1. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

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    Gamer-Writer Hybrids?

    Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by Justin Attas, May 1, 2020.

    I don't know about you guys but I love videogames. They had a huge impact on my formative storytelling experience, and I continue to play them to this day (27 years old) as both a means of relaxing, and stimulation for the plotting part of my think-box.

    Any other writers out there who are also gamers? If so, does it impact your writing life in any way? What kinds of games do you play? I don't have any in-person writer friends, so I can't ask them! For me, it has to be a game with a strong story/characters. This includes everything from strategy RPGs like Divinity to adventure games like Uncharted. Like reading a good book. If there's no story, there has to be the ability for me to make one (like an open-world adventure game).

    My earliest memory of videogames comes from when I was around 5. My mom took me to blockbuster and let me rent one game. I picked Final Fantasy IX. I couldn't even read fully yet (which makes a text-heavy game a little difficult) but I still loved it. I loved the atmosphere, the charming characters. Sure, the strategy of the battles was engaging, but it was really the world and the story that drew me in. I practically learned to read playing the Final Fantasy series.

    Just recently bought and finished the Final Fantasy 7 Remake and... whoah. The story was executed with such dramatic flair. The world-building was spot on and the soundtrack... let's just say I don't have any shortage of inspiring music to listen to while writing!

    So what about you guys? Do any of you play video games? What kind? Does it impact your writing like it does for me, at all? Can't wait to read these responses!
     
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  2. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Supporter Contributor

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    FF8 > FF7. That was back in the days Square used to make good games.
     
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  3. Historical Science

    Historical Science Contributor Contributor

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    I grew up a PC gamer. The Diablo and Warcraft series were my favorite. I used to try to design games and write stories for them back then so PC games were a massive influence on my creativity as a kid. I phased out of games when I went to college and never really went back except briefly for Diablo 3. But last year I purchased a PS4 kind of out of nowhere and I've really enjoyed it. The leap games had made during my absence is quite mind-blowing. Red Dead 2, Uncharted 4, God of War - the stories and worldbuilding are absolutely exceptional. I think influence and inspiration come from EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE so it's only natural to be inspired by the things we spend time doing. I've definitely found myself thinking about stories for games again.
     
  4. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

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    It was definitely a golden age. Almost every title they put out back then was quality. I still enjoy some of the modern ones but it isn't the same most times.
     
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  5. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

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    That's so awesome. I never thought about writing game stories, but what a great idea to marry two great creative loves. Good to know I'm not the only child at heart who still plays videogames between writing sessions.
     
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  6. Lazaares

    Lazaares Senior Member

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    I'm an active gamer; specifically active in World of Warcraft roleplay. Roleplaying for me has proven to be the perfect way to both entertain myself and to develop my writing skills. It's also perfect to learn character voices; the story roleplayers put together will inevitably have a unique voice for each character, as each character is portrayed and written by a different person.

    And ah; I wouldn't be a writer if it wasn't for video games. Specifically, I wouldn't be a writer if it wasn't for The Elder Scrolls III - Morrowind. It's got an awesome world, beautifully written lore and lots to explore. Though, the real reason for my prior statement is because I couldn't speak/understand a word of English when it came out and it forced me to learn the language along the way. Later on, it was my advanced English teacher / tutor who pushed me towards writing and rekindled the flames for it.
     
  7. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

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    No way! Morrowind is an incredible story and that's so awesome that it helped you learn English and get more into storytelling. So many great plots woven together in that one. Definitely had a positive influence on me as well.
     
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  8. Not the Territory

    Not the Territory Active Member

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    It's easily the best writing I've ever encountered in a game. I wish that fully voice-acted lines had not become a requirement for modern AAA games.

    Edit: I forgot about the first Witcher game. The two are tied then.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
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  9. Lazaares

    Lazaares Senior Member

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    Long gone the days when an AAA game dealt with topics of artificial divinity, of spiritual freedom, of remorse and doubt in the hearts of gods...

    ... and of dubious contents.

    Recent AAA games feel shallow. Perhaps it's the lack of content; the fact that the above themes in Morrowind were backed by a library of written books and a world that was very much alive. I recently saw a fun statistics that Morrowind had more NPCs than Skyrim and Oblivion combined.

    The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
     
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  10. Not the Territory

    Not the Territory Active Member

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    'Alive' is an interesting word to use there. The actors skated around on bad animations and couldn't even travel between cells. Nothing happened organically without the player being present. All services were available 24/7. No one slept, ate, drank, shat, or even sat down.

    That said, it did indeed feel alive in the sense that verisimilitude was very well maintained. I think partially because the player was encouraged to fill in some details with his own stellar imagination, but mostly because of the believable/nuanced characters who were backed up by the vast and deep lore that you mentioned.

    Hell, they were so believable they even gave the wrong directions sometimes:D. Though I really didn't appreciate that...
     
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  11. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

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    Oh man I want to get into the Witcher so bad. But I have such a problem jumping in in the middle. I bought the first game on special on Steam, but my laptop apparently can't handle it! I'm a total PC gaming noob so I don't even know where to start with switching out parts to play games like that lol. I need a mentor!
     
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  12. TheOtherPromise

    TheOtherPromise Senior Member

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    Huge gamer here. Currently replaying Xenoblade Chronicles for the third time.

    Grew up on gems like Final Fantasy Tactics and Xenogears which developed my deep love for storytelling in video games (Final Fantasy IX is my favorite of the numbered FF so good starting place there, @Justin Attas). While I might not have learned how to read by playing video games, the hobby definitely made me a better reader than I otherwise would have been.

    It definitely has had an impact on my writing, though not necessarily in a good way. I run into a problem where most of my plot ideas are designed with a video game format in mind and so if I want to turn them into a book I need to deconstruct them and rebuild them in a way that will work better. But spending hours dissecting game stories and analyzing their plot and character arcs is probably what made me want to be a writer.
     
  13. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

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    Wow....Ken Follett's "the pillars of the earth" is a video game for X Box One.
     
  14. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Contributor Contributor

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    One of the first pieces of crappy writing I ever did was based off of Heroes 3 of Might and Magic. I don't think it was good writing, I was just obsessed with the elven world in the game and I thought the hell creatures were terrifying.

    I think it's incredible the lengths game developers will go to in order to get a good story. Someone mentioned God of War earlier and I had next to no interest in that franchise until the latest installment and I legit cried at the story. My favorite game of all time, BioShock, has one of the greatest story twists I've ever seen and it inspires me to maintain that level of intrigue in my own writing.

    I can't play video games very well (I struggle with hand-eye stuff a lot except musical instruments), but I watch gameplay and I will stay with a game if it has a good story. One exception to that is Dark Souls, because the story is there, just a lot of walking around to get it. All the Souls games really, haha.
     
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  15. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

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    I LOVE the Souls games! The world building is outstanding, even if the more minute details of the plot are mostly left to the players' imaginations. Trekking around discovering bits of lore was one of my favorite aspects of the series.
     
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  16. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

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    That's exactly what got me into writing, too. I loved the plots so much I'd sit around thinking about them when I wasn't playing. That led me to writing stories inspired by them, and eventually original ones.
     
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  17. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

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    Skyrim for the most recent game I've played but back in high school, I LOVED Sid Meier's "Colonization" game. I played that game to death - it wasn't very politically correct, you could kill off the native American Indians in the game but for learning about supply and demand economics, it was great.

    Skyrim's economic system was interesting, especially how you could develop your speech craft skills and also take a potion of haggling to up your take at the stores.
     
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  18. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

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    Skyrim is pretty much the ultimate example of a rich world full of stories. There was so much freedom for you to craft your character's tale and get to know the residents you aligned with. Loved that about the game. I haven't played it since I had it for PS3 years and years ago. Every time I walk past the enhanced edition in stores I think to myself "I should buy that" but then my wallet wheezes.
     
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  19. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

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    "...but then my wallet wheezes." is so funny.

    Try a pawn shop. They usually have used games for a lot less than the stores do, even those in the old game bins.
     
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  20. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

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    Very valid. I just moved to the countryside in VA so I'm not fully acquainted with the area. I'm a little afraid to go diving into the bargain bins... around here, if you catch my drift o_O
     
  21. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I game, but as I've said before I don't share my fellow writer's obvious enthusiasm for all this RP sword and sorcery fantasy stuff. I play racing games and first-person shooters primarily. The closest I've come to RP is with DayZ (an open world, apocalypse survival game).
     
  22. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber oike despatio Contributor

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    Me too. Most of the games I play have no story. There are some RP games that I've played, but I find that they strike an uncomfortable balance between a good story and the good story being difficult to progress through because I suck at the game. So I stick to my source shooters :-D
    But the Steam summer sale is coming up. At least I hope I didn't miss it?
     
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  23. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I suck at those too, which is why DayZ has become my favourite game ever. It truly is the optime of free choice. It's an online only game (which I usually avoid like the plague) but here you are free to avoid other players. It's a massive world and the only purpose is to survive. That means staying fed and watered, and finding guns and ammo to hunt (and protect yourself should you encounter other players). Food has to be cooked, water purified (if from streams, ponds etc) and cuts bandaged.

    But the real beauty of this game comes from the genuine fear and tension you feel wandering into a town to find provisions, and the real possibility that another player could be just around the next corner (or even watching you through his rifle sights from the upstairs window of a house).
     
  24. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber oike despatio Contributor

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    I've played a game like that (Unturned) and it was pretty horrible because weapons were impossible to find and you'd get gunned down as soon as you entered a server, but this one looks pretty cool. Added to my steam wishlist.
     
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  25. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I play on PS4, so if you own a console Xbox / PS4) you're still good to go. Just be aware you need a beast of a PC to run it.

    Going to look up Unturned.
     

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