Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wednesday Web

  • Guess what? When you change the fundamentals of your online game and jettison characters -- and their associated relationships -- that took your audience years to build, players don't like it very much. At all.

  • A Feast for Crows, George R. R. Martin's new book, is, duh, doing well. Even though The Boyfriend says it suffers from incipient Robert Jordan Disease, which involves taking 300 pages to tell 40 pages of story, I'm looking forward to it.

    Martin, a former story editor and producer for "The Twilight Zone," knows how to give his characters layers and complex motivations. While ostensibly fantasy, the Song of Ice and Fire books (particularly the first couple), tend to the Shakespearean in scope and theme. They feature messy, violent politics, Tudor vs. Plantagenet-style, rather than twee fairytaling around the countryside. Oh, and there's a lot of sex.

  • How is DIE HARD like SIDEWAYS, and how can that info help us make better games? MMOGuru Raph Koster thinks gamemakers need to improve as filmmakers in order to help the medium realize its potential, including getting smart about hiring actual writers to work on games (naturally, I agree).

    At the heart of this is what Raph calls the Pixar lesson, namely that story deserves respect, as does the audience. Amen.

    Bill Cunningham said...

    Martin was also the editor of the WILDCARDS series of books that took place on an earth where superheroes were real...

    Kira said...

    Ah, neat... I've been meaning to check out other works of his.

    Dr. Gori said...

    I don't want to say that Mrs. Gori and I timed our trip to the UK just so we could read A Feast for Crows before it was released in the US. But that's kind of exactly what we did.

    It was the worst of the Song of Ice and Fire books, which isn't much of an insult, considering that the first three are my all-time favorite books--even over the Bridges of Madison County, Susan Powter's Stop the Insanity, and all the books that analyze the true meaning of Da Vinci Code. (What's next, The Semiotics of According to Jim?)

    I owe many thanks to that nice young woman in California who first told me to buy A Game of Thrones. Thank you, nice young California woman!

    I haven't seen the US edition of AFfC. I wonder if the word "jape" appears in it as much as it does in the British one.