Feedback talk:Bobby Stein

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So, who wrote the story for Factions...?[edit]

Sorry if I didn't post in the right place - the temp page didn't have an addition button...but did you write the story for Factions? Or were there a lot of people? Taka Ragranok 23:40, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Jess Lebow, my former boss, was the world designer who laid out the Guild Wars Factions story with James Phinney and Eric Flannum. A number of designers and writers contributed quest and mission text, but those three were the driving forces of that game's story arc. Bobby Stein 14:51, 8 December 2009 (UTC)


How are you?

From your page it seems like there are a lot of people who have potentially added to or inspired large chunks of the story/lore for this game. Is this the case? Or is there one or a couple of people who had the responsibility of creating lore and story elements and then handing them to a design team to build up? I'm very interested in one day pursuing game design as a career and I think my preferred facet would be "soft design" for lack of a better term (story, art, music rather than coding and mapping and what not). I'd love to hear how that side of the system works.

Also, how would someone go about starting up as a writer or something for game production? I'm guessing you would need a portfolio or something, or can you just bring an idea to the table that catches someone's eye and then have it go from there? Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ аІiсә Assassin-tango-icon-20.png ѕνәи Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ 21:10, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm also rather interested in this. I've always been interested in making games, and I'm more interested in the lore, dialogue, and quests/missions (basically what you, Bobby, say your "pod" does) rather than anything else, so I would love to hear the response to Alice&sven's question(s). -- Konig/talk 22:45, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I'll respond in depth hopefully tonight. Been super busy. Thanks for your patience. Bobby Stein 21:34, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I am happy enough just to have a response :) No rush! Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ аІiсә User Aliceandsven 1.png ѕνәи Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ 20:12, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Our world designers are largely responsible for creating the many societies and races in the Guild Wars universe, as well as the iconic characters and their story arcs. From this base, the writers and content designers flesh out the world. The writers on my team help identify plot holes, fix potential issues with character motivation, and suggest alternate approaches to the story when needed. We work with content designers (sometimes called "spawners" though that is a misnomer considering all that they do) to polish, edit, and rewrite spoken cinematic and scene dialogue in addition to conversation trees and other UI text. Content designers are the architects of gameplay; they merge lore with game mechanics to craft events, quests, and the like.
We have a pretty large staff of writers and designers at ArenaNet compared to most development studios. It's fair to say that everyone in our department (which includes systems designers, content designers, level designers, and writers) has touched, altered, or added to lore in some form or fashion.
I look for the following in a potential writer candidate:
  • Solid writing background
  • Published samples (web or print articles, screenplays, editorials, shipped games, or mod team work)
  • Passionate gamer
  • Some knowledge of Guild Wars or MMOs in general
  • Technically proficient
  • Familiarity with the Chicago Manual of Style
  • Editing skills
  • Team player
It also helps if you're local to Seattle. Like many studios, we require all candidates--regardless of experience--to complete a short writing/editing test to gauge their skill, attention to detail, and style. If we like what we see, we'll bring you in for an interview. I award bonus points to writers who write short, punchy dialogue. (Ren Faire dialogue is my pet peeve, so avoid it like ye olde black plague. Forsooth!) Bobby Stein 04:04, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, would like a slight clarification: Which team, would you say, does more work on the lore of Guild Wars? That is, which group of people would you say creates the lore. On your user page, it sounded to me like your pod does, but here it sounded like your pod does editing and takes the main ideas to add little ideas on top (such as witty remarks). -- Konig/talk 07:34, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
The world designers primarily create the lore. Writers and content designers add to it and adjust it as needed. Bobby Stein 15:38, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
I see, thank you. -- Konig/talk 05:26, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the info :) --The preceding unsigned comment was added by User:Aliceandsven (talk).


So how's it been treating you? I was looking at picking it up, but I dove into Mass Effect again for one last hurrah before Mass effect 2 came out. X) — Jon User Jon Lupen Sig Image.png Lupen 06:15, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm enjoying it so far. It runs extremely well on my laptop (which is my only gaming PC) and is pretty addictive. I can't say that the story or dialogue do anything for me, but for this kind of game that doesn't really matter. I highly recommend it if you like clicky-action and loot hoarding.
The original Mass Effect is great. I beat the game about six months ago and started over so that I could continue leveling my character. Bioware has some of the best writers in the game industry along with Rockstar, Valve, and a few other studios in my opinion. The game does get a little "talky" in parts but for the most part it's highly entertaining. The voice acting is also top notch.
Fred Tatasciore was the voice of Saren in Mass Effect. He's doing some stellar work for us on Guild Wars 2 which I'm very excited about. More on that when the time is right. Bobby Stein 04:13, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
I was able to get my hands on a friends copy of Torchlight for a short bit, and it struck me as Diablo 2, streamlined, minus the plot that only got in the way.I'm sure it will be a game of the "the Matrix has you" variety when I decide to buy it, as it's incredibly similar to Diablo 2 from what I've seen, and that owned my life for about two years. X) I still haven't overcome my "MUST GRAB EVERYTHING!" complex I developed while playing D2, and it's been 6 years. *shrugs* Old habits die hard I guess.
I cracked the case on Mass Effect again in hopes of making it to level 60 this time around. While the game does get a little too talky at times, the phenomenal writing and voice acting make up for it. Their animations dept. just needs to handle body language and facial expressions and they'll have character interactions down for the count. I always enjoy the witty, comical bits that sprinkle the game, and even some bits that I find comical that probably weren't intended to be so. X)
I've never been able to complain about Valve's work, in game that is. Release timing on the other hand... That's Valve Time for you, but we'll not get into that. Their characters alone are the most believable NPCs I've ever seen. Every once in a while, I have to remind myself that Alyx is a video game AI, and not someone Valve someone imprisoned in a video game. Not to mention the look-and-feel of everything and event progression. Ravenholm alone was a masterpiece. Perfect atmosphere aided by perfect execution. I mean, you're in a courtyard, surrounded by zombies, and almost out of ammo. You see a rotary-blade trap, duck under it and turn it on, counting on it to save your life and pull you out of your bind, only to have the blade go flying off. You're filled with a sickening dread from the horror you now have to face, and with no hope of overcoming it. Never have I felt so screwed in any game. Of course, it only works the first time but... Even after my 4th+ time through, I'm still never sure whether I've gotten all the zombies. I double and triple-check around corners because I'm not sure I've gotten them all, and because I usually haven't. I've actually heard tell of people who haven't beaten HL2 because they are too scared to finish Ravenholm. I also love how Valve pokes fun at the genricness of Gordon Freeman.
Fred Tatasciore for GW2?! =O Awesome! Is he a bad guy again? His voice seems to fit with the misguided antagonist archetype pretty well. I look forward to hearing more. Looks like you guys have quite the cast shaping up for GW2. =D Just how do you guys get such good voice-actors? Left-over voodoo magic from crafting the GW1 engine? — Jon User Jon Lupen Sig Image.png Lupen 05:52, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Fred's awesome. I wish I could tell our fans about all the wonderful actors we're working with and the great voice-over work they're doing, but we're not ready to show anything just yet. Be patient, though. It'll be worth the wait. Bobby Stein 05:44, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, you did get The Brain for EotN, so I'm sure it will be awesome. *Sits patiently twiddling thumbs* — Jon User Jon Lupen Sig Image.png Lupen 16:06, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Just teh fact that you got Mr. Paul Eiding to voice Jalis Ironhammer is enough for me, him having voiced Colonel Campbell in MGS; but on top of that you got Felicia Day! And the guy voicing Rytlock is simply awesome. --talk Large 19:16, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

New Junior Writer Position[edit]

I'm just curious, but are you able to say what the person who fills this position would be doing? Just want a clarification on what exactly would be done, to be sure I don't misunderstand what the job entails before applying (and for others as well). -- Konig/talk 23:43, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

The junior writer/editor will assist us in generating, editing, and polishing voiced dialogue for Guild Wars 2. We're looking for someone who possess a knack for writing punchy dialogue in the vein of screenplays and not novels. Hope this helps. Bobby Stein 04:20, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the quick response. It does indeed help, and I think I shall apply for the position, when I get the time (1:30 am is not a good time to even post on the wiki, let alone apply for a job). -- Konig/talk 07:30, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
No problem. Good luck. I encourage serious and qualified applicants to apply. Please understand that we get hundreds of inquiries for any open position and that it takes time for HR to process all the submissions.
I've been reading the Guild Wars 2 Guru forums a bit and would like to address some of the comments.
  • Punchy dialogue is tight and concise, and not necessarily comedic. I'm not looking for a comedy writer who leans on pop culture references and speaks like a Ren Faire volunteer, in case there was any confusion.
  • Screenplays are light on description and mostly include character dialogue and camera direction. They are used as a narrative structure for film crews to build upon. Novels paint a more complete picture for the reader, since the author is providing art direction, sound, and pacing through words alone. They are written quite differently because they are used for different purposes. Readers don't usually buy film scripts in a bookstore for entertainment, and you wouldn't give a voice actor a novel from which to read his lines. I need someone who can write natural dialogue, who also understands the constraints and challenges that come with working in our medium.
  • Writers and editors perform different, specialized tasks. We know this from experience at ArenaNet and also from previous jobs. That stated, everyone currently on my team has served as an editor at one time in his or her career, and as a writer elsewhere. The skills are closely related, which is why you'll find crossover. It's pretty common in the field, actually. Every person is different, however, so we try to play to an individual's strengths once he or she is embedded in the process. I'm just looking for someone who is well-rounded and complements our current roster.
  • We can tell a bit about a person's strengths by his or her writing/editing test results. If they are a good match we'll take the process to the next step.
  • I self-edit my wiki posts, which should explain any mistakes you find. ;) Bobby Stein 01:53, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the update Bobby, I posted your points over on the GW2Guru forum for the recent job opening (here), which I'm sure is the thread you were talking about, so that anyone who is keeping an eye on that thread would get an update for this position. I sent in my application yesterday night. Good luck to everyone who applied, and may the best typist win. :) *crosses fingers* -- Konig/talk 02:22, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

(Reset indent) "I'm not looking for a comedy writer who leans on pop culture references and speaks like a Ren Faire volunteer, in case there was any confusion." So, given the recent dialogue, I'm going to assume that your new writer is working on GW2? -- FreedomBoundUser Freedom Bound Sig.png 16:16, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

"The junior writer/editor will assist us in generating, editing, and polishing voiced dialogue for Guild Wars 2." --Kyoshi (Talk) User Kyoshi sig.png 16:21, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, should have specified "solely", as usually when they come back after these large events they say that they've pulled assets (temporarily) from GW2 to assist with the development. -- FreedomBoundUser Freedom Bound Sig.png 16:26, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Ah. --Kyoshi (Talk) User Kyoshi sig.png 18:32, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
My team works exclusively on GW2. I believe Linsey handles much of the GW1 Live Team writing with the help of a few writer/editors and designers from other departments. Bobby Stein 04:14, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Mursaat ~ Sex & Gender[edit]

Do Murssat have any culturally and/or biologically distinquishable sex and/or gender (as defined by a human's perspective), or are they monogendered, intergendered, androgynous, genderless, hermaphrodite, asexual or something else entirely due to being non-human sapiens? While "Mercia" is a female-like name it does not prove Mercia as such (as defined by a human's perspective) and knowledge of mursaat ecology and/or psychology are non-existent on the wiki. Reason for asking is here. --Falconeye 02:14, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Rather unrelated question but the thought came to me via "mursaat ecology" - is there any chance we'll get another An Empire Divided(from Factions Prima Guide)/Movement of the World/Ecology of the Charr articles? Would be nice to get some on the history of non-human races, like the asura, norn, tengu, centaurs, etc. Personally, those works have always been a favorite read of mine.
Oh, and a semi-related question: Any chance you can say how old the Mursaat (and/or Seers) are as a race? It's believed that those two are two of the five oldest races (other three being dwarves, charr, and forgotten). -- Konig/talk 03:05, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
No one knows what gender the Mursaat are. We figured it was a rude question to ask them. Bobby Stein 23:23, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
That's a shame, I doubt a person with infusion can ask if they have an inny or an outy without too much damage. :p -- Konig/talk 00:20, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Old Kurzick[edit]

Not really sure who would be best to ask, but since you're the lead of the writers and one of the few who are good/decent with lore that are on the wiki, I figured I'd ask you. I'm curious if there is a developed translation for Old Kurzick. I merely ask this because I am writing a fan-fiction and would like to include Old Kurzick, and the Songs of Arboretum, if that translation is correct, isn't much to go off of. And being a lore-of-GW-lover, I'd prefer to keep my fan-fiction as accurate as possible (of course there will be a few things I'll have to twist to fit the fan-fiction, but meh). I would appreciate if you can get back to me and thanks in advance. -- Konig/talk 07:45, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

I'll have to dig through some old design documents to get you that answer. Things are obscenely crazy at the office right now so I won't be able to do much investigation in the short term. Remind me again in a month and I'll see what I can dig up. Thanks! Bobby Stein 04:44, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll just have to give myself a note to give you a note then. -- Konig/talk 11:02, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
So any news on this? -- Konig/talk 06:10, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't know whether Bobby Stein found anything on his end, but I can confirm to you that there was no explicit work put into creating a "language" for Old Kurzick - the designers at the time wanted something that captured a certain flavor of how they might sound and the Songs were the result. I actually did create a written "language" (well, more like glyphs really) for the Luxon faction, since I had been working on some props for them, but in the end they were never used.--Matthew Medina 15:21, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Saddening but reasonable. I can only assume the same was done for the spoken Old Canthan (such as the phrases listed in the table here and the dialogue of Kaolai, which appears to be, like Old Kurzick, a modified form of languages in reality. -- Konig/talk 18:06, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

The wiki community...[edit]

...Or at least one individual from said community, thanks you for the latest blog entry (I felt incredibly tempted to write that as "Blog Entry", but anyway). However, I'm not going to sleep at night if a very troubling concern isn't put to rest: technically wouldn't it be "races" instead of "species"? Since we may use race to define a large group of beings (like rabbits) and species often refers to a part of said group (there are multiple species of rabbits), when talking about large groups of Guild Wars beings the technically correct would more likely be races, unless all GW creatures happen to be in groups in which there happen to be a single species (such as "humans" and Homo sapiens). Erasculio 23:14, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm sure there are a few biologists in the Guild Wars community who could speak with more authority on the difference between "race" and "species" but I did find this bit of information on the Internet. We'll continue to call them "races" but it's a fantasy trope, as I'm fairly certain humans, asura, charr and sylvari aren't related. Bobby Stein 05:00, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
w:Race (biology) - species would be way more appropriate. - Reanimated X 06:18, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
It amazes me how Erasculio can not just bring discussions elsewhere but revive them when it was settled and, honestly, doesn't matter much. Though clarification is always nice... I would still have to say, based on everything I know of biology (which, admittedly, is limited), that the correct term is species, however this isn't the correct term in all cases. E.g., skale and kuskale would be the same species but different subspecies and thus different races; likewise, if my thoughts on the norn are correct then humans and norn would be of the same species but different subspecies and thus once more different races. -- Konig/talk 11:02, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Rurik's mother?[edit]

Not sure if you're the right person to ask, but there's something that's been bothering me. Given that Prince Rurik of Ascalon exists, he has to have a mother somewhere. So where is she? What happened to her? Haven't been able to find even her name.

Secondly, the Manuscripts, as rendered on Rurik's page, indicates that he's Adelbern's firstborn. Doesn't that usually mean there's a secondborn and so on out there somewhere? So why no mention of them anywhere either? 12:40, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Both good questions. I'll forward them to Ree and/or Jeff since they're the lore experts. Bobby Stein 12:07, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Ghosts of Ascalon[edit]

First off, sir, let me thank you by answering my question! I never properly thanked you, and I feel pretty bad about that. :( But I have another question for you - how do people get to land gigs like writing "Ghosts of Ascalon"? I think it's an interesting concept - someone is helping flesh out a world in a vastly different medium than the world was originally presented in. How does one get into this type of job? The ways you listed in response to some of the above questions? Thanks ahead of time for what you can tell me on the subject; I know you're probably pretty busy. Taka Ragranok 03:03, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

No worries! Happy that I can help out a fan. In terms of finding authors for the Guild Wars novels, we reviewed submissions from a number of writers who had published tie-in fiction works. Will McDermott, one of the writers on my team, led that charge. He collected resumes and evaluated many manuscript samples with other core members of the writing, content design, and world design teams. In short, we needed an established, published author who could work within an existing (but evolving) fantasy setting to collaborate with us on the project. We then provided our authors with background information on our lore and some iconic characters from the game in development and set them loose. Ghosts of Ascalon evolved over the course of a couple of years, so what you're going to read in a few weeks (assuming that you're picking up the novel, which I highly recommend even though I'm biased) took months to evolve. There were multiple drafts and rewrites, as is common with writing on this scale. Jeff Grubb also pitched in, since he's one of our lore experts (and a notable fiction author in his own right). I imagine that fans will have lots of questions and comments once the books are out there. I'm pretty sure that Jeff, Matt, and Will would love to discuss the topic in greater depth with fans, so let us know what you think when the time comes. Bobby Stein 12:25, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
And in case I steamrolled over your original question with my verbose reply, here is a brief list of what we require of our fiction authors:
  • Previously published fiction
  • A writing style that complements our lore
  • Someone who can embrace an established intellectual property
  • Familiarity with games (especially fantasy RPGs) is a bonus
This person doesn't necessarily need to be an existing Guild Wars fan (although that helps), but we do require them to ramp up on our universe fairly quickly once they get the gig. We provide them with game accounts and story bibles, and let them explore for a bit before they start working on the initial outline. Bobby Stein 13:03, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Good to know. If only I was going to college for writing. -laugh- It's fascinating to learn about this kind of gig…and how to get them. ^ ^ Thanks for answering my question. Again. Taka Ragranok 05:40, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Well it certainly is interesting for me, as I'm a huge GW fan and intending to write. One of the things I would absolutely love to do would be to write a Guild Wars novel. Preferably something based before the time that Guild Wars takes place in lore, instead of after like the three existing novels. *cough* -- Konig/talk 06:04, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Essentially, what Konig said. 'Cept the odds of a high school student getting a gig like that are pretty slim. -shrug- Taka Ragranok 07:50, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Ghosts of Ascalon...[edit]

…was pretty good. What was your opinion on it? Taka Ragranok 19:54, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

I think he'll be biased in saying it was great due to it being his company's product. :P You'll never see someone say their company's product is sub-par. Not that GoA was... just saying. (If you can prove me wrong, I'll be both surprised and thankful) -- Konig/talk 02:26, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, yeah, Konig, but still, he could say he liked specific elements of the story over others, that sort of thing. That's what I'm interested in. (Edit: Forgot to sign in. hahaha) Taka Ragranok 18:27, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, would be interesting to know (/spams Bobby's page). -- Konig/talk 18:57, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
I haven't read the finished version yet. Will McDermott was heavily involved throughout the entire process, so you should ask for his opinion. I'll crack open my copy this weekend and get back to you in about a year. (I'm a notoriously slow reader.) Bobby Stein 04:06, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Localization issues[edit]

Hello, I've been searching the Wiki and I think you're one of my best bet to resolve this (or to forward it to the right person/team).
I have noticed several cases of localization failures (some of them listed here) and I wondered if there was an easy way to report them or to help?
Anyway, thanks for all the dialogs and the subtle references they hold.
Meredy Redleaf 09:59, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Hi there. You can post localization issues here. Bobby Stein 22:13, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Your userpage[edit]

it says we've got to post questions and stuff here but.. are you even active on the wiki ^ - ^ ? --you like that don't you..The Holy Dragons 21:01, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

We've been really busy working on Guild Wars 2 so I don't check this wiki very often. Feel free to hit me up on my GW2 wiki user page instead. Thanks! Bobby Stein 05:09, 1 July 2011 (UTC)