Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Musings: Episode One

So I was chatting with a friend today, discussing writing and the idiosyncrasies we both deal with in our writings.  Her characters giving her trouble in her novel and my...chronic inability to actually force myself to sit down and write.

I realized that my problem is not actually the writing, because I don't have any problem making up stories.  I can run with pretty much any topic, the problem I need to get around is that I make these stories for an audience.  When I'm on my own I can never think of anything, but when I have people around I can run with literally any topic.

I can write non-fiction without any problem, I can sit down and write non-fiction whenever I feel like.  So I guess the trick is figuring out how to tell stories to myself?

Although I'm not sure how to do that.  I tell stories to entertain people, but I don't go to myself for entertainment...that's what television is for.  The other part of the issue is that I don't type as fast as I talk, so my hands can't keep up with the story I'm telling.  It's been recommended that I try one of those transcription programs, but that still doesn't resolve the entertainment side of things.

But I'm pretty clearly looking at this the wrong way.  This isn't a problem that needs to be solved.  I just need to write more.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Five things about the Mass Effect DLC

Ok, so Bioware confirmed that they're working on additional content for the ending of Mass Effect 3.  As a nice bonus, this content will be a free download.  Seriously Bioware, I doubt that you read this, but that is a really stand-up thing to do and I know that I (and hopefully other gamers) appreciate it.  That said here are some of my concerns and/or what I, personally, hope to see from the updated ending.

First:  Do not change the ending!

Bioware reps have already made it clear that they are not going to change the ending.  Aside from anything else, they have stated that there will be additional cinematics to 'clarify' the ending.  I don't think clarity of the ending was the problem, it was pretty clear.  Shepard dies, Mass Relays blow up, Normandy crashes.  The end.

But I am very, VERY glad that they are not going to retcon the ending to something else.  For one thing, there is no way any other ending will satisfy 100% of the fans.  No matter what people will be unhappy and they will complain, that's what people on the internet do.  I am glad, however, that the company is continuing to support their development team.  They could have easily undercut their work and the fact that Bioware supports the ending is a clear sign of supporting the team's artistic vision.

Second:  Give us additional missions.

Don't change the ending, and don't give us cinematics to 'clarify' things.  Cinematics are exposition, plain and simple, and in an interactive medium like video games exposition is deadly.  Instead let us play the game with extra missions using our squad members.  Maybe even have things change depending on your actions the way the Quarian/Geth war changed based on Mass Effect 2's choices.

An example could be that, depending on who you romanced, their mission varies.  Tali may be working on rebuilding Rannoch, but if you romanced her maybe she leaves to go help on Earth.  Garrus could go back to being a bounty hunter, or decide to take a more active role in the Turian military/government.

Also Bioware, releasing this photo,