I know, I know. In my previous post I promised to talk about Dinosaurs for Hire, and I’m still going to do that, but something came up since then. You see, what had happened was that yesterday was my final day at BioWare. Now I’ve already written a bit about how my time at BioWare has immeasurably changed my life for the better, but I can’t stress enough how much of a privilege it was to work alongside some of the most passionate and dedicated people in the business.
In working on Star Wars: The Old Republic, I was able to take part in something that was truly phenomenal. I’m referring, of course, to being a member of the BioWare Austin Creative Services team. We stuck out like a sore thumb inside BioWare, to say the least. When you’d first step into our office – which for a long time was a room only slightly larger than a storage closet where we somehow managed to cram six guys and nine PCs – it was like stepping into the secret basement lair of the real-world Goonies. The room was always slightly darker than the offices around it (mostly because nine PCs in a goddamn closet throws off a LOT of heat), the walls were adorned with Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Sonic the Hedgehog posters, and we had X-Wings, TIE Fighters, and Clone Wars-era dropships hanging from the ceilings.
Plus the room reeked of nerd and Italian food.
In that room we embarked on something that I don’t think has ever been seen in the gaming industry before: From March 12th, 2011 until our December 20th, 2011 launch, we produced nearly 40 videos for our game. That’s an average of a video a week, including three full-on game trailers*. During the height of convention season we’d be in that room until ten o’clock at night, only to turn around and be right back at it by nine o’clock the next morning. Eventually, once we hired Seth in August 2011, they moved us into a real office – and we proceeded to crank out even more awesome.
What made it special was that, to us, it felt special. While other studios have a Creative Services department, none of them was (or is) doing what we did. We were four video editors (Brian Arndt, Robin Khamsi, Brandon Miletta, and Seth Bell), an audio engineer (Brooks Guthrie), and a writer (that’s me), all being directed by our captain, Rob Chestney. We were tasked with producing high-quality video and written content and we delivered, every week, without fail. There were days where we drafted the Community team or members of QA to take part in our videos because we needed bodies (more than the eleven that the seven of us could handle even with the four video guys dual-boxing). It was fast-paced, it was stressful, and in the end it produced content that was utterly brilliant.
It was an honor to work with these guys, not only because we pushed out some of the best game trailers, developer dispatches, and original videos in the business, but because we had a hell of a lot of fun doing it.