OtherI am Jo-Anne McArthur, animal rights photojournalist and founder of the We Animals project. AMA
Apr 4th 2017 by joannemcarthur • 16 Questions • 2068 Points
I’m Rusel DeMaria. I’m a writer, game designer, and narrative lead for Starfighter Inc. Come join me and I’ll tell you why narrative is so important in games and why our approach is like nothing you’ve ever seen in a team-based combat game. I’ll tell you how we’re going to get you involved in our world. We’ll surprise you. We’ll let you in on the secrets of The System. Ask me anything.
Jo-Anne, do you view lab-produced meat (via culture tissue sample, cloning, etc) as a viable ethical alternative to slaughtered animal meat? As a vegetarian who gravitates around bio-ethics issues, the advances here have given me some hope that factory farming could someday become obsolete. I really hope so, anyway.
Edit: a name. Fuck.
I remember in "Tie Fighter" some optional goals that helped develop some sort of "Sith special agent story" happening in game. Will we have this kind of stuff ? In a more general way, will there be briefing sessions separated from flight sessions ? Will there be some roleplaying elements (like interactive dialogs), and dramatic background with developed characters (I thought that people like Paladin, Maniac, Angel was what made the Wing Commander series really shine to me) ?
I'm all about supporting lab-grown meats. Memphis meats and the Good Food Institute and others have my full support!
We fully plan on creating secondary goals and splinter off side stories. In our stretch goals, we have the ability even to spin off single-player bonus missions, but that's pretty far away right now. As for cut-scene types of action, that's again something that requires more funding, it's not currently in the play, but we do plan on including at least one graphic novel and lots of fiction related the game as it goes forward through our website. Some players who do really well, might find themselves as part of those stories. Character development is trickier in a game like ours, but through our ancillary fiction, we hope to fully flesh out the fiction.
What do you think about the work of Temple Grandin as it pertains to the humane treatment of slaughter animals?
Hi ! I really enjoyed the differences between mission briefings and what really happened in flight, and the hard decisions to make. Will we have something like this in StarFighter Inc. ? Will there be something like mission plan maps updates happening in flight, like some sort of emergency change of plan (I'd really love to see something like this) ?
Well, she's put a lot of effort into making slaughter a little less completely and utterly terrible. But I do wish that, seeing as she professes to understand animals (and I believe her), that she would focus on asking us to end slaughter. But that's not her mandate. She eats animals. She makes a lot of money at what she does.
Hi Gehroll. Yes, there will be mission briefings in the form of the contracts you sign as a mercenary. These will give you the basic mission parameters and the amount the mission pays. There may be changes in the mission primary or secondary missions during the battle. You'll be in communication through your DSS, which is your support system during flight. Currently, your after-mission summary will basically consist of how much money (credits) you gained and possible charges for repairs. And we want the hangar experience between missions to be very immersive and dynamic.
How do you plan to allow the players personal experience to affect the narrative when dealing with a online multiplayer game?
They are people like Jan van Ijken (Holland), Tamara Keneally (Australia), Patrick Brown (Thailand), Shannon Johnstone (USA), Timo Stammberger (Germany)
MrGraddo: The whole concept of narrative in a multiplayer game like SFI is one that we've approached in a variety of ways. First, of course, is the fact that for some major events the outcome of the story is determined by which side in the conflict wins (in a statistical sense over many battles). But there's a lot more. First, we have a very rich world in the background of the game, full of corporations, anti-corporate organizations, criminals, fanatics, and shadowing figures with influence in high places. It's a rich story evolving on its own, and it evolves through the game and through the players' actions. But it also has the ability to engage players directly through loyalties to one side or another, or becoming part of larger campaigns. The idea for the narrative is that it will evolve, that it will become more and more clear over time, and that it will contain many surprises. So there's a story, and as a mercenary you are not one of the movers and shakers, but you are someone with the autonomy to choose your sides and to become engaged and identifies with the emotions of winning and losing on top of the obvious perks of loot, reputation, and the ability to upgrade your ships, weapons, and systems. Reputation also functions as a way to gain extra perks from organizations that you fight for, so there is added incentive to choose a side, although you might like one side better than another for personal reasons. Like some of them are a-holes.
A pretty obvious biased question incoming! How would someone with no college degree get into working for animal welfare full-time?
Being incredibly inspired by people like David Attenborough I've just decided to complete my high school education in the age of 21 because I've finally realized what I wanna do. Being a part of actively protecting animals. But in the shocking amounts of educational paths to walk it's hard to know where to start!
Being a photographer I'm sure you've meet a lot of people who got into this from all kinds of straits of life, what would you recommend? Thanks for doing this AMA, can't wait to read your book (and I hope you'll show up to talk about your project on next years Nordic Light in Kristiansund, Norway)!
What part of game design do you specialize in? And how would one get themselves into the field of game design?
Thanks for the chats everyone. I'm signing off now. My best to you all!
I would say that I have been a game designer in two main areas. One is in conceptual, high-concept design work. Writing detailed game design documents, either original or as a contract for someone else. I've also been a design consultant at times for companies like Maxis, Oddworld, Sega, David Perry, and Acclaim. As a consultant I might be doing game design, but often I'm doing analysis and suggestions for when there are issues that haven't been resolved or also to some degree in planning stages.
Getting into the game design field is not all that easy, and the best advice I can offer is to learn to make your own games using whatever tools you can manage. If you aren't technical but have a concept you really want to create, find people with the technical and/or art skills to help you make at least a working prototype or vertical slice (which is a segment of completed game that demonstrates the game play and style of the game fully enough so that someone seeing it would understand what the game is about and how it will look, feel, and play). You can also try to get a job in a Q&A department of a game company, which can be a stepping stone toward design and you learn a lot. There are some more obscure ways to get him, such as being a popular moderator on MMOs where the devs get to know you, but that's not easy to do and no guarantee that you'll be taken seriously as a designer. You can also go to school for game design. These days there are lots of good schools, and graduates from these schools will be looked at more seriously than a guy off the street.
I got into game design because I started playing video games in 1967 and played them consistently from Pong onward. I was a writer early on and got to know a lot of people in the industry over the years. Times were different then. When I left Prima Publishing, where I was creative director for the strategy guide division (and writing strat guides was also a way I learned a lot about game design and got to talk to lots of devs), I started doing independent design work with mixed results. I'm not known best as a designer in the industry - more a writer - but I have been a lead designer on my own projects and have been paid as a designer and consultant over the years.