Archive for June 10th 2012

Well, amazingly enough Tartarus has passed the Createspace review process. There’s a slight issue with the page headers, so I have to decide whether to live with that or upload a new version and wait for the review process to go through a second time.

Since I still have three weeks to order my free copies I guess I’ll probably do that. I’ll just check whether there are any other obvious problems first.

OK, I’ve tweaked the headings to match throughout the book and sent off a second version. Then I’ll call that done.

Inspired by some discussions on a writing forum.

Prologues can work, but I feel they’re very much overused. For them to work, they need to be something from the history of the main character in the story (which is probably better handled when it becomes relevant to the story rather than as a prologue), or obviously something that doesn’t include the main characters of the story, and the events have to become important later. The prologues I hate are included solely because the writer isn’t good enough to build the exposition into the story, or they’re back story with some interesting characters who I expect to be part of the main story and then they disappear at the end of the prologue.

Good examples of prologues, for example, would be many of Clive Cussler’s books where the prologue is usually years in the past, it clearly doesn’t involve the main characters of the novel, it will become important later if not the driving force for the plot, and it’s an interesting story in its own right. Bad examples would be many of the unpublished novels I’ve critiqued over the last few years.

So far I haven’t had much time to play in the Guild Wars 2 Beta this weekend; between Createspace and my Canadian citizenship application (a topic for another time) I don’t have much time to spare.

Necro And His Pet

Guild Wars 2 Charr Necro

So far it’s proven fun and runs well on my laptop with a 2.27GHz i5 and an Nvidia GT330M graphics card. One nice feature is that it optionally renders screenshots at a much higher resolution than the game normally uses, so the quality is much better. The graphics are pretty good, while still retaining obvious similarities to the original game. However, I suspect some features either haven’t been implemented or have been disabled for performance reasons (the screenshots, for example, don’t show any player shadows).

In a few hours play I only saw one crash, and no other obvious bugs, so it seems fairly polished but not perfect. Only three of the five races seem to be implemented, so clearly there’s more work to do there.

While they’ve improved the quest mechanic in some respects it’s not as revolutionary as it sounded; you still get quests, but they’re less the ‘kill a dozen rabbits and bring me their ears’ and more ‘stop the bandits who are stealing things from the farm’. Which is better, but I found that often I would arrive in the middle of such an event and not really know what I was supposed to be doing.

Guild Wars 2 Human Elementalist

This was particularly true in the initial tutorial area where half the time I wasn’t really sure of what was going on. The game would tell me to go somewhere and then the gates closed as I got there, and was that my fault or did I just not get there fast enough, or…? Who knows.

Overall it’s a very different game to Guild Wars. In some respects that’s better, but we’ll have to see how hard some of the early events become when the newbie zones thin out and there aren’t twenty players in each event any more.