Meet the Team – Jess Haskins

Name: Jess Haskins

Role: Creative Writer

About: I’m a game designer and writer in Brooklyn, NY specializing in interactive storytelling, worldbuilding, and narrative design. Among the projects I’ve worked on is Muse Games’ multiplayer online steampunk airship shooter Guns of Icarus Online, for which I did all the writing and worldbuilding (as well as design, community, and a few other things). I’m also involved with a few local community groups, including co-chairing the IGDA NYC chapter and hosting a monthly drink night for NYC Indie Games. That’s where I met Sebastian during the brief period he was living in NYC—just long enough to get introduced and to get onboard with GalaCollider!

What’s your favorite thing about GalaCollider?

I was immediately impressed by the scope of the in-game universe and commitment to thoughtful, engaging, sometimes subtle storytelling in a multiplayer strategy game. Four billion years in the future is a pretty audacious setting. It’s a fun challenge to imagine the diversity and multiplicity of civilizations and cultures that could exist in such a remote context, while still making the factions, characters, and items players will encounter relatable and compelling.

What inspires you?

When I dig into a new project I like to start with research grounded in the real world. On GalaCollider, there’s no shortage of astronomical references to turn to for inspiration: star maps, timelines of evolution, simulations of galactic collisions, theories about alternate forms of life, the history of the universe since the Big Bang. I like to read science magazines like New Scientist and Nautilus, which are a great source of ideas. On a more narrative level, I always come back to Star Trek, with its rosy vision of space exploration and the future progress of humanity. For a somewhat grittier take on the rise and fall of galactic civilizations, the nature of technology, and the origin of life, the Battlestar Galactica reboot had some intriguing ideas and big themes (even if they were making up the plot as they went along). In games, the Mass Effect series earns a special place as great space opera with epic scope, meticulous worldbuilding, and sensitive and compelling character drama, including a touch of humor.

What is your current gaming obsession?

While I put off deciding which RPG series I want to spend the next several hundred hours immersed in (Wasteland, Fallout, or Baldur’s Gate?), I’ve been playing a bunch of point-and-click adventures (LucasArts classics like Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and The Dig), and catching up on recent Telltale series (up next: Game of Thrones, or maybe Tales from the Borderlands).