Black Tusk Studios’ Gears of War Game to Have Web Application, “Enthralling” Character-Driven Story

Today we learned that Black Tusk Studios is working on the next Gears of War title, but not much is known about it yet. A few hints could be found in a couple career opportunity ads posted by Microsoft in behalf of the studio.

The first, seeking a Senior Online Engineer, talks about the development of a “web application to support console and multi-screen end points,” meaning that the new game will probably have some kind of web-based portal similar to Battlefield‘s Battlelog. The “multi-screen end points” part could be related to an implementation of a SmartGlass app paired with the game.

The Senior Online Engineer will be responsible for design and implementation of robust, secure, and scalable web services, and deployment processes to support customer-facing applications. The successful candidate must have strong communication skills and be able to work side by side with programmers, designers and production staff, and be passionate about owning a reliable high-traffic web application to support console and multi-screen end points.

The second ad, seeking a Lead Writer, gives us some hints on what the game’s story could entail:

We are looking for a seasoned storyteller who can help us bring Microsoft’s next big IP to life. This individual will help us develop the characters, story arc, emotional tone, pacing, dialogue, and flavor of a story that will shape the spirit of this new franchise.

Reporting to the Narrative Director the Lead Writer is responsible for setting the bar of excellence in script and plot development. The core of this role is to craft an enthralling character-driven story and define how the narrative will be delivered through different game systems. The Lead Writer must collaborate closely with other designers, developers, and artists across the studio to ensure seamless integration of story and gameplay.

– Act as a champion of story, characters, and emotional engagement across the game and game team
– Create a cast of distinctive, engaging, and imperfect characters that players love (or love to hate)
– Define a compelling story that takes the player on a hero’s journey, with a keen eye to story structure and pacing 

While it’s possible that these ads could be related to the original IP Black Tusk Studios has been working on, that’s not too likely. Today the Xbox Jobs twitter account mentioned that the future of the new IP has not been determined, so it’s a bit farfetched to think that Microsoft would hire for it for the moment. On top of that, the two career opportunity ads have been published very close to the announcement (on January 10th and and January 13th), probably indicating that the studio is staffing up to tackle the Gears of War project.

If the two ads really are for Gears of War, Black Tusk Studios may be preparing to deliver the game with all the bells and whistles, both in its story and on the technology side.

Join the Discussion

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    what is the line between story driven and character driven?

    • ChatWraithDeux

      I’d say story driven is like “The town is under attack, and you’ve gotta save it, because backstory!” and character driven is like “This is the story of a space captain and the choices he makes regarding his zany cast of crewmates.”

      • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

        So Kingdom Hearts vs. Final Fantasy

        • AttentionDeficitKing

          I’d say Naruto vs One Piece is a better comparison.

          • ChatWraithDeux

            I’d say it’s more like…… the Recent AC: Black Flag is character driven. It’s all about Kenway and his escapades. There used to be some kind of “abstergo is bad and the sun is ‘splodin'” but that’s kind of lost at this point, right? (I haven’t played AC4, i’m all AC’d out after 3)

            By contrast, naruto and one piece and all those shows feature notable characters, but if any of them died I think the narrative would continue. There would still be a story if sora died, there would still be a story if naruto died. They’re the main character but it isn’t about “them”. It’s ultimately about other stuff going on.

          • AttentionDeficitKing

            Good point there on the “if the characters died, the story could still continue” – that explains it very well (and note that I think it supports my comparison of Naruto as story-driven and One Piece as character-driven – as you said, there’d still be a story if Naruto died, and while there would still be a story in One Piece if Luffy died, the show isn’t just about him, it’s about him and his crew, and there would certainly be no story if the Straw Hats died).

  • You are flat out wrong

    No point hyping up a game that’s not out until 2016/17 and not even being done by the original developers, to be quite honest.

  • x50_Spence

    There is a similar article on Gears of War Portal. Although it reads further between the lines. There is more than one way to unfold the story, not just in the game but in another medium.