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  • Jason Eldred

Of Books and Games



While I labor each early morning on The Bard and Raven books, I also work five days (or more) a week as a video game designer for Bethesda Game Studios (and previously for companies such as BioWare and Irrational Games). I have been asked, does what I do for my day job bleed over into what I write? Certainly I avoid incorporating similarities to my professional game projects into my books, but is my writing style, for lack of a better term, "video-gamey" (summoning to mind such stories as Ernest Cline's Ready Player One)? I think I can honestly say, not particularly, but the thought processes and attention to detail acquired from my career do impact my writing.

The same childhood ambitions that drove me to my career have driven me to write my novels: to craft unique but believable alternate worlds, to realize memorable characters with unique abilities, and to capture an audience with unforgettable stories. Before becoming a game designer, I might have described super-human characters manipulating objects with their telekinetic minds in little greater detail than if they had been using their hands. Having realized such powers in a game, however, I have spent a disquieting amount of time contemplating the timing, the angles of motion, and how one might be exposing themselves while telekineticly manipulating their opponents. I have choreographed martial arts for motion capture, arranged props to attract attention or to obfuscate, and considered how to employ colors and sounds to build a mood. I have worked with writers to invent the science behind "space magic" and to evolve combat tools into characters with personality.


So while I strive to approach world creation, plot, and characterization from a novel-writer's perspective, I do feel that my game design career has infused my writing with unique perspective, and that The Bard and Raven books are deeper for it.

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