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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. :)

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Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative.

Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative. In this blog I will talk about my own recent brush with story telling and go on to talk about how tools from creative wring can help you to better author the narrative in your games, whether they have a traditional linear narrative or a procedurally generated interactive narrative.

Narrative and structure in traditional fiction  last week I started writing a story set in the world I'm developing for my game Vinland: 1936.

I hope the story will help me to flesh out my game world and develop my own expanded universe which will be a good place to set my games in the future.

After about a week of work, on and off I've progressed the story to outline stage. For each character thread I have half a dozen chapters which plot a course through the events of the story. Each thread is told from the perspective of a different character.


Actually I started writing as soon as I had my outline, but I've since gone back and deleted what …

Back to Vinland.

I'm going back to my real time tactics project, Vinland 1936.
While working on the other project I overcame the problems which were stopping me from saving/loading the game and also cleaned up the base code a lot.

After a few weeks I'm getting near the the state I was in before.


Infantry are back to their previous state, and vehicles are running OK.
This time I'm going to push ahead with mocking up the combat system though before I work any more on the vehicle builder or graphical aspects of the game.

Map screen designs

I've been working some more on the map window. Right now you can only see the base, it doesn't show items, enemies or even doors on the map yet. These would be decals.


In the top window you can see the modified result of last night's tile based map. It looks good but there are some visual artifacts related to the problems I encountered yesterday, and as well it takes much more code and time to calculate.

The second window uses a cheap trick to fake an beveled look from a smoothed version of the 32x32 map. It uses black to mask unexplored areas.

Finally the third version is meant to look like a had drawn map. I'm using a cross hatching texture to distort it and unexplored areas are shown as blank map paper.

There's going to be a mechanic in game where you need to use some paper every level in order to activate the map for that level. From there it will fill it in automatically. Paper will be pretty rare so it might be worth keeping it safe for the more complex level…