Entry One: Unruly Works

With the exception of a few hours, I’ve barely touched my rewrite. In fact, I can’t say that I’ve written much this year at all.

It’s hard not to feel like a failure in those circumstances.

I think the most words that’ve moved around through FMTEE have been through me typing up bits and pieces of my handwritten stuff, and yet that whole idea of chapter seven still looms unwritten and unfinished. Technically I’ve got the plan worked out. I met up with a friend to help them workshop their ideas, and in the process, spent a few minutes sorting out my own thoughts.

This year’s not off to the greatest start on that front.

Neither is that other pursuit. Hello Games. If you read my stuff (or were reading it in last November), you may have seen me mention something about a game design document. Well yeah, that didn’t go far beyond the planning stages, and from that it’s easy to wonder if I finish anything ever (I’m not projecting – this is what I wonder and worry about) but I’m not yet in panic mode.

I’ve blogged about game stuff before, particular my own experiences with gamedev (very limited). Can’t say I’ve done a whole lot, and with the exception of a few periods in my life, have tended to jump between interests and not get very far beyond the basics. I wouldn’t say happily, but I’ll admit it. This week, with the Game Developer Conference 2015 going on (aka, GDC15), there’s been a few things happening in the world of game development. Firstly, Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be available for lots of people, without that pesky subscription. Yeah, caveats apply, but that’s significantly dropped the barriers. Unity followed suit with the release of Unity 5, with a personal licence that’ll see it reach more hands again. Not to be left out, Valve announced Source 2 Engine will go the same way.

So, I started planning. This time (and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve found me saying the same before), I thought I’d start easy. Simple. That journey began last night, and by simple, I mean I downloaded a thing and installed it.

Concurrently with all this, I did a free online course on Game Design, so I’m not exactly raring to go, but trying to be a bit more realistic about it.

It’s now about three months since my first entry in this category. In that time, I’ve let the idea I had for the setting ferment. This is a little like the “shelve it and come back later” approach, but a big part of it was that while I was trying to write the story for it during NaNoWriMo, I wasn’t feeling it. On paper it sounded brilliant, but I hadn’t fallen in love with it – I was too focused on my previous novel. Back then, I couldn’t even appreciate the writing playlist I’d put together SPECIFICALLY to write in the new setting, but lately I’ve found bits and pieces of it pop into my head. While I’m still excited about the previous thing I was working on (but haven’t done because my shit is all over the place and needs to be more organised), the ideas for this are coming.

It’s not just the game engine news that’s prompted this. I started looking at it again over the past few weeks, in between new work stuff, courses (online and offline), and family. I set myself a few goals in terms of this gamey thing, first of all was to go through tutorials to get that familiarity with the process in.

From the point of view of those that see me tweet a few things now and then on games, or even the recent stuff about “hey, let’s make a game” which is tongue-in-cheek despondent over the unlikelihood of me getting that together… it’s easy to see this as dreamy fluffy bullshit.

Maybe it is.

I know in this type of thing, ideas are abundant and nobody’s begging for that, but when I look at the imagined worlds that perhaps haven’t seen a lot of exposure but that I’m able to recount without preparation, the bits and pieces of Shimmer, Trail, and FMTEE… the world of Ascension, TGW, and now this newer one, I think that side of it’s under control.

Should I focus solely on FMTEE right now? I don’t know. Could be. There’s also a hot iron over here that’s begging to be struck.

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