Let me, Jenessa Wenkins, tell you a little bit about my time working at Skyrim Incorporated, the very real company that created the even more real game Skyrim: Craft a Thousand Iron Daggers or Die Trying.
At first I was tasked with capturing the majesty of Skyrim in a single screenshot. My first submission was appreciated, albeit with a few caveats:
“That horse seems like it’s at an odd angle” was the main objection lobbed at the image. I told them if they didn’t want nearly vertical horses, they shouldn’t let the dang horses climb at 90-degree angles.
My supervisor helpfully suggested, “Maybe move the horse a little closer to the top of the peak?” So I did.
Of course, move the horse a little closer to the top, and the thing falls right off the cliff. However, I thought the resulting image was suitably dramatic, so I submitted it for approval. Little did I know just how perfectionistical they are at Skyrim Inc.
Trying to be helpful, my supervisor super-advised me, “I like the drama of the image, but perhaps we shouldn’t depict the main character hurtling straight toward the ground to certain death?”
This, I thought, was a valid point, and it showed in my revision. Or so I thought.
Now this image, surely, captured the majesty of Skyrim: A castle, a big ol’ mountain, some trees, a horse, and Dovahkiin bravely surging ahead despite any danger and/or complete lack of solid ground.
My supervisor didn’t see how this image was any different than the previous. I explained that we don’t know how high up the character is in this image. The only thing more exciting than certain death is uncertain death: Will Dovahkiin die outright, or merely kill her horse and break both her ankles and kneecaps? This is compelling drama.
“Maybe you should explore the deep NPC interaction that the game provides, instead.” That’s what he said, so I went deep. Really deep.
Let it be said that Jenessa Wenkins never half-asses her work! You can feel the tension between these two characters, as well as the third wheel sitting awkwardly at the other end of the room. Games like Skyrim are kept alive by community involvement, and what better way to springboard the exciting realm of Skyrim
My supervisor found it awkward that their faces touch. No worries, bosseronie! Problem solved!
I assume this image was accepted instantly for its greatness because my supervisor refused to comment on it. He sighed instead. Wistfully, I think.
“Maybe instead of NPC interaction, you could show something that depicts the Radiant Quest system.” Great idea, boss! Who doesn’t love a dynamic plot generated completely by the game and not at all by the sick, deviant mind of the person playing it?
At this point my boss may have lost patience with me for some reason, because I was re-assigned to simply take representative gameplay screenshots of the DLC Hearthfire. I felt it was important to emphasize the title of the content, for clarity’s sake.
My boss didn’t feel the same way. He gave me one last shot. (Hee hee, pardon the pun!)
He seemed very pleased with this one, but I personally found it a little boring. He didn’t catch the subtle humor I slipped into the image, either, so I upped my game for number two.
At this point I was inexplicably fired. As of this writing, they have not returned any of my calls, voicemails, emails, texts, or open letters.
But fear not, Skyrim fans, for Jenessa Wenkins never gives up! I created an ad of my own, which I feel truly captures the spirit of the game and/or headcanon I fanatically obsess over:
Attention developers: Jenessa is still available for hire!
~ Jenessa Wenkins