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Industry Insights: From The Industry Side

Condensation of All Game Fiction

by lizard
April 18, 2002

lizard's backstory I should probably stay out of this, for the simple reason that I tend to hate in-game fiction of more than a paragraph or two in length. A pithy quote or a single paragraph at the start of a chapter adds mood; more than that, and I feel like it's padding. I especially hate it when vital game-world information is contained in the fiction, since I tend to skip the fiction entirely until the third or fourth reading.[1]

Thus, I can only give you advice on what NOT to do, via the following "Condensation of All Game Fiction".

[1]Yes, I know many people on this list write it, and are good at it. I know the customers expect it, and like it. I know a lot of people who write it are proud of it. None of this changes my opinion. It doesn't matter how well-played a football game is, how skilled and dedicated the players are, how much time and effort they put into training and practic, how complex and intricate the strategies are -- if you don't like football, you don't like football, and that is that.  

Purple prose rained down like a bad metaphor. Cool Dude strode into the setting, genre-specific weapon by his side.

The young kid approached. "Leading question", he said.

"Gratuitious profanity to show this is a game for adults, not some kiddy D&D thing." replied Cool Dude. "In-game slang used without explanation."

"In game slang?" queried the kid.

"Explanation of slang. Insult of the kid." Cool Dude sighed, then used one of his powers.

"Incredulity!"

"Explanation of power. More slang. Oh no -- it's the Bad Guys!" Drawing his genre specific weapon and summoning his powers, Cool Dude leapt to the attack. Blood and guts and intestines flew, once again showing the maturity and depth of the game.

The kid leaped into the fray, using the knowledge he'd just gained to summon an in-game power. The tide of battle turned. Despite heavy adjectives, the Bad Guys were forced to retreat.

"Cryptic threatening comment!" screamed the leader as he vanished.

"Grudging admiration", says Cool Dude. "Now you can begin to walk the path of a thousand steps."

(Actual GAME STUFF begins here.)

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What do you think?

Go to forum!\n"; $file = "http://www.rpg.net/$subdir/list2.php?f=$num"; if (readfile($file) == 0) { echo "(0 messages so far)
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All Industry Insights

  • Gareth-Michael Skarka interviews China Mieville, April 24, 2002
  • lizard's Condensation of All Game Fiction, April 18, 2002
  • Sandy's "God or Whore?" GTS'02, March 26, 2002
  • Allan Sugarbaker with GAMA Trade Show '02: An Inside Report, March 22, 2002
  • Aldo of Impressions on the GamePlay CD, January 3, 2002
  • Gareth-Michael Skarka interviews Ken Hite, February 8, 2002
  • Gareth-Michael Skarka interviews Tim Powers, January 18, 2002
  • Aldo Ghoizzi on Inside the Making of GamePlay, January 3, 2002
  • The RPGnet Awards Cabal presents the RPGnet 2001 Awards Results!, December 5, 2001
  • Ken Whitman teaches us with A Note About Creating a Good Promotional Campaign, October 12, 2001
  • Sean Jaffe on The Fallout, September 27, 2001 [about 9/11]
  • Sean Jaffe on Interesting Times, September 21, 2001 [about 9/11]
  • GodLike: Dennis Detwiler and Greg Stolze, September 14, 2001
  • Jared Nielsen on Tribe Gamer, August 31, 2001
  • Mark Bruno teaches about Copy Editing, August 16, 2001
  • Ratings not just kid's stuff for RPG industry, reported by Matt Snyder, August 9, 2001
  • GenCon '01 News, reported by Matt Snyder, August 3, 2001
  • Origins Report: Would you send your mother to buy from them?, part 4 of 4
  • Origins Report: Booth Babes, part 3 of 4
  • Origins Report: Overview, part 2 of 4
  • The Origins Awards, part 1 of 4, reported by Jason Paul McCartan
  • Gary Gygax Interview, part 1 of 3, by Scott Lynch
  • Why I Write Gaming Materials by Greg Stolze, November 16, 1999
  • Blowing out the Nostalgia Candle by John Wick, October 19, 1999
  • Interview with Sean Pat Fannon, Shards October 5, 1999
  • Portuguese is not Spanish! by Thad Blanchette, September 14, 1999
  • Intuition and Surprise by M. J. Young, July 27, 1999
  • Fear and Loathing in the Wizards of the Coast Game Center by John Tynes, January 26, 1999
  • Breaking In,, on how to break into writing for RPGs, by Steve Kenson, December 22, 1998
  • ALT.RPG, first of a series looking deeply at what gaming is all about, by Matt Miller, September 1, 1998
  • The Night They Tore Old Mecca Down, GenCon report by Randy Porter, August 20, 1998
  • GenCon Fun: con, city, and even housing tips from Randy Porter, June 30, 1998
  • GenCon Lore Vol 3: Program Books, update on GenCon 98 attendance, by Randy Porter, June 23, 1998
  • The Missing and the Dead, update on GenCon 98 attendance, by Randy Porter, June 2, 1998
  • The Definitive Count on who is and isn't attending GenCon 98, by Randy Porter, April 28, 1998
  • How to Scam Games Part II by Steve Johnson, March 24, 1998
  • The Perils of Penniless Publishing by Aaron Rosenberg, February 3, 1998
  • Polyhedral Dice & Mirror Shades, by Greg Costikyan (or, the death of paper).
  • Ken Whitman: A Love Hate Relationship by (of course) Ken Whitman
  • Interview with Sean Punch, GURPS line editor, by Bob Portnell, October 1997
  • YOU DID WHAT? Perspectives On Becoming A Full-Time Writer In The RPG Industry, by Steven Long, September 1997
  • A Resurgence of Role Playing, by Gary Gygax, August 1997

    Other columns at RPGnet

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