My First Published Words

A couple of weeks ago, I announced my debut on Thaumatrope. Multiple people informed me that this makes me a professional writer, but I just remembered that a small piece of my writing has already been published for payment long ago.

In a past life, I was a scripter for the role-playing game, Planescape: Torment. A scripter is like a programmer, except instead of writing complicated graphical algorithms, I wrote simple scripts that told each character and creature what to do. Perhaps the simplest example being:

IF See( PC )
Attack( PC )

I was also responsible for putting the levels together. Designers designed them and wrote the dialogue, artists drew everything, and I put the pieces together so it worked. On one level, I required a piece of dialogue to inform the player that he'd have to leave his party behind before entering the Immortal's Tomb. The designer told me to write it myself. I present to you the first 72 words of my publishing career (click to enlarge):

It's wordy, I know. I mean, I wrote it ten years ago. And anyway, in a game that contains an estimated 800,000 words, seventy-two is negligible. But these are my first words written and published for money.

So I guess I've been professional for a decade now and didn't know it.


Adam Heine said...

Ugh, really wordy. Here, I gotta fix it at least a little:

You open the gate. An icy wind causes you to shiver. You hear an indistinct whispering, but in a second it is gone and all is silent... You realize you have been here before, and you have a strong feeling that your companions must not follow you in.

Natalie Whipple said...

Can I just say I'm sooo jealous? There was one point in my life where I wanted to do art for video games. Writing would have been cool, too. I was a bit of a Final Fantasy junkie back in the day.

That is just super cool.

MattyDub said...

Hey, where's that page that guy made who was stalking you in the forums? I can't find it and I think all your AE readers would enjoy it.

The Wannabe Scribe said...

Wow, that's even cooler!

fairyhedgehog said...

I can't see the picture. Oh no! Your debut as a published author will ever be opaque to me.

Adam Heine said...

Natalie: making video games was my dream since I was like 11. I got to do it for about a year and a half, and only stopped because the hours would have potentially destroyed my brand new marriage. I still miss it though. I mean, I'm still talking about it, so obviously.

MattyDub: I believe this is what you are referring to. (Note: not everything on that page is true).

fairyhedgehog: Maybe it's some Blogger error. Maybe if you try again? Can you see the direct link here?

fairyhedgehog said...

It's working for me now. I've no idea what was wrong before.

So I can marvel at the wonderful D&D-style writing. It's actually rather good, although I agree that your edited version is better. And it was paid-for, which is more than I can say about anything I've ever written.

MattyDub said...

Well, the only thing I could find inaccurate on that site was that your 1997 Saturn had more than the standard options - did I miss something?

Adam Heine said...


No, that was it.

Matthew MacNish said...

You're effing kidding me.

I LOVED Planescape: Torment!

Adam Heine said...

I wanna fix it again. I'm so George Lucas:

You open the gate, shivering in a sudden icy wind. Something whispers from the dark, then is silent. You have been here before, and you have a strong feeling your companions must not follow you in.

SpannerGlow said...

Well... Original unfixed version still my favorite. :-/