Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Beyond This Horizon

The second draft of WFTD is nearly finished. It really should have been done by now, but I changed something at a pivotal moment in the story – I thought for the better – and then realized it just didn’t work, so I went and changed it back again. WFTD is probably the most tricky project I’ve worked on. Hopefully it’ll all turn out good once I finish the final revisions to this draft.

I’ve also been working on a second draft of another novel – SOV. The original draft of SOV was written over a period of about three weeks a couple of years ago. It’s something I’ve always wanted to get back to at one point or another, and after taking a little break from WFTD, I decided to do an initial edit and revisions to that first draft. My goal is to have both novels polished and complete by the end of the year.

In other news, I just completed the final episode of The Walking Dead game. After a somewhat uneventful third episode, the developers really stepped up for the last two. Despite its rudimentary gameplay and the somewhat questionable value of the choices in the game, it was still a great experience

I’ve not played many of the new releases this year, but of the ones I have, The Walking Dead was probably my favourite. A good story and characters that we care about can make a big difference in a game. It doesn’t apply to all types of games of course, but the games in which we can form some sort of emotional attachment in whatever form are usually the ones we remember the most fondly.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

War Z (ALPHA)

Buying a game before it’s even finished? Not really the best idea, is it? Why? Well - 1) There’s no guarantee you’ll enjoy the product in its current state 2) Even if you do enjoy the current product, you may disagree with the developmental direction and therefore - 3) There’s no guarantee you’ll enjoy the final product.

Will it all end with broken promises, buggy content, rampant hacking and a rapidly declining player base? Will it be a familiar story of unfulfilled potential? It’s too early to say how War Z will ultimately turn out, but it’s sure been a hell of a lot of fun so far. In fact, it’s probably the most enjoyable multiplayer experience I’ve had since Red Dead Redemption.

War Z is an attempt to cash-in on the success of the DayZ ARMA mod – a zombie survival MMO. I found myself quite hooked just watching streams of War Z, and at fifteen quid, I figured it was worth the risk. I actually persuaded a friend to pick it up too so we could bro-op, which is enjoyable in an altogether different sort of way than playing solo.


Playing alone is extremely tense. You’re on your own, no back-up. With another player at your side you know you can trust, you feel safer, more bold, although you still have to keep your guard up. Although the game is still in early alpha it plays fine and I haven’t hit any serious bugs or encountered any of the hackers I’ve seen others complaining about (at least not that I’m aware of). I guess I’ve been lucky on that front though and it’s just a matter of time.

There’s still a lot of content planned, but not yet added, but even as it is, I’ve really enjoyed my time with the game. It’s still not quite the perfect zombie survival game I’ve always dreamed about, but it’s close enough for now. Hopefully it will continue to improve with time and see a great deal of support, patches and new content. It’s got promise, now we’ve just got to see if the developers can follow through.