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User Journal

Journal Journal: EggDye is working very hard on round 2 of the WoTC contest.. 2

If he is one of the 11 lucky winners. (credits to that anonymous sweepstakes copy writer.)

Unfortunately for him, he was not selected to go on to round 2.

Well, I can't say it was much of a surprise. Over 11,000 would-be designers submitted their one page synopsis to WoTC a few months ago. Of these, 11 were selected for stage 2, which consists of ten page setting descriptions. If this were strictly a game of probability, I wouldn't have had much of a chance. Given that this was not a game of probability, I really didn't have much of a chance. I like to think that I am more literate than the average bear. I don't have any proof of this, but it is a comforting notion to me.

Regardless of the internal model of myself I have constructed, I'm not completely blind to external reality. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of published fantasy writers out there. Some truly suck. The vast majority has some skill but is just good. A few handfuls are really gifted.

These handfuls blew my submission out of the water. They were proverbial hot knives through proverbial butter. They were 50 caliber depleted-uranium armor-piercing rounds to my melon-sized head.

Let us not even speak of talented newcomers with a knack for game design. Let us even discount the mass of professional hacks that could beat me out because they have experience and practiced instincts.

Truthfully, I don't really feel bitter about it. The submission that wins is going to be a great one. It's going to be one of those ideas that are so good that you fantasize about having come up with it yourself.

Also, since I didn't get to the next round, I'm using my all-powerful control over reality to SEND LIORA TO ROUND 2. I'll have to wait and see if this works...

User Journal

Journal Journal: D&D new setting contest and an introduction 3

About two or three weeks ago, Wizards of the Coast advertised a new setting submission contest. I played some Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in my day, so I was pretty interested in the contest. They way it worked (if you didn't look at the contest details themselves) is that they would have a first round where everyone would submit a one page summary of their setting. From these entries the best 10 would be chosen by WoTC. Round 2 would consist of the 10 remaining contestants writing a ten page summary of their setting. The top 3 of this group would be selected for the final round. This round would consist of writing a 100 page setting bible. Those who were able to get into this round would recieve $20,000 for producting the setting bible. One winner would get an additional $100,000 consulting fee for their winning entry. The winning entry would become a new setting that WoTC would produce.

Of course, I'm a big nerd and thought this would be a fun contest. At the very least, I get off my but and do some creative writing. I figured that there might be a thousand entries. D&D is fairly popular, but it does involve some motivation to think up a setting, write it out, and mail it in. Some people on the WoTC forums thought that there might be as many as five thousand entries. I figured these people were suffering from a serious case of false consensus(1). Turns out that we were all wrong. Over ten thousand people submitted one page new setting sumaries to this contest. Whoa. That's a huge mass of raw creativity.

Think about it. Five hundred sheets of standard computer paper is about 2.5 inches tall. The entries to the first round contest would be about five feet tall if they were put in a stack. They represent something on the order of about 40,000 hours of human labor.

If it was a random contest I'd have about a 0.1 percent chance to make it into the next round. However, it isn't a random contest. To make it into the next round of the contest I have to have had a better idea for a new setting that 9,990 other writers. I like to think of myself as a smart guy who can write well, but I'm not that damn good.

Since this is my first journal entry I figure I might as well say who the heck I am. I'm a recent graduate of a public university in the mid-west (why are people so vague?). I got a Master's degree in Computer Science. My focus was Computer Graphics, and my hope is to land a Computer Graphics related job. Ideally this would be a job doing one of these exciting things:

1) Programming computer games
2) Writing software for a Computer Animation/Visual Effects company
3) Writing general 3D graphics software
4) Doing Computer Graphics related research

Okay, this is getting a bit long. Stay tuned for more self-centeredness and wacky fun.

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