Writers Cabal's 2008 Year in Review

We had an amazing year in 2008 and we hope you did too!  We started the year out with a Writers Guild nomination for THE WITCHER, spoke at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival and the ION Game Conference, and somehow we managed to continually write and consult on a number of projects, both big and small, including WIZARD 101.  We reconnected with friends during travels and made new friends as well.

Here are some highlights from our year:

1.  Writers Guild nomination

Anne was in L.A. while Sande was in Paris.   Anne generally doesn’t answer the phone when working, so it was a good thing she did on that fateful Friday.  It was the WGA calling to say we had been nominated for the first ever WGA Award in Videogame Writing!  Excitedly, Anne relayed the news to Sande via Skype.

Artur Ganszyniec, Sebastian Stepien, Sande Chen, Anne Toole

Artur Ganszyniec, Sebastian Stepien, Writers Cabal

We attended both WGA ceremonies in NYC and in L.A.  We spent the NYC ceremony trying to find our Polish co-nominees on THE WITCHER. While they had spoken to Sande on the phone and may have seen her on videocam via Skype, we had nothing to go by.  But as you can see, we did find them.

2.  Travels

It seems like every month, we were traveling.  Ah, the life of the itinerant writer!  While Anne did speak at a Writers Guild Foundation seminar and other events in Los Angeles and Sande spoke at IGDA NYC’s Pecha Kucha night, we were world trekkers this year, making our appearances at game conferences around the U.S. and internationally.

We were in Taiwan for Chinese New Year and then went straight to GDC in S.F. to celebrate our First AnniversarySXSW soon followed, where we presented our session, Creating Passionate Games: A Multidisciplinary Approach. While in Austin, Sande attended EIEIO and Anne (lucky her) won a XBox 360 and GUITAR HERO at a SXSW party.  Then it was off to Seattle for the ION Game Conference (now called the LOGIN Conference) for our session, Story vs. Story: Redefining Narrative and Player Engagement in MMOs.  Additionally, Anne attended the San Diego Comic Con.

Sande captured at VGXPO

Sande captured at VGXPO

In September, Anne flew to Finland to present at the first ever Nokia Open Labs Workshop.  That same day, Sande flew to S.F. and ended up stranded there due to Hurricane Ike.  Rather than return to her home in coastal TX, she flew directly to Austin for AGDC, hoping to contact her neighbors in the disaster zone.  Despite a lost cell phone and the lack of electricity, gas, and food at home, Sande pulled through and flew to NY for the NY Games Conference the following week.  Sande rounded out the year by attending VGXPO in Philadelphia.

3.  Publications

In 2008, we contributed the chapter, “Writing in a Team” to the IGDA Writers SIG-produced book, Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing. We also contributed a chapter to the 3rd book, so stay tuned in 2009!

This post brought to you by Writers Cabal, a game writing and design partnership.

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