When we shipped Guild Wars 2 last year, not many of us knew what to expect in the coming year.
We’d discussed the concept of a Living World for years, but when the game was actually out there——after a brief moment to celebrate and rest up——we found we had to actually tackle the idea! It was challenging from many angles, but we approached it methodically and with great enthusiasm. As the company shifted around from making one big game to making a new release every two weeks, we rearranged ourselves into Living World teams and envisioned stories with great glee.
I was promoted from Writer to Narrative Designer, and my first task was to begin forming plotlines that we could roll out in the future. These initial plot designs went through much discussion between my fellow narrative designer Scott McGough, Lead Writer Bobby Stein, and me. We hammered and honed, then turned the ideas over to the company for feedback.
We had certain technical limitations we had to figure out, such as how to avoid a paradox between the ongoing story’s timeline with the Personal Story timeline, but we’ve worked this out by introducing a new group of characters whose stories won’t conflict with the player’s spot in the Personal Story. As we designed the upcoming plotlines, our goal was to lay down a story framework so that each team could then add their own creativity and ideas to it. The Living World is very much a gi-normous team effort, and so many people have contributed major coolness to it.
No, we weren’t perfect at it coming out of the gate, but this kind of epic endeavor takes time to get off the ground. We started slow, found our footing, rearranged, honed, and polished until we’re now doing what no other MMO has done. We are releasing major content every two weeks! Woot!
Today, I look at the numbers in the image on the right, and my mind boggles. So many people! So much enjoyment. … Makes me happy. Makes me feel blessed to be a part of it all.
As thrilled as I have been to be telling stories in this world I love so much, I am even more excited about what we have to look forward to next year! The story is unfolding, and we adore seeing our fans having a good time. That is, after all, why we do it. I can’t wait to tackle the next set of challenges.
Love to all the Guild Wars 2 fans out there! You share this landmark day with us. Happy Birthday to us all! Wooh!