I’ve been playing games for decades now and I’ve seen many trends go by, some all about the graphical power of a game and many more on control schemes and in-game mechanics. Some hang around for a while like a bad cough and others, thankfully, go by without much consequence.
But for the past few years there’s been one such trend that has not only remained but seems to be spreading across the entire industry, infecting games of every genre and developers or every calibre. This trend is not only annoying on its impact on gameplay but also on how much it diminishes what used to be a valuable tool for creating tension and excitement.
The trend I’m being vague about is pressing and holding the buttons down for every single action, from picking up an item to opening a door.
Continue reading Gaming Tendencies – Button Holding
In an earlier writing guide, I mentioned the importance of proper building for emotional impact, how showing character traits instead of mentioning helps readers form the crucial connections that will enable them to feel whatever it is you want them to, from humour and attraction to anxiety—and if you can manage it, fear.
But there is something to say about expectations. With any genre, emotion and well, story, knowing what is coming or at least having a hint can derail whatever the storyteller attempts. It’s why, for example, horror novels don’t faze me. I have never felt fear from a book, not even a Stephen King novel. I’ve felt revulsion, anxiety even, but that cold drip of dread I have never suffered. Continue reading Storytelling – Expectations and Emotional Impact
During my holidays between Christmas and the end of 2016, I decided to jump into one of my story projects and get it going. I had my second novel to finish editing (second draft at around 40%), but decided to instead push on one of the story premises I’d posted some time ago, the Sci-Fi noir “The Song.”
As I sat at home, thinking what I should write, which story to pursue, this one kept coming back to me, with new details, new side-stories that branch off from the main one as the character listens to more of the same hypnotic melodies.
The Song is different to the other premises in that I had already written a few pages of it before I proposed it as another one-shot, and going back to it and advancing I remembered just how difficult it is to write Hardboiled stories, a genre I often and wrongfully call the same name as its film counterpart, “Noir.” Continue reading Detectives & Dames – Writing the Hardboiled Genre
I love Kamen Rider. I used to call the series my guilty pleasure, until I decided that “guilty pleasures” is one of the dumbest things in the planet—there is no guilt, associated to it, only the perception that people will ridicule you for liking certain things, to which I say do your worst, bub! Continue reading Kaiju and Tranformations – The Tokusatsu Genre – Introduction
I love the Adventure genre and most of my favourite video games are adventures. Even before I started playing Point & Click adventures a few years ago and became obsessed with them, I already loved what the genre had to offer. Exploring mysterious locations, solving puzzles and uncovering mysteries while using strange contraptions are just some of the things that draw me to this wonderful video game genre.
Every video game genre has its virtues, the elements that make them special and interesting, but also their vices, the ones that make the experiences drag or the overused tropes and clichés that bring nothing to the table yet developers constantly pick them from their toolboxes. Continue reading Adventure, A Genre of Virtues and Vices