Archive for the ‘game stuff’ Category

Writing the knockout novel: pt 6 – RWAus14

August 10th, 2014

Characters and Scenes



How can you make your characters interesting, memorable, different?

Good characters jump off the page

Jump off the page:   Unpredictable, but can justify it:


Make a list of possible actions and decisions

  • There will be some that are silly
  • You might end up picking one that is further down the list


  • A deep psychological longing


  • Physical
  • Emotional


  • Will jump to action if this is activate


  • Can have two conflicting emotions at the same time
  • If written well, can make for intriguing characters


  • Able to  make do with what is available and get results



Fighting for a noble ideal 

  • Going against own interests for the greater good

 Inner conflict

Two voices inside a character really increases the emotional impact


Vogler`s rule

If two or more organs of your body are not secreting fluids, your story is no good

  • Uses concept of the chakras being active at different times to mirror emotions


Bell`s rule:

You need to have at least one hot fluid secreting


Some thoughts on Mass Effect 3

October 29th, 2012

I am currently doing my second play through of this game, with my original Shepherd character that has been with me since the original Mass Effect game.  She is a Sentinel class, and has been used for 2 playthroughs of ME, ME2 and now ME3 (some achievements can only be unlocked with a second playthrough of the same character).

I’ll switch to my Soldier at some point and take the more renegade path choices that I am yet to explore.  And I am trying to do somethings differently on this playthrough.  But there are somethings that my Sentinel can’t and won’t do.  I don’t mean that she is  not capable of these things – the decision tree options are there – but my Sentinel is mostly paragon with a chunk of renegade.  She has been pro-AI, pro-krogan redemption, pro-rachni, pro-sapient species working together for 3 games.  My soldier is the one who let the Council die and collaborated with the Illusive Man, but my Sentinel Shepherd would never do that.

Which brings me to the Tuchunka sequence.  I have to say that this is probably the best storytelling in the game, and up there with the best I have ever experienced in a CRPG.  The choices involved go back to the first game – whether you shot Wrex or not.  Then there was the choices in the second game, including if you saved the female krogan and kept the research for the genophage cure for the krogan or destroyed it.  And this time, it was about curing the genophage and gaining the support of the krogan, or sabotaging it and getting the support of the Salarian.

In the middle of this is Wrex – the squadmate from ME turned Krogan leader in game 2, who was an interplanetary war leader in game 3.  Pretty much THE war leader.  Well if you didn’t shoot him in the first game.  If you did that is too bad, you are dealing with his untrustworthy brother instead (and that is a different scenarion in itself).  Plus there is the Salarian Scientist Mordin, a squadmate from ME2 who is one of the most interesting and nuanced characters in the series (likewise Thane, but he only makes a brief appearance in ME3).

The thing about the Tuchunka priority mission is there really is no right or wrong decision.  It is about the moral decision that your character would make (or I guess if you play that way, the one that gets you the most war assets).   There is the obviously paragon option which is just moving and brings me to tears to watch.  There is the renegade option, but it is only available if certain steps have or have not been taken.  And there is the Machiavellian option which gets the most war assets but causes Shepard to act in a way my Sentinel would not behave and would cause her to deliberately bring about the death of a friend and companion.  I think I could do it with my Soldier, she is full renegade and very self interested.  But not with the character I am playing now.

That might seem odd to people – it is just pixels on a screen and how can a decision effect the way a character is played?  Well this game is all about the choices made and the long term effects.  To me that is important, one of the things that appeals to me about the game.  Actions have consequences, and after wars are won and the major players go home, the little people still have to live there and deal with the consequences of those actions and decisions.  And I am the one making the decisions here, I don’t make them lightly.  I do want to explore how the game plays out in different ways, but I think I will have to do it with another character.

And so, in honour of a great storyline, fantastic character acting, and some of the best crpg characters I have come across, here is Mordin’s song:

I am the very model of a scientist Salarian!
I’ve studied species, Turian, Asari, and Batarian.
I’m quite good at genetics (as a subset of biology),
because I am an expert (which I know is a tautology).

My xenoscience studies range from urban to agrarian –
I am the very model of a scientist Salarian!

It had to be him, someone else might have got it wrong.  And he Held the Line.  Mordin and Wrex both rock.

I hope to do a review of other parts of the game at some point, but as this is pretty much my favourite part of it I wanted to write about it now.  This is what good writing for gaming can be like.  I wish there was more of it.

Game Review: Fallout New Vegas

July 18th, 2011

I have put off writing this review for a while, because I really wasn’t sure what to say.  I loved Fallout 3  so much and spent hundreds of hours playing the main game and all 5 expansions as they came out.

So I was really looking forward to Fallout New Vegas when I heard about it, and was intrigued by the  idea behind the new setting, an area that was not directly attacked during the war two centuries earlier.  I tried really hard to get the Collectors Edition, as I regretted being unable to find it for Fallout 3 (I still would like a Vault Boy bobblehead!), but was unable to locate the version I wanted anywhere in Australia.  I even held off buying it when it was first released in case I came across the Collectors Edition online or somewhere local.  But eventually I gave in a purchased the normal game, doing without the Lucky 38 Platinum chip replica, the deck of cards with characters from the game, and so on.


Game Review: Lord of the Rings Online (Part 1)

January 21st, 2011

I have never been interested in Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games in the past, I’ve had a bit of a look at some of them and there was no appeal.  But the Star Wars game Old Republic has been in works for a while now, and I was kind of interested in that, and wondering if my laptop would be able to run it.

And then a gaming friend introduced me to Lord of the Rings online (LotRo).  One of my all time favourite settings, and the chance to be part of the story.  I was able to pick up a cheap copy of the initial game, Shadows of Angmar, and then had to do a 35,000 file update overnight.  But the next day I was ready to go, and it was with great excitement – and quite a bit of trepidation – that I logged in for the first time and started to use my free one month trial.


Le Jardin

May 28th, 2009

I have nearly finished one of the two canvases I am working on – it is a gift for my brother’s gf who is visiting with him from the UK, and they are leaving on Monday morning.  So I’m on a very tight deadline.  That is ok – I added the finishing touches this evening (lots and lots of flowers).  Now I’m waiting for it all to dry, and I’ll take a photo of it tomorrow.

It has been a bit of a challenge because I used a different shape canvas this time, and some of my original concepts just didn’t work.  But that is ok – I’m a lot happier with the way it looks now than I was with my original idea.

It is called Le Jardin, because of the art nouveau image and of course all the flowers.  I have also made use of bollywood trim that is an embroidered ribbon with dangling beads.  It is a bit like a miniature beaded curtain.  I wasn’t sure initially if i should put it along the bottom or the top of the canvas, but in the end decided that along the top looked better and also gave the impression of movement.

I’ll try to post a pic on the weekend.

In other news, we are doing a Serious Rock Band session on Sunday, and attemping to unlock the Endless Set List (really 58 songs).  That is a long session, but we will have enough people to swap in and out as breaks are required.

RSS Feed