Black Tusk Studios' Gears of War Game to Have Web Application, "Enthralling" Character-Driven Story

January 27, 2014

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 

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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.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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