Hello! Today, I want to talk about the Hunter: The Vigil Second Edition, and run through some of the decisions I’ll be weighing as I review candidates. I want to share with you what my thought processes are, too, so you understand some of the responsibilities I have as the developer for this game line.
First and foremost, I want to remind you that Onyx Path Publishing has always opened the door to freelancers. The instructions for the Submission Guidelines are available here, and I will be reviewing works based off of your ability to follow directions and internalize the content listed here: theonyxpath.com/submission-guidelines
Second, please understand that contacting my personal accounts through Twitter, Facebook, and my e-mail will not help you get hired. In fact, I will ignore your requests and wind up blocking you. The Open Call process is in place for a reason, and the writers who follow that methodology automatically “level up” in my eyes. If you can’t follow instructions, or if you can’t respect boundaries before I hire you, then that tells me you’re going to be difficult to work with. This advice is evergreen: follow the submission guidelines. That, in addition to focusing on your craft, will help you the most.
If you have questions, after reading this lengthy post, please post them in the comments and I will do the best I can to answer them.
A Menagerie of Voices
As I mentioned previously in my Open Dev posts, I reinforced that Hunter: The Vigil is a game that can be played by anyone, anywhere, regardless of how they identify, or where they live. This was the intent for the first edition, back when it debuted in 2008, this is true for all Onyx Path games, and it’s even more true now — especially given the fact that we have the technology to instantly deliver this game to fans around the globe. Even more exciting, is the fact that we have the means to hire a stellar team and conduct better research than we have before, too, so we can avoid problems or cultural inaccuracies as best we can that interfere with your ability to play Hunter.
To me, this means that the material in this 200,000 word corebook must reflect the experiences of diverse writers who can write, with authority, about their experiences. To clarify this further: I do not want to hire someone because of who they are or how they identify, but what that writer is comfortable and skilled to write about for players and Storytellers.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about this:
Say I’m you, for a second, and I interpret this call as “the dev welcomes female writers.” So, I write in my cover letter that I’m female, and then proceed to send a submission outlining what I’d like to see happen for the Lucifuge conspiracy. How I would interpret that submission, as the developer, is that Monica wants to write about the Lucifuge. The information submitted doesn’t give me enough to go on, to show me what potential subjects I might put Monica on, so I’d focus on the writing itself. Instead, the Monica I want to hear from will tell me she’s the daughter of an Italian immigrant, she’s well-versed in Italian culture, she has performed a lot of analysis and research for her projects, and she writes a lot of alternate history. That gives me a lot more to think about, provided she followed the submission guidelines, because I know she’d be comfortable writing about her culture and that her contributions would feel authentic and work well for this game. Please do not take this as: “I need to send OP an essay about myself.” That is not the intent, here, due to the volume of submissions we’ve been receiving. Think “bullet points” instead of essay.
Mind you, I just glossed over that example with the broadest brush imaginable, but I hope you get the gist of what I’m getting at. To me, hiring a diverse team of writers is the best, possible decision for this game. But, and I’m going to repeat myself here again, that means I am looking for competent writers from a variety of backgrounds. The door is open, just as it has always been, and I welcome you to apply.
I am, however, also looking for people who love the Chronicles of Darkness rules. While we do have an existing pool of freelancers to tap into on all fronts, I am extremely passionate about giving new, capable folks a shot to flesh out our team.
Things to Keep in Mind
Thanks to Onyx Path and our relationship with Paradox, we can talk a bit more about the process of putting a game together. This is a unique opportunity for you, believe me, because though I get to work on a fantastic game, it is still a licensed property and normally the ins and outs of that workflow are kept close to the vest for a number of business-y reasons. That is the unsexy part, and I sympathize with y’all. I really do. When I was a fan I didn’t care about any of that stuff. All I wanted to do, was write the things I wanted to see in the game, and put my stamp on the properties I loved.
However, at the end of the day the decisions I make are to make Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition as playable as possible for both existing fans and new fans, while satisfying the creative and contractional obligations I have to Onyx Path. Thus, developers don’t make decisions for any one fan, and I think that’s something to keep in mind if you want to write for us. Or, to be perfectly blunt, I am not looking for divas — what I want are folks who are willing to follow direction, but are also excited about collaboration and being part of the Hunter team.
To that end, I feel very strongly that Onyx Path does everything within its power to prepare you for success, both at this company and for other gaming companies. While you’re submitting to the Open Call, I’m putting the finishing touches on a comprehensive outline and development plan that will be approved before writers are hired. There will also be a style guide, which you will be expected to follow, and chances for feedback on your initial draft. Combined, the expectations will be very clear on our end, and in my experiences that will help tap into your strengths as writers.
I am looking forward to building my team for Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition, and I hope that you are, too.