Category Archives: Opinion

I don’t do this much, but where I feel like sharing my opinion on something, this is the category the post will be under.

Names

I’m somewhere around half way through writing a book, and I just realised I still don’t have a name for it. Sometimes, names are hard.

In Other (Gaming) News…

So, today marks a week of Anthem(tm) and last night I did the final mission in the initial ‘critical path’ storyline. According to the Xbox achievement, 1-in-5 players have got to the same point (I think it was about 16% last night; going up fast). It’s not exactly a long story, but it also drops a heaving, massive hint of things to come in the future.

There’s been a lot of noise about how bad Anthem is, especially on YouTube. Then again, according to a lot of YouTube gaming channels, the entire game industry is about to collapse and all the games being released are bad (except for that one they like). Since people have been predicting the end of EA (for example) for at least two decades, I’m taking most of this with a pinch of salt, but I have to admit that Anthem is not exactly a perfect example of software production. But what is? A little while ago, I started a playthrough of Rise of the Tomb Raider, which went really great until it crashed right at the end and corrupted the save data, making the game unplayable. My other game of choice at the moment is Destiny 2. For all the talk of Anthem‘s endless load screens and connection issues, I have far more problems with lost connections in D2, plus D2 has load screens just as long, they’re simply hidden better. And the amount of bitching about random loot drops in Destiny dwarfs the noise about Anthem‘s loot, and the same people are probably complaining about both being ‘the worst.’ Sigh.

My opinion (should you want it): I like Anthem. I enjoy the gameplay. I enjoy the interactions with NPCs in Fort Tarsis; there’s a real Mass Effect feel about some of the characters. It could certainly be better, but I have reasonable hopes that BioWare are going to make it better. More, I have reasonable hopes that the kind of better they’re aiming at is what I want to see. That last point is important because…

As luck would have it, Bungie put out the ‘reveal’ trailer for their Season of the Drifter content in the last day or so. It turned up in my YouTube recent videos list this lunchtime. Bungie are listening to their ‘core players’ when deciding how to develop Destiny. Unfortunately, that means listening to the minority of their players. Back to the Xbox achievements. I have one achievement for Gambit (D2’s PvP-lite competitive gaming option): ‘High-Stakes Play.’ You get it for winning one (1) match in Gambit. It does not take a great player to achieve this. I suck at any form of PvP and I hadn’t tried Gambit until very recently when I joined a clan (guild, league, whatever player groups are called in your favourite game) and was dragged into a Gambit match. Even playing with random pick-up groups, I’ve been on the winning side in Gambit. 16.05% of Destiny players have High-Stakes Play. I also have ‘Belly Of The beast’ for completing the Leviathan raid (which is now about 2 years old and I got recently). Me and 13.16% of players have that, which means that’s a load of end-game content Bungie have produced for 13% of their players. And now, those who yell loudest are controlling the development of Destiny. I don’t think I’ll be getting D3 or the next season pass, or whatever they go for next, because they aren’t really developing the game in the way want to see it developed. I don’t think they’re developing it the way most players want, just the loudest 20% or so. And I’m being generous with that 20%.

And in other (not exactly gaming) news, yes, Anthem has popped an idea or two into my head I’m developing for the book after the next Princeps Venator book. Well, Anthem and a bunch of other random influences. When I’m ready to reveal more about it, I’ll be dropping some concept art and such.

The Sojourn

I don’t normally advertise competition, but this looks like it could be an interesting thing, and you can get in on the ground floor! (That was cringeworthy.)

Some of you may know the YouTube channel ‘Spacedock.’ They do analysis videos of science fiction films, TV series, game worlds, etc. I couldn’t say I always agree with those analyses, but the videos are generally entertaining and make some good points about the practicality of the settings and especially the ships from those settings. Spacedock is currently running Kickstarter campaign to fund a planned audio novel series (with 2D/3D artwork to illustrate it), called ‘The Sojourn.’ If you check out the campaign (link above), you can watch the pilot episode and see if you think it’s something you might like. If you’ve got some spare cash, consider backing them. It’s funded to the second stretch goal at time of writing, so it looks like it’s a done deal, and the makers seem pretty motivated to produce what they say they will.

Happy New Year

Thanks for supporting me in 2018, and let’s hope 2019 turns out to be a good one.

NaNot Going So Well

Six days of actual writing and my NaNoWriMo project is not going so well. I still think the idea is a good one, so I may come back to it. For now, however, it’s a dud.

So, instead of that, I’m going to work up a plot for the tenth Fox book and see if I can get 50k words of that written before the end of November. Three weeks for 50k. Done it before.

Content Fatigue

Okay, so, if you watch the ‘What I’m Working On’ page, you may have noticed that Liberty is into the editing cycle and I’m now onto the ninth Fox Meridian book. It’s going to be ‘Fox 9’ for a while, I think, though it may end up being The Hellas Find. We’ll see.

Anyway, when Liberty hits the virtual shelves I’ll have done three Ultrahumans books in a row. Two of those were intended to be back-to-back since Guardian and True Dark are heavily linked together. Then I had no ideas for anything else, so I went ahead with Liberty. I’m happy with the outcome (or as happy as an English author can get), but I am really happy to be moving on to a different series. Ultra fatigue has set in. Three consecutive books in the same world is, I think, too much.

I’m used to this with reading. Generally, if I read the same author for a long time, I start to suffer from ‘content fatigue.’ I first noticed it with Anne McCaffrey when I was in my twenties (I think). I had collected the then extant Pern books (this was before they proliferated into the billions) and decided I would read them in chronological order (or as best as possible since some overlap). I was doing pretty well, but by the time I was reading The White Dragon it was getting really hard to keep going. I think Moreta came out not long after and I just couldn’t finish it. Too much of the same world/characters, and the same author’s style.

Writing is the same, but worse. There were seven Pern books to read, IIRC, but it takes a lot longer to write a book than to read one. (With you lot, that seems to be quite an extreme understatement.) Two books should be my limit, I think. After two books in the same setting, I’m starting to get tired of the same universe.

And now, back to researching Mars and living in Fox’s head for a while.

Andrea

twilight-75Here’s an interesting one. I was messing about with something with speech synthesis and I got it to pronounce ‘Andrea.’ You know, the real name of Twilight, Andrea Morgan. It said it in a way which I had not expected, and I was wondering how you, the readers, think it’s pronounced.

So, is it And-ree-ah, or An-dray-ah? Let me know in the comments.