Writing Kelewan

Spoilers for The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist and The Empire Trilogy by Janny Wurts and Feist (book series). There is a lot of bad fantasy out there. I know this, because I have written some, and whenever I look over the disastrous mess I have poured into my manuscript, I can cast my…

Observations on Observation

Spoilers for Observation (computer game). Is this L.O.S.S.?('Observation', screenshot) This week, I was supposed to get back to books: my plan was scuppered, however, when the book I chose to read turned out to be underwhelming, and then construction work in my neighbourhood made any attempts to read utterly impossible due to the constant noise.…

Writing Warcraft

Spoilers for Warcraft (computer game franchise and great big cash cow). Thanks to Russell (of "giant magical spider" fame) for the idea. In retrospect, Blizzard naming a sapient creature 'Thrall' should probably have been a warning sign. ('Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos', promotional material) Back in 2002, Blizzard released Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (henceforth…

Writing XCOM

Spoilers for X-COM and XCOM (rebooted game franchise). This week, proving that tactical science-fiction games can do it as well as fantasy adventure games, we take a look at the rebooted XCOM franchise, which seems to have caught on to Link's cunning plan and has recently reinvented/rebooted/re-realized its mythos for the nth time in the…

Writing The Legend of Zelda, part 3

Spoilers for The Legend of Zelda (game series) and Game Theory (Web-based series). This time, there's a reason for Link's unrelenting, haunted gaze.(The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - promotional material via IMDB ) After the epic, bittersweet conclusion of The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, Nintendo decided it was time to branch…

Happy Easter

For many, this will be a time of anxiety, fear, suffering, and grief: few, if any of us, will come through this time of pandemic unscathed. Nevertheless, I pray that some of the joy and hope of Easter may be with you today, and in the days to come.

Writing The Legend of Zelda, part 2

General spoilers for The Legend of Zelda (franchise). Part 3 is in the works. As the Great COVID-19 Quarantine lumbers slowly on, and we all find ourselves bored to tears by the inside of our own homes, it now seems appropriate and tasteful to discuss a game about unbridled freedom in the untamed outdoors. Ah,…

Writing The Legend of Zelda, part 1

Spoilers for The Legend of Zelda (game series), The Godfather (film) and Bambi (inescapable childhood trauma-machine). Some years ago, a friend persuaded me to watch the original Hellsing anime. Japanese cartoons were new to me, and there was something very appealing about the fantastical action which Hellsing, Full Metal Alchemist and the rest brought to…

Writing Ori and the Blind Forest

Spoilers for Ori and the Blind Forest (game). Ori and the Blind Forest is a game in which one plays as a tiny cat-monster in his struggle against the twin perils of low gravity and high saturation. Pictured: the effect of sitting too near the screen when anything exciting happens.(Screenshot from 'Spongebob Squarepants') That does…

Writing Sekiro

Spoilers for the following games: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, mild spoilers for Dark Souls (series), Fallen London (formerly Echo Bazaar), and Cultist Simulator. Ninpou! Dark Souls Bunshin no Jutsu!(Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, official promotional material) I love Japanese food. There is something so fulfilling about a full Japanese meal: the flavours, textures, colours, the neatness…