want to write for the game industry. I know people
who are great at their jobs (writing, art, designing) who
wiz-kids with technical “mumbo-jumbo”.
I’ve always had an easy way of understanding technical stuff,
learning the tools in my current job was very smooth. I did already
have knowledge about the game and Funcom tools, so I guess that came as
style="font-style: italic;">Some tourists
taking advantage of the ARK program.
How did you land the job
at Funcom in the first place?
When I started playing style="font-style: italic;">Anarchy Online
myself, I was
hooked on the story, which to this day is the richest and most
immersive in any game in its genre. Of course, I’m not very
objective, but it caught me so deep that I eventually joined
volunteer program, ARK (Advisors of Rubi-Ka).
In ARK, I ultimately joined the Events department, which produces and
plays out events of every kind on the servers, allowing players a nice
break from their daily routine or a chance to get involved with the
I was recruited into Funcom directly from ARK, and joined our QA
department. A year later, I was recruited into the AO development team
as a quest designer. There is no doubt in my mind that my knowledge and
deep interest in the game itself was the catalyst to me being where I
I think I’ve plowed through today’s share of
I wouldn’t want to go on forever either. I hope you have
reading and found it interesting. Keep checking in for more journal
entries! Until then, smooth sailing!
questions help you in your own quest to write for video games? For
future developers journals, what
would you like her to discuss with you? href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?p=188595#post188595">Tell
us more on the forums!
Ten Ton Hammer is your unofficial source for style="font-style: italic;">Anarchy Online href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/40">news and
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