Not too long ago, I was in Gunnar’s Hold. That’s nothing new. I’m there a lot. What was unusual was the dialogue. The outpost was filled with conversation about Guild Wars 2. Some of it was negative. If I remember correctly, I saw the word “Vaporware” used to describe the sequel. Who knows? Maybe GW2 will join Duke Nukem in a series of indefinite postponements. But a quick glance of the ArenaNet job listings makes me highly skeptical of such a possibility. Just last week, two new “contract” jobs were posted… Character Artist and Junior Writer/Editor. Not only is this an excellent opportunity for an aspiring game developer, this is reassurance that ArenaNet is working hard on the sequel.
Here’s the official word from ArenaNet/NCsoft…
Writing – Junior Writer/Editor (Contract) – The ArenaNet Writing Team is looking for a junior level writer/editor with a passion for games, an appreciation for great dialogue, and a willingness to learn. Candidates should possess some professional writing experience, and provide samples of published works as well as any referrals.
Job postings like this make me frustrated. If it’s a contract job, why don’t they just freelance it out… TO ME?! Heh, I would rather enjoy writing quests and NPC dialogue. In the qualifications section, “Able to give and accept constructive criticism” is listed as a requirement. That’s awesome. Someone should get in there and have a lengthy conversation about Rurik. I’m thinking that the sequel needed stronger writing. But what’s more important, it should leave room for the player’s imagination. I understand that Guild Wars plays like a storybook, but MMORPGs should be more about the players. A good writer might be able to find the perfect balance… creating quality lore while giving players the freedom to play.
That job was posted on January 18, 2010. Another job was posted two days later…
Artist – Character Artist (Contract) – As a character artist, you will have the opportunity to work with a diverse group of highly trained artists to create 3D characters, monsters, heroes, and other assorted creatures. You and your fellow team-mates will develop characters from start to finish, including concepting, modeling, and texturing models to create some of the most compelling graphics ever seen in a game.
There was another complaint uttered in Gunnar’s Hold. The graphics in Guild Wars 2 aren’t that much different than the original. I couldn’t really argue that. I remember what happened six years ago, when ArenaNet publicly displayed their in-game graphics. It was hard to believe, such an amazing world with no monthly fees. It was all true. But today, there seems to be a different direction. The sequel is impressive, but it’s more evolutionary than revolutionary. I think the entire industry reflects that. With tough economic times, how many people be willing to upgrade their computers for Guild Wars? Instead, it is the artwork that gives the game a competitive edge. Guild Wars has a distinct look. It’s a rich, lush world. That’s why the Character Artist job is important.
With all these artists summoned to one location, it might be like a second renascence in Bellevue, Washington.