Accept Mission

Several months ago I read a posting for a job writing game scripts. I’ve read enough of the Internet to know that writing isn’t as glamorous as we hope. Writing is a skill and a talent. The technique of turning that skill and talent into cash is hard work. It’s a job.

I know nothing about game writing except game reading. I know that I gloss nearly everything in the script to find out where I need to go next, what I need to kill, or how many gold pieces it will cost me to armor up. All the other stuff is blah-blah-blah. However, there is still a plot. I have to feel like going from here to there and then performing some task follows a reasonable amount of logic otherwise I’ll just bail on the game even if I don’t read it.

The writer that answered that ad must do that plotting too–along with the crap dialogue I only scan–so I am still exposed to her output. I wonder if that plotting is different than what goes on in a novel.

Seems that in many ways it should be, but that when you know the whole game it probably isn’t. I suspect there are plenty of plots overlapping both temporally and spacially. I imagine there are a few missions that can occur at any stage in the game because they are above or aside the overall game. In these various raids your character earns hit points and experience points and money and plenty of other things for advancing his traits. I doubt he accumulates anything that disrupts the overarching plot.

A character never fails so miserably at stabbing Dastardly Wolves to death in the Growling Swamp that the various Non-player Characters stop offering him jobs to do. “Sorry Kyle of Blackwater you appear incapable of even the most trivial of tasks. I will wait for another Ranger. [OK]?” Or worse, “You’re the crazy man that walks into walls, stands as if stunned in the square, never eats or sleep, and the disappears for hours. Please go away. [OK]?”

But none of that was really where I meant to go in this. I meant to consider the style of writing. Is it like screen writing with EXTs and INTs? Is it like those second person “Choose Your Own Adventure”TM books?


Word count: 387
Day 163

The People Who Illustrate

Recently routed to an art and illustration site called Gorilla Art Fare. They’re sufficiently popular that they don’t need a link through from me, but you won’t be disappointed if you take a moment to go there right now. Of particular interest to this bit of writing is any video of an artist doing his thing. There were several near the top today and I suspect will be more in the future so I’ll leave the hunting to you. Find one. Watch it.

My somewhat recent fascination with the parallels between illustration and writing comes from my reading of a book I gave as a gift. “Making Comics” by Scott McCloud is great for understanding story telling from a visual perspective. More generally I began to see how his specific instructions to artists were practical for writers as well. More about that another time. That’s just some groundwork for where this all started for me.

Two videos floored me. Each showed hours of work in Photoshop compressed to a few minutes. Despite the scaling you could easily see the repetitive and experimental nature of the work. In one the artist paints a face by first painting in the background color of pale mustard–same as the final product. After a bit of indistinct strokes for the face he completely trashes the background with a grey blue. For much of the first half of the video the face looks like a young man of little worldly experience. By the end, the background color has changed at least three times and the portrait of an angry veteran soldier comes to mind. Everything was questioned during the process. Hair color, head shape, ear placement, mustache, lips, eyes, collar, everything. It all took shape, got cast aside, and then reconstituted.

I can’t imagine wholesale near repetition and experimentation like that going on with text to ultimately end up with the same thing just deeper and richer.

Let’s try this with just a few words in series:

entertainer of kids
balloon clown
court jester
Motley Fool

Or something like that, except I wouldn’t argue that motley fool was anything near as robust an outcome as these guys were producing in comparison to their origins.

Maybe when I hit 200 days I should rewrite every post day for day to 400? That might be too tedious.

Word count: 380
Day 158

Ambushed by Shrove Tuesday

Starting to wish I had a backlit keyboard. Maybe i should look into one of those.

I’m pretty happy with the write up I did of the Martin Sexton concert a week or so back in Oklahoma City. I wish I had pictures to go along with that, but I didn’t bring a camera.

I am disappointed with the conclusion. I think it is clear that I just stopped writing. Laziness inspired me, but I consciously decided to wrap it up fast. My narrative was heading down a path I wasn’t sure how to turn back toward the intended trail. It seemed prudent to just stop.

My other option was to know something about music or to have recalled Sexton’s line up so that I could make more definitive comments, but I don’t and couldn’t so I didn’t and I can’t. I’m thinking of seeing Samantha Craine soon. Maybe I’ll smarten up by then.

This morning I decided that I would pursue looking into taking aikido. It’s not all that hard to pursue looking into such things when you’ve got the Internet 24/7 so I am done. Done looking and pursuing. Next comes the considering attending. I don’t expect I’ll be allowed much time to consider attending before I am forced to commit one way or the other.

And there’s Lent. Son of a bitch that snuck up on me again this year. Which is odd since I’ve been back at Mass regularly. Thanks for the heads up Padre! I learned it from a Brit on Twitter. For anyone out there on the Internet that doesn’t know, this means that I am starting my traditional three day fast tomorrow. This is a Catholic thing. At least not directly Catholic. It’s just something I cooked up in my Freshman year at the University of Kansas back in 88–this’ll be the 20th year for me. It’s actually quite intriguing. First day closes very physical, second day mental, third is oddly neutral until bed time. Saturday is Denny’s.

Word count: 332
Day 157