Meet a Molecule
Luci Black is our UX Writer! Dreams is full of useful tips on how gadgets, modes, menus and so much more work, and Luci's responsible for all of it. In fact, this month's Dreams Fact is ALL thanks to Luci! As you'll be reading her words during your time in the Dreamiverse, we thought it'd be a great idea to get to know her a little better!
What do you do on Dreams?
I’m a UX Writer. I name and describe all the game features, most particularly the creation tools, to help players understand what they do. All those More Info tool tips that pop up when you hover over something are my babies.
It starts with me talking to someone who knows that area best. So for example, with the art tools, I sat with Kareem while he demoed them to me, and we discussed possible names and ways to describe things. Then I went away and messed around with the art tools, refined name ideas (spending a lot of time in online thesauri) and drafted “more info” text. The whole time I’m running things by Kareem and the coders involved in the tools, as well as our wonderful QA folks, and artists who actually use them.
Once the names and tool tips are in, QA checks them for typos, inconsistencies and inaccuracies. At the same time, the team are “living with them”, so any feedback they have comes my way. The most important feedback, of course, comes from players – I’ve already made some changes based on beta feedback. As the audience opens up I’ll continue doing that, because they’re who this is for, after all!
What're you looking forward to the CoMmunity doing in Dreams?
Crazy things that make us wonder how they did it and marvel at their skills. Which is already happening, but will only get more amazing. They’re levelling up at an incredible rate – the sort of things we’re seeing after only a few weeks is just phenomenal. It all very much reminds of the first weeks of LBP, when we’d gather round someone’s desk many times a day going “WAT”. Now we have a huge TV in the studio running the beta, and we’re constantly looking up to see a crowd around it laughing or oohing and aahing.
What I love most is that you don’t know what you’ll see next. It’s the inside of peoples’ heads! That is fascinating beyond belief. The clever/skilful/accomplished stuff is great, but what I really enjoy is the stuff that makes me go “What…on earth…is happening?”. No matter how shonky it is. In fact if it’s shonky I like that even better.
What do you like to do in Dreams? Do you have a favourite creation?
This is going to sound terribly boring but what I like to do best is work on it. We have fantastic text tools which allow me to use the tools and edit the text live on my screen as I do it. That is FUN. Best job in the world. Sorry about it.
Seriously though, I’m more a player than a creator. I keep saying I’ll get there. When I do, I hope I’ll make mad things like Has Science Gone Too Far by Xionbrium. It’s exactly the sort of thing I’m talking about that exemplifies why UGC is great. I laughed like a lunatic. It’s SO funny and also kinda disturbing. My jam. I also love The Rake by jplus_b, because what’s not to love?
Favourite food, movie and song, in that order. GO!
Potatoes - my desert island food, along with the means to prepare them in every way possible.
Blade Runner – it seems to never age, and is simply the most influential sci-fi movie of all time. I’m a big Ridley fan. It was hard to choose between this and Alien. Can I have both please?
Speechless by Gaga – I will never tire of that song, and singing it is the most fun.
Finally, what’s your favourite game?
These days I play a lot less games (gardening is my leisure activity of choice) and when I do it’s iOS. So for a recent game I have to say The Room Old Sins. It was perfect. A beautiful distillation and refinement of everything they’ve done in the previous ones. The puzzles were fantastic, and the story and atmosphere sooooo spooky.
My favourite game of all time, however, is Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, on the SNES. It’s the game that made me love games, and ultimately pushed me onto the path that lead me here.