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As detailed over on The Gameshelf, I wrote a short interactive story called The McFarlane Job for House of Cool, a creative studio in Toronto, to help them show off their new platform for games that resemble SMS conversations. Do give it a look!
I pause here to note a peculiar sort of professional neglect that I have subjected myself to the last year or two.
In the summer of 2013, sure that I would need a full-time job to support my ailing mother, I created a hire-me page which, among other things, expressed hope that I could find work involving game design somehow. After several interviews, some of which resulted in offers and some of which did not, I decided that freelancing remained the best choice for me after all — a decision assisted by serendipitous new client work, as well as my starting to find financial aid for my mother’s benefit. So, as far as I know, no work came to me directly via that page.
However, after coming to that decision, I for the the first time began to work on several commercial (or commercial-exploratory) game projects as a freelance consultant. Typically for myself, I’ve never given my ever-forward freelancing a short rest to reflect on this fact, much less construct a proper portfolio of this new kind of work. I have not even ever tried to turn it into a list of related accomplishments, so allow me to at least start there with this blog post. Going from memory, and in approximate chronological order:
Design consulting and iOS programming assistance for Codename Cygnus, an interactive, serialized audio drama.
iOS prototyping for Consequential, a board game with digital storytelling elements. This was a lot of fun — I quickly and easily built a custom visual novel engine, including music and voice tracks, using Apple’s basic iOS dev tools. It worked well enough to let the game’s designer demonstrate it at conventions.
An ongoing project: web-based games for a law professor for use as classroom exercises, or for adding an RPG twist to students’ work. These remain prototypes for now.
Quality-assurance consulting for Transcendence: Origins, a short, polished mobile game that presents an interactive prologue for the 2014 film Transcendence. Working on this provided an unforgettably intense experience, a merely weeks-long taste of the punishingly crunch-driven work schedule that typifies commercial game development. Much as with my one-semester stint as an adjunct lecturer, I feel grateful for the enriching opportunity, and I never need do it again.
And now, The McFarlane Job, the publicly visible portion of the interactive fiction consulting I provided for House of Cool.
Not too shabby, for an 18-month period. (And it doesn’t include non-commercial game projects I released under my own power over this time, such as the 2014 IFComp or Barbetween.) I really do need to organize this list into something more appropriate to use as professional self-promotion, but at least I have a list actually written out, now.
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