If you've been keeping up with the Aero Empire project, then you know we've been going through a lot of changes as we gear up for a release this year. We now have another change to announce: we are looking for a Lead Writer to take the reigns of the game's story.
I joined this project last May, and have had an incredible time helping to give the game a complex world with a rich history. However, since then, my life has filled up considerably, and I have come to the point where I simply cannot commit the time to this project that it deserves. After talking everything over with our Lead Designer, I've decided that it's time to pass on the role of Lead Writer, and, with it, the responsibility of designing and writing the plot, characters, and dialogue of Aero Empire's first (and even future) releases.
With that in mind, I am very excited to announce The Aero Empire Writing Contest!
We are looking for a talented writer to join our team and write the campaign for our first release. This writer will have complete responsibility and control over the game's storyline, covering, as mentioned above, plot, characters, dialogue, and all other material players see while playing the game. How they go about this is up to them: they can write it all themselves, solicit help to split it up, or a combination of the two.
While I will not be able to work on the project full-time, I will still be here to help get our Lead Writer selected, getting them introduced to the world, and then answering questions as they arise, and helping out where I can.
Each contestant must submit a short writing sample no more than 5 pages long taking place in the Aero Empire world. The sample may draw upon the currently written history (Indiedb.com), or use a history of its own with its own set of nations, as long as it follows this general description of Aero Empire's world:
Aero Empire is set in a world where the majority of the landmass lies below a thick layer of clouds called the "Twilisphere." Scarce, tall mountains peak through the Twilisphere, creating what little landmass lies above. Below the Twilisphere, the climate is not earth-like, and cannot support life as we know it. The Twilisphere is a permanent artifact of the boundary between the two different climates of the planet - the alien one below, and the earth-like one above. Because of this, the Twilisphere is perpetually turbulent and stormy, with frequent lighting strikes. Venturing into the Twilisphere is akin to committing suicide; even if someone could survive the dangerous journey through the Twilisphere, the uninhabitable climate below would kill an exposed person in a matter of minutes.
All life began below the Twilisphere. Seeking the calmer and brighter environment, creatures climbed the mountains and evolved over millions of years to live above the Twilisphere, eventually becoming unable to return to the land below. Human tribes evolved this way on the different mountaintops, isolated and without knowledge or concern for the other tribes. Even as the first airships were developed, and travel between mountains became possible, the difficulty of travel kept interactions between the nations to a minimum. However, this all changed with the invention of the steam engine, which facilitated air travel and allowed the nations to expand and interact with each other.
Inspirational images in AE's World.
These images were rendered in an offline renderer, and then painted over.
The sample can take place any time between the invention of the first airship until several hundred years after the invention of the steam engine. The sample can be any form of writing - short story, dialog, plot outline, even a detailed character or world description. As long as the sample takes place within that timeframe and is feasible within the general description of Aero Empire's world, anything goes. Try to show off your strengths, and also your experience in game writing, if any. Remember, longer does not necessarily mean better: often, two pages can have more of an effect than five.
Contestants must submit the completed sample either here: Ae.aerosphere-studios.com or by emailing it to: firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line "Writing Contest" by April 30th, 2010. Contestants should also include a brief description of themselves with their submission. The submissions will be judged by a panel of judges on our core team to decide the winner.
The winner will receive the title of writing contest winner, an environmental sketch depicting a scene from their submission (may take a week or so to make), and an offer to become Lead Writer of our team!
The runner up and top submissions will also receive recognition by being placed on our website in a contest winners section (if you would prefer to not have your submission publicly accessible, state so in your submission) .
Small inspirational Aero Empire video made by Swhibble for a school project.
We can't wait to see what everyone comes up with! After submitting, feel free to visit us on the forums, where you can upload your story under the Writing Contest section for everyone to see and discuss, meet the team, and get to learn a bit more about the project!