[As Read on GIO]
I feel it is only fair that I warn you of the following things beforehand, but I also say these merely out of sheer professionalism and as a community friend as well. This is a blog about a story concerning a game that is not yet finished, and for that very reason there will not be much detail concerning said game. By all means, you are welcome to ask what you will concerning said game- which, mind you, is not a triple-A title by any stretch, however, in all likelihood, your questions are most likely going to remain unanswered for the time being. Also, this is more of an insight into the video game writing world- one that we do not always appreciate or hear about, aside from excellent writers such as Drew Karpyshyn and select others who deign to reveal their thoughts on the medium. For that reason and that reason alone, I am giving you all insight into the process by which I have approached the project I am currently helping with, and how I have attempted to avoid cliche, regain the upper hand over my periodic lazy spells, and hold unique originality king above all else. There’s a lot more to it, but for now this should suffice. Simply be aware not to hold my austere colloquialisms too dear, or take them too seriously and/or harshly at times, if you will. Allow me to bring you up to speed on what I’ve been working on this past year, as briefly talked about in another project of mine in the gaming industry in an older blog…
Part I: The Name of the Game
Okay- I believe, as I have made (astutely?) clear in the past, I work with and on games in many different ways. As it is a well-known fact that I typically enjoy writing about most anything, and I am of course an avid gamer and fledgling designer, the next logical step of the progression is that I would write a gaming story. Now, mind you, I do not mean a personal anecdote about how gaming has affected me in ulterior ways, merely that I would write the narrative or plot for a game. What is that particular game? I can’t divulge any details currently save this: look for it sometime around 2016 and don’t be surprised if you don’t readily see my name anywhere on it- for reasons which I will explain at a later date, but not terrible ones of poor intent.
Now, back to the original question here: What’s in the name of a game?
Well, you see- that’s a complicated question in many ways. And one that, a la Mass Effect, has many outcomes and endings to as well- all of which fit and work perfectly fine together. For example, I could be asking you “How do you come up with a name that is equally apropos and unique or impressive?” or I could similarly be asking “How do you create a title befitting of a game?” Either one of these is a correct question we must ask ourselves during game design and creation, however, they are both entirely separate of my particular job here and now at hand, and therefore irrelevant in my search for a name of power so to speak. No, what I am hunting for- what I am asking for, is much more integral and of greater purported rapport. I am asking what exactly defines the story of a game- and we all know story is something you really can’t skimp on.
For this matter, and this matter alone- I’ve come out of my builder’s shell in order to divulge details of the creative assembly process, even if I cannot divulge ones of this particular project itself- as that goes far above myself, a measly, poor writer. Take it to heart that- if Fantine had dreamed her dream, then I have written my writing- with little regard or care for the goings on of others, and summarily their utter disregard for mine. Let’s face it- the relationship we writers find ourselves in during and throughout game development can often be synonymously comparative to that of a symbiotic and therefore interdependent relationship- both partners (in the case of developers and writers) gaining mutual fringe benefits with little help from each other. That is how things work nowadays, and I’m fine with that- don’t get me wrong. It’s just that they say the truth often hurts.
However- ah, you thought there’d be a snag, didn’t you? However, some things just really won’t fairly come our exactly equal for the both of our mutual gains, will they? And you see, that is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? But anyway, speculation and demurring aside, allow me to answer the question I have so skillfully (and unrealizably) detracted from across the course of this navigable portion of my crafting- What makes a game’s name- more accurately, the game’s story and its meaning?
What makes the true name of a game’s narrative is not any of the aforementioned pieces of the gameplay and proposed project itself, but instead the vision of the writer and producers. Yes, many factors may come into play in the creative process that beg to differ, but ultimately- as with the dreaded writing process of novels, novellas, and short stories, the author is the one sending semaphore signals to the writing, and not the other way around. Rejoice, yon authors of the world, my fellows! For we have ungainly control over the thoughts and worlds that manifest themselves around us! Our ultimate victory is realized!
But in all seriousness hitherto, satiric humor aside, remember this, always if you will- you are your own master, and therefore by extension, the master of your words and worlds. This is no world of Funke’s Inkheart by any stretch- we control our works, and no entity can stop that. Not publishers, not firms, not copyrights. Nothing. By the very same measure of how we can write what we will, grammatical concoctions be damned- we can create what we will freely and name it howsoever we please. That is the crux and bonne volonté of the matter equally, and strangely, there’s nothing to the contrary that we can do about it, even if we’d like to.
Name your game what you will publishers and developers, for there is nothing we ourselves, or you as the all-seeing eye in charge, can do about us contemplating our own, unspoken names- and the discoveries they may bring to light.
It isn’t so much a name as it is an ideal.
Now, folks. That is all for my bemoaning and bemused atrophies this week, or this day- whichever it may be. But know this- if you tune in next time I feel the urge to write a blog, I will bestow the second part of this many-part ‘story’ upon you with great care and perhaps less cynical radicalism. I hope you have enjoyed ascertaining my opinions in this matter, as confusing and multi-faceted as they often may be- as well as if the real question really was, or even can be answered. Thanks again for the time and consideration, and I shall see you next time. This is no Seward’s Folly, mind you- there is actually something to be found and gained from all of this.