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Game Review: Elden Ring March 23rd, 2022

Having finally finished Elden Ring, playing probably more than I should have, I felt compelled to write a review of it, not of the “you should or should not buy this game” variety, but of the “this is what this game made me feel and what I felt was worth talking about” variety. Full ...

Game Review: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla February 07th, 2022

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed game since the first, though usually not right when they come out. Typically I’ll wait long enough that I can pick them up on sale with all the DLC included, which is great for getting the version of the game with the most polish and the fewest bugs. I tend ...

Narrative Legos and the Monomyth January 10th, 2022

In 2016, Ken Levine (of Bioshock fame) gave a talk on “Narrative Legos”. I just got done watching it, and think it misses some fundamental aspects of what makes storytelling work, and because I have a blog where I can talk about things that I don’t think are much interest to people other than me, ...

Programming the Monomyth January 05th, 2022

I’ve lately been watching a bunch of GDC (and other game conference) talks, specifically about how to do narrative when you have to worry about the player doing something stupid and unexpected. Some of this interest has been because I’ve been playing Wildermyth of late, and little things have been, if not bugging me, then ...

Creating Interesting Magic (and Characters, Plots, and Worlds) August 21st, 2021

I’ve been long overdue for a blog post like this, because it’s one of the main things that I either get questions about or hear people struggle with. The questions are usually in the form of “how do you come up with this stuff” or “where do you get your ideas from”, while the struggles ...

How to Write a Web Serial July 27th, 2021

With Worth the Candle concluded at a hefty 1.6 million words over four years, I can finally give some authoritative tips! I can’t promise that these tips will work for everyone, because writing follows some very individual processes, but I think they generalize well. If you want a more general post on the more business/audience/process ...

Post Mortem: Worth the Candle July 19th, 2021

As I write this, Worth the Candle isn’t quite done, but it’s got so little left to go that it might as well be finished. It’ll clock in at roughly 1.6 million words, having taken approximately four years to complete. This post mortem will give some broad thoughts on what went right, what went wrong, ...

Interesting Things to do with Time Loops July 11th, 2021

Time loops are a relatively established genre of fiction, and while Groundhog Day wasn’t the first, I think it lays down a lot of the foundation for the genre and demonstrates an essentially perfect form of the basic structure. Someone realizes that they wake up in the same time and place no matter what, and ...

The Problem With Writing Nazis April 14th, 2021

Nazis are a common punching bag, with good reason. If you need a bad guy, then the Nazis are easy to go for, because they’re so clearly reprehensible, and no one is going to get mad about it except the kind of people that you’d want to offend. All that I have no problem with. ...

AI Dungeon Completions: The Marriage Proposal January 09th, 2021

I’ve been playing around with AI Dungeon a little bit again, and got to what I thought was a rather funny scenario: a man, Duncan, returns from the war, and proposes to a princess. Everything before that isn’t terribly interesting, but the underpinning trope here is that someone answers a marriage proposal by revealing a ...

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