Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
sunandshadow

Your current or recent writing projects?

This topic is 2383 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I'm curious what our various forum members are interested in writing, and why that subject or project interested them. Doesn't have to be game related. I mainly had fiction in mind, but other things could be interesting too. Tell us a bit about what you are writing/have written/want to write and why. Also, anyone planning to do NaNoWriMo? It's starting in less than a month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Sadly the games projects I have worked on so far have had little need for a writer of any kind so I have tended to do other things such as designing mechanics and levels, which I'll admit I love doing as well.

Writing wise I tend suffer from the inability (or drive) to really commit to any personal projects fully. Well saying that over the past X number of years I have developed worlds (often stemming from game concepts themselves) for games or stories to be set but the individual projects tend to get to the notes/draft stage and then something inevitably crops up which stops me going further. The projects vary greatly from back-stories/lore to works in the style of X or pieces of dialog between characters. It mostly comes down to just creating worlds or universes which I suspect is the reason I have always enjoyed level design.

I have done a reasonable amount of work on the academic side of game design with, when possible, a focus on stories within games and how they are told. The few times I have been able to dedicate any amount of time to such projects have been in the cases on MMORPGs. Again it think it comes back to the fact MMORPGs are different from other game genres since they generally involve making a whole world and emerging a player in said world. I also find the challenges a writer or design faces in such a game interesting as well.

For the past couple of years I have thought about entering NaNoWriMo, since I tend to need some form of outside interference to get me to sit down and write anything worth a damn. Never really had the time to put any effort into it though but with any luck this year I'll at least be able to give it a go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll just go ahead and dump everything, with samples, since maybe someone needs to go first and I have no shame as a n00b.

Into the Woods

I have a novel project I started in the winter with the working title "Into the Woods". I wrote up a first draft, then put it down for a bit. I am currently re-reading this first draft. I am currently rereading it and it's kinda "what the fuck is this?"


Spell Tanks

After that I wrote a dramatically shorter story for a game. Here's a video screenshot. The end of that clip has my favorite part.

There's two cities fighting over how to deal with incoming aliens. The people of Portville build landing pad with a golden statue of a human prostrating and an alien standing on his back, a banner that says "Welcome! (heart) We surrender!" and a drink stand. The enemy, Mr. Gavin Wentworth, wants to mine the landing site with nukes.

Wentworth and his army of robots come to invade and take over the landing site so Portville uses a time machine they found to call Frank Hank, a rocker \ war hero from the 1970s, to the future. (Portville is a city-state in post-federal America.)

Frank Hank then has to lead them to protect the landing pad (by winning) and teach everyone a lesson about fearing the unknown. And it's all under 1500 words.

I pulled this thing out of my rear in three months and used it as my resume. 17,000 lines of C++ & OpenGL, excluding three tools I wrote for it. I now have a job making games.

Zenmaster


Long story short, I'm making a fighting game for phones. I was asked for a "story". At first I balked and said it wasn't appropriate but decided to just roll with it. I wrote a script of several cut scenes between fights (if you click on "story mode"). It will be voiced.

There's a guy (Fred) at this haunted temple trying to meditate to reach enlightenment, but he's harassed by the ghost of a 19th century Frenchman (Jacques) who tried to do the same thing there and insists on sharing his winning advice, like how you should never give up and it's a good idea to cut off your hands.

He then meets other ghosts who were killed by Jacques and want Fred to leave before he's corrupted by the temple's evil power. As it turns out, Jacques was an evil tyrant wizard when he was alive.

There's a Gurkha, a Shiva statue, a guy named AwesoMoses who's inspired by Thomas Aquinas, and some other nonsense.

I don't like it. It's all fighty. I decided after writing this that violence doesn't have enough resonance with me anymore.

Multistories

This and this I wrote with friends by typing over each other in Google Docs. After we closed them, I would go back and do a light editing pass.

#2 however won't work for anyone not immersed in Anglo-American culture.

Tentative - Cultmonkey


I wrote this as a comic a while back and decided I didn't have the time & energy to make a webcomic. I am strongly considering rewriting and finishing it as my next novel project.

Tentative - Into the Dark

I am considering continuing this to write a sequel. I'm probably going to stew over it for several months before I start seriously "bending metal" but some bits came to me and there's 2k words of it so far.

What do I like?

Consciously, I love constraints. I dislike "magic wands" like FTL because I think they dodge problems and problems can make things interesting.

I also noticed recently that I wind up slipping ghosts into everything. Sometimes up front and sometimes in the background. I'm not sure what to make of that habit. *shrug*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A typical fantasy setting with magic and stuff like that. Naturally you start of as a relatively normal person, turning out to be not so normal. Original isn't it?
It's widely used, and I hate to admit it, but I'm usually drawn to such stories even though the implementation is quite bad.
Doesn't need to be a good guy though. The most important part is that you go from someone normal to someone powerful.


I did some writing on a rpg idea. Naturally I don't have the means to see that through.
The setting is about "special people". There are three original types. Vampires (heavily altered), shapeshifters, and magicians.
The superhuman powers are genetically inheritable, but it's still uncommon for the genes to take effect, and rarely when you're still a child.
I call them the mighty ones (you may mock the name).
The mighty ones have a history of being hunted and unwanted. The setting is in a coastal region called Dor Lenn. It is part of a larger map, but completely cut of by mountain chains. 500 years ago the first settlers arrived. They were mighty ones, looking for lands they could be in peace. Centuries later the population is much larger, with the majority of them being completely normal. A series of crime by some of
the mighty ones, leads to fear and hatred. History repeats itself.
The mighty ones go underground and conduct lots of terror attacks, killing many civilians. They are largely succesful and despair grows
amongst the populace. A powerful magician called Vraduur comes to Dor Lenn (a century ago). Vraduur had five followers. All six of them
have dark elf like features, and they are tall, very strong, very agile and age 2-3 times slower than humans. They are former humans
with altered metabolism. Vraduur is the creator of these elves, and it is his greatest accomplishement as a magician.
Vraduur offers the people in Dor Lenn to hunt down the mighty ones. A year later he and his followers have killed 23 mighty ones.
Vraduur is almost killed and the only survivor as some of the mighy ones leads him to a trap. Vraduur recruits people in Dor Lenn,
and builds an army of elves. Vraduur strikes back, and the mighty ones go in hiding.
The game starts a century after Vraduur came to Dor Lenn. He is now king and has an army of 200 elves.

That's a short version of the setting. Naturally you start of as a more or less regular guy, who will discover he's either a mage, a shapeshifter or a vampire. He may also become an elf which overrides a possible change into a mighy one
(this is also why elves are largely tolerated, becasue those might have turned into mighty ones which are considered more dangerous).

If I were to make alterations I'd probably remove vampires, and definitely change some names.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well saying that over the past X number of years I have developed worlds (often stemming from game concepts themselves) for games or stories to be set but the individual projects tend to get to the notes/draft stage and then something inevitably crops up which stops me going further.

What sort of something? Just curious. For me I repeatedly stumble at the step of coming up with plot events. This problem has been the main driving force behind my research into various theories of fiction.
For the past couple of years I have thought about entering NaNoWriMo, since I tend to need some form of outside interference to get me to sit down and write anything worth a damn. Never really had the time to put any effort into it though but with any luck this year I'll at least be able to give it a go.[/quote]
Good luck! :) I attempted it twice, and while I can't keep up with the official pace I did get some stuff written which I'm pleased to look back on. Some people particularly enjoy the local groups that meet in a coffee shop or something to write together. I like the forums, when they aren't slow as molasses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@JoeCooper - Ghosts, hmm, they are pretty symbolic, maybe they get at some theme you want to write about.

So, I take it's you're a 'pantser', not a plotter? A pantser being someone who writes "by the seat of their pants". (If you commented on this in the thread a few months ago where someone asked about outlining, I apologize, I've forgotten.) Both ways seem to work for different people and result in publishable novels. Some questions of general curiosity - how do you decide what to write when you sit down to write? Do you write on any sort of schedule or quota, or just when the mood grabs you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A typical fantasy setting with magic and stuff like that. Naturally you start of as a relatively normal person, turning out to be not so normal. Original isn't it?
It's widely used, and I hate to admit it, but I'm usually drawn to such stories even though the implementation is quite bad.
Doesn't need to be a good guy though. The most important part is that you go from someone normal to someone powerful.

So, the classic hero monomyth, or equally classic bildungsroman? There's a bit of overlap between the two. The monomyth puts the emphasis on destiny and moving from the mundane world to the supernatural one, while the bildungsroman puts the emphasis on the character getting older, richer, more powerful both magically and politically, often finding a mate and a respected or infamous place in society. Have you done any reading about the history or symbolism of either of these? I could recommend something if you are interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, the classic hero monomyth, or equally classic bildungsroman? There's a bit of overlap between the two. The monomyth puts the emphasis on destiny and moving from the mundane world to the supernatural one, while the bildungsroman puts the emphasis on the character getting older, richer, more powerful both magically and politically, often finding a mate and a respected or infamous place in society. Have you done any reading about the history or symbolism of either of these? I could recommend something if you are interested.


I meant it quite generally. Both are representative to what I meant. It seems almost all rpg games have this in some form.
The character in the world I described would already be in the "supernatural" world, so it's not like he's moving from a mundane to a supernatural world.
On the other hand, this is how the player might feel it's like. Bildungsroman as you described it sounds like a very long story. It is what could have happened
in possible sequels. I'm not completely certain what does terms include, but many stories do seems to start with moving from a mundane world to a supernatural world,
and then later ends up in something closer to the bildungsroman. The terms sounds a bit to narrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hidden
[color="#1C2837"]Some questions of general curiosity - how do you decide what to write when you sit down to write? Do you write on any sort of schedule or quota, or just when the mood grabs you?[/quote]

[color="#1C2837"]I like the word pantser. [color="#1C2837"]Let's say semi-pantser. I pre-think things a lot and have a loose idea where I'm going (usually) but have a rule against plot-point outlines (or at least strict adherence against them) and my tactic for writer's block is "write something else". Generally I try to set up scenarios then have characters handle them in a natural manner.

[color="#1c2837"]I've written for three small games now - I forgot to mention one - and in all cases I had a game design & use-case based outline. e.g.

[color="#1C2837"]Alfodr - Here I was asked to write short stories for what happens to a player character when he performs certain crimes and their results, and also a setting intro. I decided that since I hate lore dumps, I'd write a short "establishing shot" as an intro and do the rest of the entire work as a character study of the setting with each short (one-paragraph mini-story) working to characterize this setting.

[color="#1C2837"]Might as well post that too. Looking on these over a year later, they strike me as unparsimonious but I'm very happy with the "forging famous artwork" crime and the aluminum barons.

[color="#1c2837"]Spell Tanks - The first stage must introduce the enemy and these units, must include artillery capture, the second stage must introduce this second character (and tank), stage five must introduce the satellite, etc.

[color="#1c2837"]Zenmaster - We decided that the villain should be introduced first and every subsequent scene should involve meeting someone who in some way helps establish the villain. There was an additional 1-minute-max specification. This required a fair bit more outlining ahead of time but works.

[color="#1c2837"]From there, I try to go f-ing nuts. In the last level of Spell Tanks if you go to the woods, Big Foot shows up and talks to Frank Hank briefly about how they met "back in 'nam" and joins the fight.

[color="#1c2837"]The novel project was similar. The spec was that I had to write a whole thing and execute a whole formal process, and I am 2/5 through doing this (though I have a complete first draft). The outline was basically the ol' Setting-Problem-Solution cycle I got from kindergarten, with a shorter SPS cycle embedded as the first S because lore-dumps grate on me.

Share this post


Link to post
Supernatural world doesn't have to mean literally going somewhere, it can also mean finding out one has a special power or a prophecy or something like that. Basically if something about the character becomes supernatural that effectively makes the character's world supernatural, or more so than it already was. Bildungsroman does not have to be a long story, although it can be. The key point is that it is a story of a character going from a very low status to a high one, and there is some sort of maturing or learning process involved so an instant change like winning the lottery would not count (unless it was followed up by learning how to deal with having money). The two terms predate videogames entirely, so it's not surprising if they aren't a perfect fit. The importance of the terms is that if you know what term people have historically used to discuss something you can then look up and read their discussions if you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!