This game is as good as it is mediocre.

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MRY
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Re: This game is as good as it is mediocre.

Post by MRY » April 20th, 2017, 9:01 pm

Just to be clear, I meant "bonkers" in an endearing kind of way. :)

In terms of your question, in some sense Primordia explores that question -- all the robots are a little bit *off*. But I'd be reluctant to write a game with characters who are as all as troubled as Inifere. To be honest, I found writing his character, particularly given the subject matter, a fairly unsettling/unpleasant process. (As an tangent -- sometimes when I read really truly creative and talented writers like Tolkien or even Dan Simmons talk about how they write characters, they talk about "finding" them or "discovering" what the characters do or "getting to know" the characters as if they have some independent and even autonomous existence apart from the writer. It might be like that for some writers but not for me. For me it's a matter of making an Inifere suit and then wearing the Inifere suit, metaphorically speaking, and the only thing I can make those suits out of is my own mental matter, so when doing someone like him, it's kind of unpleasant because it means taking the most unflattering parts of yourself and dwelling upon [or within!] them.)

Also, I've found that there is some sweet spot in character-writing in terms of labor (not necessarily in terms of quality) where a certain "skew" is an easy way to give them a distinctive voice (which makes writing easier), but too much skew and they become very labor intensive. So, for example, the Council Clerk or the Speaker in the whale mere were easier for me to write than, say, Matkina in the Kholn Village mere (who is pretty normal by comparison); but the philethis and Inifere were much harder because I had to be so deliberate in constructing every sentence.
Writer on Torment: Tides of Numenera
Writer / Designer on Primordia

My posts express my own views, not those of inXile Entertainment or Wormwood Studios.

Quantomas
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Re: This game is as good as it is mediocre.

Post by Quantomas » April 21st, 2017, 11:07 am

"Just to be clear, I meant "bonkers" in an endearing kind of way." :)

8-)

Writing is always an interaction with your audience. You assess how your words read and develop your ideas in the space of the context your audience understands, at least to an extent. Even if you have mastered this skill and it has blended into your subconsciousness you are still communicating with your audience. This is even true if you would write solely for yourself because you are communicating in the context that has become your mental fabric.

Even if you think you create your characters from your mental matter you are still interacting with your audience. In this sense you do find or discover your characters not unlike Tolkien or Dan Simmons. It's just they reflect on their skill consciously.

The larger the skew the bigger the contrast between a character and the world, and as a consequence the effort involved. It is interesting that you use skew to work for you.

Matkina is such a lovable character and very comforting to have along the ride. I suppose you have created her other side as well. TTON is such an enormous game.

It appears your sweet spot are characters who are human in spirit but face challenging conditions. I can relate to that as well. Fantasy and science-fiction are the genres that offer unlimited potential for characters to face uncommon forces and settings.

If you were to write a mere for let's say the Speaker in the Ascension, perhaps something about restoring the Oracle, would that already be too far from your sweet spot to be pleasant?

MRY
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Re: This game is as good as it is mediocre.

Post by MRY » April 21st, 2017, 8:51 pm

Matkina wasn't "my" character -- I only brushed against her in the Kholn Village Mere. Credit is owed to Colin, who created her and wrote 99% of her dialogue. :)

I think it might've been fun to do a philethis mere, though I'm not quite sure how it would work. I'm kind of thinking of The Gostak (http://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=w5s3sv43s3p98v45).
Writer on Torment: Tides of Numenera
Writer / Designer on Primordia

My posts express my own views, not those of inXile Entertainment or Wormwood Studios.

Quantomas
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Joined: February 15th, 2017, 1:44 pm

Re: This game is as good as it is mediocre.

Post by Quantomas » April 22nd, 2017, 10:24 am

The Gostak has probably too much cryptography and too many word puzzles to appeal to modern gamers. I possibly wouldn't mind and quite liked the mere in the Valley of Dead Heroes that you needed to visit multiple times before you figured the solution.

In the same vein is Inkle's current project: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2017/0 ... ore-433553.

It's ingenious in the way it makes exploration (movement), dialogs and puzzles all part of one shared logic space. At first glance it seems that its design is overkill for a mere, but if you think about it a while it fits perfectly.

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