So yesterday, after months of sitting on our hands and guarding our tongues, we got to announce our involvement on Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, the crazy neon-lit, laser-fueled stand-alone take on Far Cry 3. Working with the team, I wrote most of the dialog, menu item descriptions, the loading screen tips, etc. In short, if there were words to write, I was the keyboard monkey who jumpedfar_cry_3_blood_dragon1 up and down on the keys until words formed… often a lot of bad words with great advice and input from Dean Evans, the Creative Director.

Dean was the creative force behind the project, nudging and pushing every step of the way to keep us on track, and we worked closely together to capture the tone and the style he wanted. We butted heads, we synched, we laughed, we argued, he wiped snot on my script (out of love), I took his script instead… it was a great collaboration.

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon was not only a fantastic project to work on, but it was an awesome bonding experience with a team who brought their love of the game and the Eighties into the project. Hell, one coworker even dressed up as an Omega Force baddie for Halloween, another as a Mad Max-style road warrior, and myself as Skeletor. Naturally, Dean came in looking like a drunk vagrant with a Robocop helmet and a bottle of booze. He was Hobo-Cop.

VHS era movie posters covered our walls, from Robocop to myriad Arnie flicks to A View to a Kill to War Games to GI Joe and Transformers: The Movie. VHS movies played on the project television, from Aliens all the way up and down the 80s alphabet. And He-Man cartoons… let’s not forget those gems. I sometimes walked into the office at 6:30 AM to find they’d forgotten to stop Conan the Destroyer or Blade Runner so that it ran and rewound and ran again all night long. Other days, I’d find people from outside the project gawking at Die Hard playing on the television, and giving us the finger because they wanted to work with us. Or they’d stand there laughing at Big Trouble in Little China.

The Eighties wasn’t a gimmick for us. It was a labor of love from the entire team. For the older bastards like myself, it was Grade School and High School and College and everything about the era we grew up in. For the younger pups on the team, it was the birth of when nerd culture started to infect mainstream, when videogames  and action/sci-fi/fantasy entertainment and Arnie and cool plastic action figures and toys were born. The music, the television shows, the movies, the cartoons… we all understood the same language. It was like a common origin story for all of us. Dean would send out music videos and movie clips on an almost daily basis for inspiration. One of the modelers crafted Blood Dragon action figures that you can see at the end of the reveal trailer. I brought in my old movie posters to plaster on the walls. And we all were thinking the same thing:

“Holy shit we’re being paid to do this!”

I was shocked Ubisoft gave us the creative freedom and trust to see this project through; it felt like it was one long gag at our expense, one that had gone on for too long and one that Ubisoft no longer had the heart to tell us it was all a joke. Moreso, we felt validated for that trust, as level and game and audio designers, as artists, as modelers, as programmers, as QA & QC, as localization, as marketing, as animation, as closers, as… as so many more. I know this trust meant more to the team than simply reliving the Eighties through the lens of nostalgia. We had fun. We remembered why we made games. We got to geek out in our jobs and felt incredibly rewarded for it. Games are serious business, but there are times the magic is indescribable and when everything you imagine working in games to be is actually true.far-cry-3-blood-dragon

Not that there weren’t bumps along the way, but in the end those attempts to scoop or steal the game could not and would not diminish what we accomplished as a team. Nobody can take that from us.

So to the men and women I worked with all these months, from the veterans to the latecomers, I dedicate this article to you. In my professional career as a story designer and scriptwriter, you rank among one of my finest experiences, and I’m honored to have worked alongside you and to have delivered the worst script and most horrible dialogs possible. Win or lose, we rocked this… Mark IV style, motherfuckers.