Author Topic: We need more writers for small things! Game knowledge not required. updated 8/27  (Read 6663 times)

Offline x4000

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Hey guys!

So, the events stuff is coming along really really well, and I'm super pleased with it.  That said, it's a gargantuan task.  We have three writers working on the writing aspects of this right now, including myself.  John and Erik are doing a great job, but they are only part-time and there's only so much that they can thus do in a timely manner.

I'd love to be able to have an incredible amount of variety in the text of all these events so that you aren't seeing the same thing going by too much.  The tinyness of the writing in some strategy games is just staggering, to be frank.  We'll already be able to top that, but I really want to make this feel truly alive.  And part of that comes down to creativity of what happens, not just throwing a bunch of different words at the same thing.

What I'd love is if some folks want to donate their time to this and write a few lines, that's always a help.  Or if you'd like to do some contract work for us and do a larger volume for pay, then that's also something I'm looking for at the moment.  Feel free to PM me.

You don't need an encyclopedic knowledge of the game to do the sort of tasks I'm throwing out here for the public stuff.  This is all meant to be bite-sized, twitter-length sort of stuff.

Key Resources
Quick info about the races
Descriptions and list of all buildings valid for general events (there are more buildings, but not relevant).
Explanation of the commands that can be executed along with text.  Please note that you do NOT have to use these at all!  If you feel like it you can, or you can use them as inspiration for things that I might turn into commands based on your text.

The Document Where Text Goes
SBRPublicWritingWork

Basically if there are red lines in there, please feel free to write something and then change it to yellow.  After I've reviewed it and made any changes needed, I'll mark it as green.  There will also be stuff from myself in there. 

If you'd like credit for helping out with the writing for the game, reply to this post and let me know how you'd like to be credited.

Important Notes:
1. Please make sure and mark your name in the Author column if you want credit or to be paid or both.  Please put it in the style you want to be credited.
2. This spreadsheet is editable by anyone now!  I forgot to do that before, I'm really sorry.  So if anyone wants to just pop in and edit any time, you can do ahead and do so.
3. Humor is not required.  A variety of tones is perfectly acceptable and in fact encouraged.  All sorts of different things should be happening here, and that's part of the idea of getting multiple people involved.  These are not monocultures we're describing

Task 1: GenericResults tab, CitizenAnger section
There are 8 races that the player can control, and right now there are 20 rows for each of them for the CitizenAnger GenericResultType.  If all the existing rows get filled up and you want to add more than just the 20 for a race, feel free to insert them.

Basically the idea here is that you have just done something (or refused to do something), and this has made the citizens of the race in question angry.  For the Burlusts, which I've given a number of examples for (they are also real data), those reactions are always pretty violent and involve property damage or deaths or what have you.  For the Evucks, I see their reactions as being more passive-aggressive and buildings shutting down or productivity lowering or other things of that nature.  I've given one example of that so far.

And so on.  There is a Commands column there that you can put entries in if you wish, and you can see the formatting from my example ones.  But that is absolutely not required at all.  If you want to just write a brief note in english there (instead of code) about what you'd see happening, then please feel free.

Oh -- the BuildingType column is the type of building that is the center of this angry reaction.  So when the Burlusts turn farm combines into jousting steeds, this notes that that needs to actually happen on a farm.

Task 2: GenericResults tab, CitizenStupidity section
These are cases in which citizens make some sort of mistake, probably having bad outcomes -- but having good results from a big mistake is also fine!  In general I would see these as being the results of things like neural implant malfunctions or simply the fact that all these citizens are young -- born within the last few weeks, rapidly aged, and now functioning as adults with an adult level of knowledge and skill, but not with a lifetime of personal memories. 

The Burlusts are very daring, so that leads to some "hold my beer" type of antics, but for some of the others it's more about plain mistakes.  In the case of the Zenith, their "citizens" are actually these little miniature golems who have hardly had time to mature, so they're just as vulnerable as anyone.

Pay Rate
The pay rate that I'm putting out there for this is $0.60 per line, with the assumption that you're not doing the Commands (but if you want to, that's fine).  Overall these take me about a minute or two to write each time, so if you're  working at a similar rate that's between $18 to $36 per hour.  Keep track of which ones you do (in fact, I just made an Author column for that very purpose), and I'm happy to pay via paypal.

Please bear in mind that I am looking for proper spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation.  A mistake here or there I don't mind, but if they're riddled with english errors I'm going to be spending a lot of time cleaning those entries up, and that makes the value of that line a lot less to me..

The main problem that I have with these is not that they individually take all that long, but that the sheer number of these required to be effective is very high.

Note About Speaking Style
These are all written in the voice of the computer, speaking in kind of a dry fashion.  Granted, he's going to change his manner some based on who he is talking TO, so having him reference kisses and boo boos when talking about the Peltians to the Peltian leader (you) is pretty hilarious and works well for me.  Anyhow, there are other places where the races directly speak, but not on this spreadsheet.  Here the computer narrator is talking about what they are doing, and so the voice should be narrator-y.

Last Notes
I'll be adding more tasks on here as time passes.  If anyone wants to help out on a volunteer or a paid basis, either way I am super grateful.  It lets me spend more of my time on coding and testing and design, while still not having the amount of writing suffer simply from the fact that our other writers have other jobs beyond this one and thus are part-time.

Thanks!
Chris
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 02:21:05 PM by x4000 »
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Offline Captain Jack

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I'll sign up. It's a bit close to what I do for work, but this would be fun, rather than work.  :P

Offline crazyroosterman

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ehh ill have to think on it but I probably won't the things id write would probably confuse people.(seeing as how I've never really been that great at explaining things)
c.r

Offline x4000

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I'll sign up. It's a bit close to what I do for work, but this would be fun, rather than work.  :P

Awesome, thanks!  Well, if you want to do any as a volunteer, just feel free to pop in and start editing.  If you want to do them as a contractor, then go ahead and PM me.
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Offline Captain Jack

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I'll get back to you on the contract work, my current slate of contracts is about to change drastically, plus I know I'll be unavailable in the middle of September. Still, I'd absolutely love to so I'll try and nail things down before the weekend.  :D

Offline x4000

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Great!
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Offline Bluddy

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It seems like the tone of all the existing messages is facetious tending towards sarcasm -- a little Douglas Adams like. Is this the format expected of the remaining messages? Also, they're also not very specific about the effects -- there are only small hints of what the effect is in the text itself. Just checking if that is intended.

Offline Captain Jack

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They're all Burlurst events. Hilariously egregious violence is their entire shtick.

Also, if you notice, there's three cells that are being filled in by us. What building was effected, the flavor text, and on the far right just off-screen on my widescreen monitor is the actual effect. In game I imagine you'll get the first and third visually along with the text.

Offline crazyroosterman

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okay I have to say I am very much amused by what has been written.
c.r

Offline Shrugging Khan

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I could pitch in a bit (or a lot, if that contract thingy is still open), but I'm not too big on humour. Can offer historical references and parallels, though.
The beatings shall continue
until morale improves!

Offline Misery

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I have nothing but free time and am bored out of my mind, I might be able to help a bit... not sure.  I dunno how I'd do at something like this.  It wouldnt be a contracted thing this time around; I have the time but I dont have the skill for that.

I can manage amazing amounts of sarcastic sarcasm, if that's useful.  Or a general "dark" attitude.  Good at stuff like that.  I cant do cheerful at all, nope.  Pretty sure reality would crack a bit if I tried that. 

I dunno if that sort of thing fits what you're going for here for any of these given races though.

Still, if there's anything you think I might be able to assist with, just lemme know.  It'd give me something to do. 

Offline Coppermantis

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I can lend a hand too. Writing is one of my favorite things to do. Ordinarily I'd be interested in the contract position but I'm starting university in a few weeks, so I'm not sure how much free time I'll have in that regard, but I can still give the crowdsourced writing a shot.

I've not played the game so I can't really do anything with the commands column, but I can write flavor text, of course.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 10:19:23 AM by Coppermantis »
I can already tell this is going to be a roller coaster ride of disappointment.

Offline x4000

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Hey guys, thanks for all the notes and offers of help!

Various responses:

1. The Burlusts are indeed painted in super broad strokes, pretty Douglas-Adams-like.  That is pretty much their thing, as someone noted.  The Peltians are broad strokes in kind of the opposite way, cuddly and stupid.  For the other races, things would be much dryer, and any hilarity that happens would be much drier and more understated.  And they don't all have to be funny, not remotely.  In fact, it's probably good if a lot of them are not.

2. Yes, the in-game effects will be shown to the player based on the commands column on the far right.  So the player will be getting concrete info back on this, not just the broad explanation.  Having your displaytext be a bit on the broad side is good, though, because it allows for me to then tailor that to game mechanics without your explanation getting too technical (in the sense that it starts losing its thematic feeling).

3. I realized that I completely forgot to make this spreadsheet actually be editable!  Gah!  It's now editable. 

4. I put two on there from Cinth, under a new CitizenStupidity category.  Those are (as he put it) "hold my beer" sorts of moments, for the Burlusts in particular.  But in general I would see these as being the results of things like neural implant malfunctions or simply the fact that all these citizens are young -- born within the last few weeks, rapidly aged, and now functioning as adults with an adult level of knowledge and skill, but not with a lifetime of personal memories.  The Burlusts are very daring, so that leads to some "hold my beer" type of antics, but for some of the others it's more about plain mistakes.  In the case of the Zenith, their "citizens" are actually these little miniature golems who have hardly had time to mature, so they're just as vulnerable as anyone.

5. The pay rate that I'm putting out there for this is $0.60 per line, with the assumption that you're not doing the Commands (but if you want to, that's fine).  Overall these take me about a minute or two to write each time, so if you're  working at a similar rate that's between $18 to $36 per hour.  Keep track of which ones you do (in fact, I just made an Author column for that very purpose), and I'm happy to pay via paypal.

Thanks!
Chris
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Offline Misery

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Okay, reading through the descriptions of the various personalities of all of these guys was.... very entertaining.    These are well thought out.  And hilarious. 

Offline x4000

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I'm glad!  That was actually work that John did, although the content of it is about 60% ideas from me, and then lots of awesome extra details he came up with.
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