A few days ago, I delivered a postmortem of Tearing the Sky at Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine, California. Most of you probably know this, but Blizzard is the game development studio responsible for World of Warcraft, the world’s largest massively multiplayer role playing game, as well as the deeply satisfying science fiction real time strategy hit Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. I spoke for 75 minutes in the Blizzard theater, describing the process of writing the novel, what went right and what went wrong, highlighted along the way with relevant readings. The presentation was part of a series of talks in Blizzard’s /learn series, a program in which creators of entertainment from outside the company share their experiences. While /learn is ostensibly about inspiring the Blizzard creative team, the warm welcome and full hour of provocative questions and answers resulted in inspiration flowing back in the other direction too.
The presentation description appeared in the Blizzard newsletter as follows:
Tearing the Sky: A Postmortem of an Indie Science Fiction Novel
Tearing the Sky took ten years to get into print, but it didn’t need to. Improved tools of production and access to market have radically altered the balance of power between would-be authors and the iron curtain of the old book publishing world. This presentation outlines the process of one person developing a series of ideas, building a first story, drafting a full-length manuscript, shopping for an agent, shopping for a publisher, signing a book deal, parting from said publisher, working with an editor, working with an artist, coding print and digital manuscripts, marketing and selling, and finally gasping for air.
Jamil Moledina is Outreach Director, Business Development for EA Partners, and serves on the Board of Directors of the IGDA. He previously directed the GDC, and served as editor of Game Developer magazine.
I reconnected and met with some amazing people at Blizzard, some of them aspiring writers themselves. I hope my small example helps push them to present their amazing stories too.
I’d also like to give special thanks to Sunshine Okano and Rob Pardo at Blizzard. Their generosity and passion for sharing creative ideas made this presentation happen.