Games and Writing the Silent Protagonist

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR UNDERTALE!

 

One of the stranger polarizing issues I’ve come across in the game community is silent protagonists.  Some people love them and think they add to the immersion.  The player is not forced into a character’s dialogue choices, and they can feel more like they are the character due to the silence.  Other people hate them.  They often view it as a developer being lazy, and they also believe that it makes a character very flat since they have no real personality without dialogue to convey it.

This being the case, indie devs and homebrew devs may find themselves in an odd situation.  Should they risk people’s ire and make a silent protagonist, or should they risk a different people’s ire and have their character have spoken dialogue?  This can be a crucial decision when handling the writing of a game.  However, it is my opinion that what matters more is the protagonist is written and executed well, regardless of whether or not they’re silent.  Thus, today I would like to bring to you three questions you can ask yourself before you decide to make your protagonist silent or not.  These will prioritize the quality of the story versus other factors.

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Mechanics Transparency: Tales of Xillia Edition

Twice before on this blog I have discussed having transparent mechanics in games being a good thing.  The first time I addressed GUIs and how they functioned in Subnautica.  In the second post, I addressed the use of enemy waves in Dragon Age II.  Today, I would like to revisit this topic with a different series and specific topic nuance: leveling in Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2.

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Rebel’s Writing Tips: Stories and the Middle

If you’re like me, you really like writing and coming up with stories.  Adventurous knights, brave space heroes, the averagely unique schoolkid, and wild settings all tickle your imagination every waking moment.  If you’re also like me though, you also have a critical weakness: the middle of the story.

The middle in a story can often be a writer’s bane no matter their skill level.  You can picture point A and point B clear as day, but somehow the line between them is hazy at the best of times.  Even as you flesh that line out, there’s still often that point where you know something should happen but aren’t sure what that something is.  So, what does one do when they find themselves in this situation?  Despair and accept there’s no hope?

No.  That’s a bit dramatic.  Instead, I have some tips for you today to help you work through the middle of your story when you just aren’t sure what to do.  Keep in mind that there are a bunch of methods you can try, and everyone has something different that works for them.  These are just the personal techniques I use, and they’ve helped me out immensely over that middle story blue’s bump.  Let’s sit back, put on those thinking caps, and dive in.

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RV Game Reviews: Dream Daddy

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR DREAM DADDY!

 

In the vein of trying something a bit different, today I’m going to write a review for Dream Daddy, a VN dating simulation game that came out July 20th.  Before beginning, keep in mind all the opinions in this review are mine alone.  If you disagree with the opinions, that’s awesome, and I’d love to hear it in the comments.  However, I ask that you take no personal offense to them, and know that I respect everyone involved in the project for the hard work they put in.

That being said, let’s begin.

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Business, Projects, and Saying “No”

Generally, everyone has been in at least one of two of the following positions.  In position number one, you’ve had to deny the request of someone whom you genuinely like, plaguing you with guilt and remorse because you hate saying “no” to them.  In position number two, instead of dealing with the guilt of saying “no,” you said yes and now find yourself stuck doing something you completely hate and/or inconveniences you to a monumental amount.  Neither position is desirable, so what is someone supposed to do?

Thus brings us to our topic today: saying “no” when it comes to businesses or projects.  No one wants to be that person who says no.  After all, no is the easiest word one can say that will cause some hurt feelings.  Unfortunately, for businesses and projects, it’s somewhat unavoidable.  Someone has to be in charge of saying it.  If there isn’t, it’s very easy to find yourself in position number two, and whatever you’re working on could risk floundering.

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Web Design Basics: What Not to Do

Web design can be hard.  Whether you’re creating a site for a comic, a store, or just a portfolio of sorts, they all offer different sorts of challenges.  This is often the case regardless of how you make the site (in other words, whether you use a website builder or code it from scratch).  Choices of font, layout, and the likes all come into play throughout the process, and it is inevitably a trial that tests both a creator’s aesthetic abilities as well as their ability to write, organize, and beyond.

Now, I certainly wouldn’t consider myself an expert web-designer (if that wasn’t obvious).  There are a lot of things I don’t understand, such as common SEO practices, logo design, and graphic theming to name a few.  However, I have dabbled enough to feel confident in naming things you shouldn’t do.  As such, I would like to give you three tips today for what not to do when designing a website.

These tips are more for absolute beginners, so if you know a bit about web design this probably isn’t the article for you.  Without further ado, let’s begin.

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Why The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is a Disgrace Part 2

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains extreme spoilers for the entirety of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series.  Read at your own caution.

 

 

Welcome to Part 2 of my complaints in regards to The Walking Dead: A New Frontier.  Last week, I discussed how the character writing was subpar and also how numerous parts in the story were plot deviced to suit the twists.  Today we’re going to discuss three more shortfalls of the writing: namely the flashbacks, the predictability, and the pacing.  Please be sure to check out Part 1 if you want to catch up.

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Why The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is a Disgrace Part 1

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains extreme spoilers for the entirety of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series.  Read at your own caution.

 

 

Even though I’m a fan of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series, I hesitated for a long time to get A New Frontier.  This was due to the numerous bad reviews on Steam that criticized the game for having immensely short episodes.  However, with the 2017 Steam Summer Sale in full swing, and the game having released all the episodes, I decided it was finally time to take a swing at it.  After all, these critics were probably just being very harsh, right?

To my surprise, no.  If anything, these reviews on Steam were being overly lenient.  The game is, to me, a full on disgrace to its predecessors.

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Rebel’s Tips for Writer’s Block

On my blog I’ve had several posts relaying my personal writing tips.  Magic systems, point-of-view transitions, and more have been covered.  However, one topic I have not covered is dealing with writer’s block.  Writer’s block is a very popular topic of discussion, as numerous writers have reported just simply hitting a wall being unable to write.  Now of course, there is actually debate about whether this is a thing or not, as numerous people claim it’s a falsehood to cover-up laziness or lack of skill.  I am not here to weigh in completely on that debate, though.

Instead, regardless of what you want to call it, I want to relay my personal tips for when you’re struggling on ideas of what to write.  These can generally be applied whether you’re writing non-fiction (like updating a blog regularly) or want to write fictional stories.  The dreaded writer’s block can strike at any time or moment, but with these tips, hopefully you can lessen the time you spend flailing around waiting for an epiphany.

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