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WISH 50: Going Pro

WISH 50 is all about being a professional in the game business:

Have you ever considered trying to publish something professionally in the gaming industry? Why or why not? What are the good points and bad points of being in the industry?

We’re presumably talking about pen and paper here, rather than computer games. With that in mind, the answer is yep. I have, in fact, published something professionally in the gaming industry. I have a decent-sized handful of White Wolf credits, most happily in the Trinity line; I’ve also done work for Atlas and I have something in the queue for Eden.

However, my drive to freelance tailed off a little once I’d done some of it. It doesn’t pay well, so money’s not a strong motivator, and now that I know I can do it I don’t feel the urge to prove it again. This leaves the pleasure of doing work I care about as an incentive.

I don’t get as much pleasure out of working in someone else’s vinyard. This isn’t a financial issue, it’s a creative control issue. One of the reasons I enjoyed working on Trinity so much was because my editor gave me lots of room to lay down tracks. When I wrote Psi Law, I was defining certain elements of the Trinity universe all by my lonesome. That was fun; sharecropping, not as much fun.

If I ever discover myself rich, I expect to get into the publishing business. I think there’s a place in gaming for the small press concept — games published for artistic motives. I don’t want to publish extended lines with a GM screen and splatbooks, I want to publish interesting one-offs with high production values that are complete in one book. That will, alas, probably always remain a dream.

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