Friday, May 04, 2007

donning the mandarin's hat

Whenever I write a story, by necessity, I construct a small part of the world the characters inhabit. If the story takes place in a house, I act as a set designer, making sure that the setting and its expressions are apropos to the narrative. If the story takes us to multiple places in a town, then all those places need to be thought out to some degree (this is where writers vary in terms of approach - some invest greatly in details and background, others have a more cosmetic attack).

Whenever I run a storyline for my role-playing group's multi-year campaign (it's called "Isle" and we're multiple seasons into the thick of things), I need to create a staggering variety of locations and settings for my players to explore and interact in.

So when Level Up! Games asked me if I was interested in developing the stories and backgrounds of their upcoming MMORPG Perfect World, I experienced only the smallest moment of trepidation before agreeing wholeheartedly - it's like a GM's dream come true.

The foundation is Chinese mythology, the approach is fantasy. Really, how could I possibly decline?

The task is massive, but I think I can chip away at it and reveal some interesting characters and events. I'm so delighted that already a couple of fiction pieces have barged into my head (normally welcome, but now needing to be deprioritized as the job of building a world takes precedence). I've begun to write - in my head.

We'll see how things go.

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