November 14th 2012
Today you’re going to meet the man behind much of Star Citizen’s fictional world and the author of the fan-favorite Time Capsule and Spectrum Dispatch posts, Dave Haddock! We’ve asked him to answer a few introductory questions:
What do you do for Cloud Imperium?
So far I’ve helped work out the history for the game universe which ultimately made its way into the Time Capsules. After Chris unveiled the demo at GDC in October, I switched over to the Spectrum Dispatches and started writing the Cal Mason, Kid Crimson, and the News Dispatch stories.
Is this your first game project? What else have you worked on?
This is my first game project as a writer. When I first moved to LA I got a job as a QA Localization Tester at Activision where I worked on Call of Duty: United Offensive, True Crime, and the Doom 3 expansion. Since it was a night-shift job, I was able to start interning for Ascendant Pictures during the day.
What are your inspirations in creating the Star Citizen world?
There are quite a few. When Chris and I first began discussing the universe of Star Citizen, there was a lot of talk about taking elements from Ancient Rome so I went back to reread old textbooks about that period as well as talks about the classics (Star Wars, Star Trek, Ringworld, Foundation, etc.) I’ve always been a fan of Joss Whedon so naturally I rewatched Firefly a bunch which hardly counts as ‘work.’
With Cassandra’s Tears, I went to the Mystery and Imagination Bookshop in Glendale and picked up old copies of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy anthology magazines to try and capture that style used in the 1950’s Flash Gordon-esque type of story. While Kid Crimson was naturally more of a Dashiell Hammett flavor.
But I’ve actually drawn the most inspiration from music. Generally when I start writing something, I’ll try to collate any songs that put my head in that world or capture a scene or emotion. So my Star Citizen playlist is a variety of songs from all sorts of genres, from John Murphy’s score for Sunshine to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ Social Network score to Massive Attack to a Sharon Van Etten song. Anything that sparks the brain to the material.
Are you a gamer? If so, what are you playing now?
I grew up as a gamer. My family always seemed to have the ‘other systems’ though. We didn’t have Atari, we had Intellivision. We didn’t have a Commodore 64, we got an Epson Equity II PC. So until PC really caught on, we never really had the popular games in the house. I kept playing games through high school but fell off a bit after college as I was broke and couldn’t afford the systems.
Over the past couple years, I started playing again but have definitely slowed down. Recently, I’ve been watching my roommate work his way through Skyrim which has been fun. Mass Effect 2 was the last game I played through. That was only a couple months ago so I jumped on that bandwagon relatively late.
What are you most looking forward to seeing in the finished game?
There’s a story-point that I won’t mention that I’m really looking forward to, mostly because I’m curious to see how the players react to it. But as far as ones I can discuss, while I would love to see sprawling space combat, I keep coming back to a personal moment. I’d love to be on the drift out alone through a nebula. I’d love to just bask in the beauty and stillness. I think if we can capture that feeling of awe, that would be something.