Right, today’s post might be a little longer than usual, it’s been a while since I wrote and there are a fair few things that I’ve wanted to write about. First up, I’ve finished writing the Fallen, and ahead of schedule as well, so at the end of this post will be the links to the full first draft. From here on it’s edits and refinements and expansions and so on. The real work starts now.
And now on the etc…
First off, a friend of mine has gotten herself into a situation where a few people have decided that she’s not actually just a friend. This has led to a couple of awkward situations thanks to the fact that she does actually have someone in that role and so she’s had to deal with expectations that she could not possibly fulfil.
This situation has led me to look at a few of my own interactions with people. And what I found there was quite a shock.
Now, I’ve always had an issue where I often assume more than there actually is, and this might very well just be an extension of that, but a few people who I have dealings with have shown signs of a similar expectation of me, and a couple of comments that have come out over the last couple of weeks are now seeming more ominous than they should.
I’m hoping that I’m over-reacting, or otherwise creating these situations in my mind so it doesn’t feel left out, but if I’m not I have to be wary because many of the people in question have good reasons why I should not be involved with them. Or rather, I’ve created good reasons.
Next, I’ve been gaming a lot lately and I’ve discovered a few things about myself. First off, I battle to stick to one game for long. This is something I’ve always known but I think there are a couple of reasons for it. I find I spend longer in games that have truly fantastical settings, and even longer in games with an open world element to those settings.
Games with closed stages I don’t play for long at all, and games in realistic settings, even those with large open worlds, I tend to play for shorter periods of time. One of these games was Fallout 4.
It’s an amazing setting with a great open world, but it’s semi-realistic. I found that despite the RPG element I got bored fairly quickly. I wasn’t sure why and I’ll probably go back but today I think I’ve made progress figuring out why.
I’ve been playing Ghost Recon Wildlands over the last couple of days in the open beta. Now, ignoring the little bits of the game that are broken and the atrocious vehicle physics (which were actually a source of more hilarity than frustration) I found that I felt alone in the world. Sure, I had three squad members with me, and there were pockets of enemies everywhere, the world was lifeless and bland and scripted.
((Full disclaimer here, I love the game and if it weren’t for being a little cash strapped I would have pre-ordered it))
Now one might say that Fallout is not the same, that there are many random events going on all over the map and sure, that is true. Patrols, random encounters with quest givers and a dog all make the world feel more alive, but still it always felt scripted. There was always a situation to be resolved and it was always fairly predictable. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it makes the world feel rigid.
So I looked at other games, ones that I played for ages. Skyrim and Dragon’s Dogma were the two that I looked at. Skyrim is a giant open world in a fantasy setting so it doesn’t ever feel too realistic. It has random encounters and lots of interesting things to explore and although the side quests tend to be pretty repetitive RPG standards, there was always more to them, a level of writing absent in most other games. Skyrim also had encounters spaced so that you often came across factions fighting or villages being attacked or that sort of thing. And with the modding in of civil war battles it had a lot of promise (before my old computer stopped being able to play it 😛 )
With Dragon’s Dogma it was different. Again an open world, but this one was smaller and slightly less open. It also had various different regions that had to be loaded. But the world was more alive. You couldn’t go anywhere without running into something, and even once I had levelled up so far that nothing was strong enough to face me I kept running through the standard game, start to finish without switching to hard mode, because there still felt like there was so much life in the world.
Which comes to board gaming. Board gaming is fun because of a number of reasons. First off, no scripting. Generally everything happens organically because of the players or the rules of the game. There are often no real ‘set pieces’ that you come across. Even in board games that have set pieces in general, you normally don’t come across the same ones in the same order more than once.
And then tabletop gaming and pen and paper RPGs add more complexity to physically playing nerd games. The only problem is the social aspect. You have to have someone to play with and most of the time at least two other people. This is frustrating when peoples’ schedules don’t line up, or a couple of the people involved keep backing out at the last minute.
Of course then there are physical activities as well. Things like Judo, Ju Jutsu, Bumper Soccer and the standard sports (cricket, rugby, soccer and so on) which are amazing fun or horrible torture depending on a number of things, normally again related to those you are playing with at whatever event it is.
Onto other things, I’m writing a new story now. It’s progressing at a snail’s pace but it’s progressing. I do not know whether I will actually post it as well, at least not until the Fallen is in its final form, but I will find out tonight whether I should or not. I have someone that can advise me 😛
Anyway, here are the links to the full first draft of the Fallen. Hope you all enjoy it and I look forward to hearing feedback of any form.
EDIT: I’m also looking to get a cover for at the very least the kindle version so if anyone would like to submit something I would be happy to see it. Just throw a link into the comments.
PDF, Kindle, ePub
And as before, my email address is on the about page if you’d like to donate to me.