Writing Perils – The Mary Sue

Whether you’re writing a novel, a short story, a TV series or even a video game and everything in between, characters are extremely important. They are the windows into your world, they take your audience through the grand tour and introduce them to the universe’s rules, society and even nature’s mechanics. The protagonists, antagonists and supporting cast need to be properly developed, so that they may be relatable, likeable and many other ‘ables’.

But when writing characters, particularly protagonist and even more so in a speculative fiction setting, it’s not unusual for writers to want their heroes to be extremely powerful, to be their dreams of glory and high fantastic epic-ness made flesh. The problem lies in that pouring too many good qualities into a character can take them across the deadly Mary Sue line from where there is no return, for you or the audience. Continue reading Writing Perils – The Mary Sue

Novel Games – Frank Herbert’s Dune

There are many games out there with worlds based on works of fiction. From The Witcher games, based off Andrzej Sapkowski’s books, to the Sherlock Holmes titles and even such adaptations as American McGee’s Alice.

Novel adaptations as games have become a common thing, sometimes more prolific than even film tie-ins, offering a deeper and more compelling experience than those. Novel-based games often have a thoroughly crafted universe to draw from in terms of plot, characters and gameplay design options.

This week let’s do something different. Let’s give Urban Fantasy a rest and instead go to another world, one filled with sand and Spice and supreme beings in mortal flesh. Yes, I’m talking about Frank Herbert’s Dune. While there have been games based on the universe, none of them have tackled the novel, instead going the RTS route to represent the war between the great houses. What we’ll be designing today is the game based on the story, the game about Muad’Dib.

As is always the case, there might be spoilers ahead so read at your own peril! Continue reading Novel Games – Frank Herbert’s Dune