Saturday, 9 June 2012

Writing, Writing and Reading

This is what my life has become lately. Chris Evans of The Reticule saw fit to trust me with writing to his website so I have been doing that a bit, writing news and a couple of review pieces. E3 - the Electronic Entertainment Exposition in San Francisco - came and went with much news only a little of which was of interest to me. Maybe I'm just a young grouch or a rather specific hipster but the current slew of games on the horizon doesn't do it for me. Except Dishonored, that looks ace.

My other major preoccupation has been bug-fixing my Varytale stories and developing further content for London Road. It is... infuriating how slow my development is going. The problem stems from the fact I never planned what would happen in London Road. It's a common with my writings, I just get so excited for an idea and just go for it without thought to what I would do next. It is an especially egregious failing here because LR started as experimentation in the Varytale system and scripting. I am fixing - or, rather, patching - this mistake as I go along. I've restructured Chapter 1 several times now, after forcing myself to step away from my laptop and make pen-and-paper notes about people and organisations, their motivations and objectives. It's basic stuff, the kind of thing I should have done before typing a character of actual story.

Oh, that reminds me: In case you didn't notice on my previous post, Alexis Kennedy pointed out that Varytale is not a product of Failbetter Games, but of Ian Millington. Failbetter have just been advising on it and talking about it. Common mistake, but one I won't make again.

Coming up soon is the closed beta for StoryNexus - Failbetter's public portal of the authoring system they use to write Fallen London - which I'm signed up for. Readers' beta first then writers' which is what I'm especially looking forward to. I will find something else to make for pure experimentation's sake but my proper project will be City of Phire - a fantastical post-apocalyptic scenario. Hang on, I've written about City of Phire on this blog before, haven't I? *Flicks through the old pages.* Ah, here we are! Anyway, I did make the core systems and half a prologue for a CoP Varytale but I think it'll work a lot better in StoryNexus. The Rael desert and the ruins of Phire are best as an open world with repeatable adventures and challenges. Varytales works best as linear or at least semi-linear tales in a limited region. Say, a braided rope rather than a net.

So, yes, I've been busy. Not that it gets me any money, but so little does in the arts. I'm in it to give people pleasure - so long as people like my work, I'll keep making it.