Research, Science Fiction, and Video Games

Hey everyone,

My name is Summer and I am a research/writing (mostly research) intern for this project. The threads that I have been following, tracking down through academic journals, science websites, and through random searches on Google, have led me to some interesting places. As a PhD student, I have to be very careful about finding the most accurate sources, balancing competing theories presented, but with the research I am doing here, it’s more about what can be feasible than what is concrete fact. haha I know it sounds kind of nerdy, but research is actually really fun (becoming something worthwhile when researching topics that interest you). How else would I be able to shift through articles about narratives, video games, science fiction, and actual fiction and be able to call my activities work?

One of my favorite websites to poke around in is http://www.iflscience.com/categories/technology    If I find something relevant that interests me, I then branch out to different search engines and academic journals to gather more information. Some really great ideas can come from what is almost possible, and new discoveries are being made every day in history (we can never truly be sure of what happened back then, as archaeological finds keep things interesting), in technology, and in science.

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PAX EAST 2014

Hey guys!

Well, this year I was fortunate enough to score two day passes to PAX East in Boston, MA for Friday and Saturday. If you watch The Big Bang Theory, and have seen the episode where all of them are waiting with laptops in hand to try and score passes to ComicCon, you get an idea of how hard it actually is to get any passes to PAX at all! I’m afraid that with it’s exploding popularity and demand, it might be the last time I can get them online through “regular” means. I certainly hope not though.

So, what is PAX like? I liken it to a carnival of game delights! The sights, the sounds, the long lines! Yep, definitely a carnival atmosphere…and that’s just the exposition floor. There is a whole slew of convention halls, side rooms, and areas that are packed with tabletop gaming areas, LAN stations, keynotes, panels and discussions…all centered around games. Not to mention tons of merchants and suppliers of anything even remotely associated to video and tabletop gaming that you could ever think of…plus much more! Oh, and did I forget to mention the amazing cosplayers wandering the convention halls? Yeah…there’s that too.

Personally, I was there to mainly focus on attending several panels geared towards indie game development. I won’t bore you with a play-by-play, as I’m sure there are plenty of write-ups and YouTube videos covering the multitude of speakers that were kind enough to share their wisdom and knowledge with the rest of us would-be indie developers. Instead, I’ll mention a few key takeaways that I went home with.

First off, I learned that even the best indie developers created their first games…whether they were a huge success, or more often, a laughable crash-and-burn…by just doing it! You can plan, re-iterate, re-group, and re-analyze over and over again…but if you do it too much, you will never finish what you set out to start. As a well-known sneaker company put it….”Just Do It”! Whatever it is, for better or worse, just get it done. If you fail, learn from that failure, and apply it to your next attempt. The only true failed games are the ones that are never made.

Secondly, games can be whatever you want them to be. They can be adventurous, scary, educational, or just plain silly. The most important thing about them, however…and this is key…is that it must be fun! A game that is not fun is just an exercise in hand-eye coordination, of memorization, of repetition, etc. Without being fun, what is the point?!

And last, but not least, I am going to quote James Portnow (of “Extra Credits”) from an amazing lecture he gave on Saturday titled “More Than A Pastime: A Promise to Future Generations”…

question: “So what is the Magic of Videogames?”

answer:

1. “Our ability to let a person walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”.

2. “Our ability to let the player explore a space of possibility and discover for themselves rather than be told”.

3. “Our ability to educate without teaching”.

These are the takeaways that I will keep close to heart, and in mind, as I continue down the development road for Legacy. For I hope that our legacy will be guided towards a reality that incorporates as many of the ideals and excitement that I have experienced at my time at PAX East as humanly possible.

Fingers crossed!

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~SF

Writing a trailer screenplay…

Gen here! Just going to share some thoughts…

Planning out a trailer is something quite different from normal scripts and screenplays. Usually most of the media is finished and sort of clipped and pasted together in an intriguing way; usually to an awesome soundtrack. The trailer, as everyone knows, is meant to pull in the audience and titillate their curiosity. Especially one for a game. Now, I wouldn’t call myself a seasoned gamer, but I do categorize myself as one. I have played on numerous consoles, although I do prefer Playstation or PC/Mac games. For some reason, the keyboard just makes me happy. But the point is, that I would scroll through Steam for any game sales, and the trailer would make it or break it, frankly. So, I’ve been trying to pay attention to what makes a trailer so effective, especially nowadays when a unique approach is best, or an approach that has hardly ever failed to excite.

There seems to be a formula involved – particularly for action games/media. A mysterious start-up, to seduce the audience gradually, to begin to hold their attention and introduce some exposition content as to the story or plot or situation that is at hand. A presentation of the problem.

Then, comes the typical rising action – following the literary witch’s hat of a plot map – increasing the tension and exposing the excitement of the gameplay and the characters; and the player’s role. There is usually a peak of action as well, and usually an abrupt stop of some sort.

However, this seems to be when a change takes place. A trailer has little, if any “falling action.” Mainly because that would provide some resolution and a trailer’s purpose is to tease, not satisfy. After the media climax, there is usually another sequence of action scenes, sometimes even more impressive if there are mystical powers or awesome creatures or ships involved. This could go on for a bit, there could be other effects involved, but then following the title or info about the game and another bit to intrigue people added in, this formula seems to be widely used as a trailer base.

And it seems to work, too!

That is good news to us, now. Heheheee. XD

One year anniversary of the production of Legacy!

Hello all!

Reading back through some older posts, I just realized…I’ve been working on Legacy for an entire year now! Wow…the time just really blows by when you are not really paying attention. I’ve been really fortunate to be able to devote so much time, effort, and love into this project. Without the help of some very special people…like my family, my wife, my incredible production staff, and all the interested followers who are reading this right now…my dream of working on an independent video game might have just stayed like that…in a dream. I cannot thank them… and you… enough. It’s been a great ride so far…and the best is yet to come.

LEGACY is coming…will you be ready?!

SF.

Cool article about rpg’s…

Hey guys. 

I just read this article and thought I’d share it since it really rings true for anyone who is a fan of rpg’s. 

http://tay.kotaku.com/the-basics-of-rpgs-1557279495/+andrasneltz?utm_campaign=Socialflow_Kotaku_Facebook&utm_source=Kotaku_Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow

For news about the game, today I squared away a deal for all of the music tracks for the game, as well as the up-coming teaser trailer…which is only a few weeks away!

Stay tuned…

SF.