Skip to main content

Happy People have no Stories.

OK, following an exchange on Deviant art, I've decided to write a short story:

S7alker117 That sounds really cool. Looks like the kind of setting where you could write some great stories in, a little in the line of 1632, dunno if you know the series?
pickledtezcat I hadn't heard about 1632, but I just looked it up. Sounds interesting.
I actually have got a plan to write some stories in the setting, and possibly open it up to anyone else who wanted to.

I love the alternative history novels of Harry Turtledove, the way he uses ordinary people who can enter and leave the narrative at any time instead of main characters who can't die.
It allows him to really put in the background details while sketching out the overarching themes and history. (1632 sounds somewhat like this from reading the wikipedia article)

The thing I love about his books the most though is that you never know who is going to win. It's not like real history, where we already know who won the second world war. With Alternative history you get a real thrill from hearing the reports of a battle, or watching the ebb and flow of the fortunes of war over time. (I especially like that it's only fiction. No real people suffered and died, it's just imagination).

You don't get burdened with hindsight, you're not constantly thinking "What an idiot! He should have seen that coming!" Characters can make mistakes and it's normal and human of them.

It's something I really enjoyed while reading the Battletech novels too. Though the early BT novels had their share of "super" heroes who never made mistakes and never made bad decisions, the middle period had tons of great characters who acted as best they knew how, but still ended up failing sometimes.

Lots of modern stories, (movies, Video games and novels) fall in to the trap of "the chosen one" trope. The main character is special and unique, can't die, always gets out of every bad situation (often resorting to deus ex machina) and always gets the girl. I'd like to write some stories where the characters are ordinary people with ordinary stories, but living in a time and place we don't have any foreknowledge of.

I want to introduce the setting of Vinland 1936 with a work of fiction which will set the scene. The characters will talk about other places, recent events, current political and social trends and reveal the cultural bias and prejudices of their era and locales.

There will be several main threads, each one told from the POV of an ordinary soldier or civilian. Right now I have Three of the threads planned out with locations and characters. The individual threads will be quite short, and the story will be made up of the threads intertwining.

It will be set before the events of the game, in 1922, the end of a long war between the Holy Roman Empire and the Arab/Turks.

I downloaded some free writing software, chosen almost at random:

I like the way you can organize your scenes, your characters and locations and see an overview which lets you keep it all under control. It's a bit outdated but I'll give it a try and if I like using it I may get something better later.

I suppose this counts as wasting time, but it's something I've wanted to try for a long time. Let's just see how it goes. :)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Make your game models POP with fake rim lighting.

I was watching one of my son's cartoons today and I noticed they models were using serious amounts of simulated rim lighting. Even though it wasn't a dark scene where you'd usually see such an effect, the result was actually quite effective.



The white edge highlighting and ambient occluded creases give a kind of high contrast that is similar to, but different from traditional comic book ink work.


I'll be honest, I don't know if there's a specific term for this effect in 3d design, since my major at university was in traditional art. I learned it as part of photography.


You can find plenty of tutorials on "what is rim lighting" for photography. It basically means putting your main sources of light behind your subject so that they are lit around the edges. It can produce very arresting photographs, either with an obvious effect when used on a dark subject...


..,or as part of a fully lit scene to add some subtle highlights. See how alive the subject look…

How to... build a strong art concept.

So you want to make some art assets for your game. The first on the list is a Steampunk Revolver for your main character to shoot up Cthulhu with. Quickly opening your internet browser you start with a Google image search. Ah, there is is!

It might be a good idea to find a few influences so you don't accidentally end up copying a famous design.


Just mash them up and you're ready to go! Off to your favorite modeling program.
But wait! isn't there more to building a strong design concept than that?

Of course there is.
One of the diseases of modern design is that of recursion. Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy. This is especially a problem with "historical" concepts. Over the course of that recursive process the concept becomes infected with modern design elements, and ends up looking very similar to everything else that anyone else has ever made.
If you want to come up with a really fresh idea, you have to get beyond secondary references and go look at real …

Skynet

Ok, so it's not exactly skynet, but I have got my first AI state working, kind of.


The first state is "HOLD" in which case the agent stays in place where they are and shoots at any unit that comes in range. When I started writing this module, I found that the existing method of triggering actions wasn't good enough to allow the AI to choose the best weapon or target. It worked by simply sending a command to the unit to trigger the currently selected action.

If the action is valid, it triggered, if not it didn't.
That's fine for play controlled units, as that's all they need to do. But AI needs to know in advance if the action is valid. The player can get that info from UI feedback, but that wasn't available to the AI player.

There were three problems:

1. The UI feedback duplicated code in the action trigger function. These  two sets of code could get out of phase so that UI feedback was wrong.

2. The action trigger didn't give enough feedback for …