Entry Zero: A New Side-Project

In case you hadn’t heard, I started writing for Save Game back in August this year. I can’t remember when the site first popped onto my radar but can say it had become my first stop for any gaming-related news long before. It’s one of the reasons you won’t see much in the way of games writing on Fictioner’s Net anymore.

If you’re a fan of my opinions as I am – or even better – if you like the way I express myself on such topics even when you don’t necessarily agree – this is a good thing. In fact, it’s a better thing. The biggest upside to me writing for Save Game is that I’m a tad more mindful of writing quality stuff, where I’ll be the first to admit here is usually a dump for whatever thoughts I’ll never look at again.

But well, games are still big for me. Narrative in games continues to be a super big thing for me. Maybe everything is freaking big for me but you know, I’d like this Gaming section here to still mean something.

Enter old aspirations!

While I’m still working on the rewrite of my novel, there’s a piece of me that’s always wanted to make games. Been in there since about ten years old, and it was always the Adventure style where you explore and discover and do interesting things that I wanted to make.

Recap time

This year was my second as a Municipal Liaison for my region during NaNoWriMo and I’m making no secret of the fact it was also my last, at least for a few years. In terms of the fifty-thousand words, I was signed up to do the thing but you couldn’t even call what I did an attempt. There wasn’t a since day where I got over 1500 words, and probably none with 1000 either. Life, uh, got in the way. I did write a little for the idea I was going to, and also wrote a bit more on my novel rewrite. Gradual process but it’s all a bit slow lately.

Now, I love my novel. It’s going to be great. It might already be but I can’t judge that accurately just yet.

I also am getting more serious about this idea of writing something gamey. While I have an idea for a short puzzle/minigame type thing to stretch my mind around, it still comes back to the idea I was going to write for nano. I think games WILL be a medium that’ll surpass film, possibly even books, for what they can do. The ability to explore, rush through, make character choices we think are better than the ones the static counterparts do, there’s so much possibility.

So back to that idea.

In true Nick-comes-up-with-a-new-idea fashion, I put together a list of rough ideas and tried to pull an overall thread out of it. Wanted it character focused. Wanted it somewhere cool. Wanted it to kick around with morality. I did this because I wanted something unattached to any of my other ideas. Didn’t want to load it with the preconceptions or expectations of other stories or settings I’ve been puttering around on, but something new, slick, cool. So lalalala focus group of one and I had my idea.

To start with I’m playing around with a few different ideas I’ve had, definitely for the story (and I think a great, ambitious story can be done and has been done in such a thing, and there’s no reason we can’t have good writing in games). Also though, in terms of the game elements. There’s a few ideas I’ve had around the role of the player and their effect on how the game plays that I’d love to explore. Branching narratives sure, but that’s something else. I’ve wanted to do that since the days of messing with AGI Studio and the blame for that lies squarely on the Quest for Glory series but beside the point.

To start with I’m working out some ideas on how the narrative might work and how I want it to play with regards to player role. Play style will be next and though that’s more open-ended, I definitely have a bunch of ideas there too. Doesn’t everyone?

Whether this ever results in a semblance of a game is currently unknown, but let’s see where we can go from here.

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