Team Interview – Lead Game Writer! Inspiration comes from the oddest places

Scott, while on tour in Iraq
Scott, while on tour in Iraq

Scott, while on tour in Iraq


Rumors abound about the weirdness of writers. It’s said that Victor Hugo wrote in the nude when faced with a tough deadline, instructing his valet to confiscate all his clothes so he wouldn’t be able to leave the house. Truman Capote called himself a “completely horizontal author,” claiming he could only write lying down in bed or on the couch, with a cigarette in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. And Dan Brown swears by “inversion therapy” as a cure for writer’s block, hanging upside down in antigravity boots.

Scott J. Kelley, Lead Game Writer for Cold Furnace, writes in the nude even when not faced with a deadline. No, not really. But he does drink a lot of coffee, has a wicked imagination and gets confused about his own mortality sometimes.

“I am a god,” he says. “When you write a story, create a world, design the laws and realities of that world, conjur up characters… are a god of that creation.”

Scott’s been writing since he was a kid, though Atrocity: Field of Hands is his first video game. He was asked to join the Cold Furnace team early on, so that a good story would be central to the game.

“It was obvious from the start that they really valued their writers. That’s a big deal. It’s an opportunity to have a real voice and develop a great plot line and interesting characters with backstories.”

Scott most enjoys writing steampunk and dystopian themes, though he says he’s really inspired by history. And for a military-themed game like Field of Hands, it doesn’t hurt that he has 13 years experience in the US armed forces, including multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also serves as one of Cold Furnace’s military advisors.

“The game has a lot of great elements, and one of the things that’s pretty different about it compared to what’s out there currently – it’s realistic in all the ways it needs to be.”

Scott currently resides in Michigan, where he is a member of the Michigan National Guard. He plays soccer, enjoys running and celebrating his Irish pride in any way possible.

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