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…

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…

Writing The Sexy Brutale

Spoilers for Undertale (game), The Sexy Brutale (game) and an absolute corker of a soundtrack. 'We didn't rig the roulette/ it was always turning/ whilst my mask was burning.('The Sexy Brutale', promotional material) On 7th December 2017, Tequila Works released a quirky murder mystery game set in a stable time loop, a story of subtle…

Writing Worlds of Darkness

Spoilers for all World of Darkness-related materials, primarily Old World of Darkness and Vampire: the Masquerade. 'It's not fan service, it's a gothic-punk indictment of the evils of fan service'.(Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines, promotional material) In 1991, White Wolf released the first edition of Vampire: the Masquerade (V:tM), a self-described gothic-punk roleplaying game of…

Writing Dune

Spoilers for Dune and all Dune-derived media (books, films, games, television series). In the grim darkness of the 23rd Millennium, there is only... wait, no, that's the other one. In 1965, Chilton Books, a publisher known for producing engineering manuals, published Dune, a science-fiction book which had originally appeared as a serial in the magazine…