(Spoilers ahead). Let me start off by saying I only finished Mass Effect 3 last night, having read no reviews or anything before or during gameplay. Afterward, I posted about it on Facebook, and in the comments became aware of the so-called "universal outrage" over the way the game ended. After some quick reading about Why Mass Effect 3's Ending Was So Terrible, I became enraged about the outrage. This all culminated in the following ejaculation: GROW UP, GAMERS. Every friggin' game can't end with the Ewok cuddle patrol dancing and chanting "You sure are special, kid!".
Just to sum up for folks who aren't interested in experiencing the "moment" for themselves, the main character (Shepherd) ends the game with a very tough decision.
Oh, yes. It's time to whittle those quills, refill those ink pots, and iron that parchment for another round of one-paragraph short stories! The theme for this year's contest is alternative game back stories. Start with a simple arcade game such as Tempest, Q*Bert, Arkanoid, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and so on, and invent a unique back story to explain what's happening on the screen. The goal is to be as creative as possible, radically re-interpreting the graphics and gameplay to invent a completely new way to look at the game. You may safely disregard cabinet art, marquees, manuals, cartoons, and so on; only the on-screen graphics are to be considered.
A little while back I had asked everyone to participate in a little off-topic idea based around the concept of "One Paragraph Short Stories". We received six total submissions, re-posted here all at once in reverse order in their final versions for your reading convenience. Enjoy and thanks! (NOTE: If there are any "last minute" entries, I'll be happy to add them in)
Deviating from all the great videogame, computer and technology talk that Armchair Arcade is known for for just a little bit longer and inspired by Matt's excellent and recently posted short story, "Jumpman", as well as Wired magazine's similarly recent and clever idea to have famous writers write short stories made up of just a little more than half a dozen words, I thought it would be neat if we could do sort of the same thing here, except this time make the rules be that you need to tell your short story in a single paragraph. While I am a fan of the short story, I must admit that the last time I wrote anything resembling a short story was back in 1994, with my works, "Words" and "Go West Young Man (or Doomsday 24)", and only then for a college class. Great experiences, but it's high time that I did some "fun" writing like that again other than technology-related or essays. So before I whine again about not having time and getting to this after the "book is finished", I figured I could take a few minutes to come up with a truly short short story or two.
I'll post my first one paragraph short story as a comment to this blog post soon. It would be great if you all could do the same. Bonus points for making it videogame or computer related, particularly classic, but really, anything goes. Have fun and be sure to participate, even if you think you're not a very good writer, as the key word is FUN!
Game design blog Sirlin had an article about the death of the Graphical Adventure Game genre. While this is nothing new, he has a theory on how to craft a GAG with more dynamic gameplay elements. Here's a clip.
Itâ€™s probably not technically feasible to allow different outcomes to branch into a huge tree of totally different stories, nor is it even desirable. The opponents of interactive fiction state that any story is really 1,000 possible stories where the author intelligently chose the one, single best story to tell. It would still be possible, though, to create a game world whose major story arc was resistant to change, while allowing change on the smaller scale. It might even be fun.