I’ve been trying to keep on top of writing recently, and while I’ve been fairly bad about actually writing anything fictional (at least on purpose), I’ve been doing some musing about why a lot of the stories that I’m coming up with the seeds for turn out to be non-starters.Continue reading “Trying to Write a Character with Meaning”
One of the things that’s been entering my mind recently as I work on Hammercalled and playtesting is how differently I approach the topics of writing for a game versus writing for a published product. With a handful of exceptions, I’ve never published a setting that I’ve been playing in at the time of publication. That’s not because I’m against sharing my work (like this, the campaign I’m going to start running Hammercalled in in a couple days), it’s just that I don’t think it works as well.
And I have a few reasons why I choose to work on settings devoid of running a game in them, since I know this goes against the prevailing industry wisdom.
One of the things that I’ve been asked about a few times is ending a campaign of D&D or other roleplaying games.
It’s the sort of thing that comes up from time to time because of the fact that many of these games are entirely open-ended. There aren’t any real stopping points or times to end the campaign scripted into most games, and barring a catastrophe that kills all the player characters (deserved or not), it’s hard to reach a point where the game comes to a satisfying conclusion.
I’ve been really awful at updating this blog, and I think it’s because I insist on doing articles. I’m still probably going to finish up Breathing Life at some point, because I have a fair amount of stuff written for it already (and I’ve had a lot more drafted and planned, awaiting me having more free time).
Some of it’s because I keep starting new projects.
The most recent is velotha’s flock, a free-verse game about were-ravens caught in a struggle between God and the devil. Bit of a niche audience, but it draws me to an important point: the cycle of literary characters.
One of the greatest things that ticks me off as a gamer is when I’m playing a game and I can know where everything is going from the very beginning-there’s no element of surprise or suspense, and even if there is it’s only because characters act in unbelievable ways. Now, there’s a whole plethora of issues that cause this, everything from the fact that modern gameplay tends to not be as emergent as we claim it is to the fact that writers often can’t write video games or their stories do not get integrated into the game correctly. Continue reading “Sunday Extra: Why Video Game Narratives Fail”
Wonder is hard to come by-we’ve explored most of our land mass, been to space, and answered more questions than most people ask in their lives. One of the challenges of running a tabletop game in the modern day is the need to compete with the extreme stimulation of mass media; it is crucial from an entertainment perspective to build upon the storytelling and setting of other media and bring them together into a conglomeration of all the elements that will go into your setting and descriptions.
I’ve been in the process of moving over stuff from my old site to this blog, so here’s an old blog post that I wrote in January 2012 about Bastion. It’s a little bit dated, but still cogent to the game industry in general.