Writing Divinity

Spoilers for Divinity (computer game franchise). Whilst the denizens of the Internet are collectively baying for Baldur's Gate 3 to be released at long last, I have been replaying Larian's other darling, Divinity: Original Sin II (D:OSII), with a friend. I did not play the original, but have been reassured that, much like penny-farthings and…

Writing Death Stranding

Spoilers for Death Stranding (interactive software experience) and Metroid: Other M (base breaker). BB's Delivery Service invites the player/viewer to journey with the protagonist, Boromir Bridges, as he is chased across the territory of the former United States of Alleged'merica by the ghost of Caprica Six, so he can plug a nuclear baby into a…

Writing Angel Mage

Spoilers for Angel Mage (novel). I first spotted Angel Mage when, on the recommendation of a friend, I resolved to pick up a copy of Gormenghast. The cover was slick and striking (black and gold will do that), and at the top, over the words Angel Mage, stood Joe Abercrombie's words of adulation, 'The most…

Writing The Wheel of Time

Spoilers for The Wheel of Time (books series and upcoming television series) and Dune (pan-media franchise). N.B. In this article, I will be using various potentially contentious words, including sexism and sexist, in a general, even colloquial, sense, rather than the highly technical and narrow senses used in certain academic disciplines. That should probably give…

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…

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…

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…