The Witcher Writing Interviews

Interestingly enough, there are two recent interviews with Sande Chen, who you might recall was nominated for a Videogame Writing Award back in 2008 for the work she did on CD Projekt RED's The Witcher. The Q&As cover a variety of topics, with both The Witcher and Wizard 101 coming up on occasion.

An excerpt from The Narrative Design Explorer:
SED: While the writing process remains an ethereal thing, can you briefly describe your writing process?

SC: It differs from project to project. However, whatever work we have goes through many more iterations because there are two of us. We pass documents back and forth. We check each other's work. We plan a work schedule and we collaborate through Skype and IM.

For expediency's sake, we may split up work but that's only after we're sure we share the same vision. Then, there are times when we have all-night Skype calls to hash out a story. Other times, we work independently, collaborating on a shared Google document.

A lot of our remote collaboration experiences are described in our blog, Writers Cabal Blog. Basically, we've learned how to make virtual collaboration work. If The Witcher hadn't been nominated for a WGA Award, we might have never have met our co-nominees. They were in Poland and we communicated via translator. When we had the kickoff meeting for Wizard 101, Anne was with KingsIsle in Austin while I listened in through Skype from Paris.

And a snip from Gamesauce:
Chen deals with more than writing and design. She also has to consider the economical and marketing aspects of games as a consultant. Recently, she has been familiarizing herself with free-to-play mechanics paired with microtransactional elements in social games. (It's very important to understand your monetization scheme or to build in ways to monetize when designing a social game,) Chen advises.

Although Chen enjoys social game design, she does miss the richness of writing for role-playing games. By far, her best experience was writing for CD Projekt RED's first large-scale game, The Witcher, which won Best RPG 2007. She had the opportunity to work with a unique story created by leading Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowsk.