The Top Five Games That Influenced My Writing

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Hi, folks! My name’s Dane and I’m a fellow book blogger, as well as the author of an upcoming novella called No Rest for the Wicked, which will be published by Booktrope on May 29th of this year.

Now that the sales pitch is out of the way, I can explain why I’m here! I’ve been chatting to Adrianna over e-mail to see whether she’d be interested in reading my book (she said yes – hurrah!), and I mentioned that I’d be up for writing a post for Crazy Cat Reads.

It turns out that Adrianna and I have quite a lot in common – so much so that I struggled to decide what to write about! Books? But I already blog about that! Cats? Everyone does cats. So how about gaming?

I’m not what I’d call a serious gamer, but I’m part of the generation that grew up playing computer games, and it’s impossible to deny that games have had a pretty sizeable impact on my writing. Here are the five whose influence I feel the most.

5 – Broken Sword III

The same reasoning could apply to each Broken Sword game, but the third is the one that sticks out the most. I love how the player can’t progress in the game until he’s talked to the right people about the right subjects, or used the right items in the right places. It’s a pretty good reminder of how a book should be the same – for example, how can the main character unlock a door if he hasn’t found the key?

4 – Hugo’s House of Horrors II

I bet not many of you will remember this one! It was part of a three-part adventure game series for MS-DOS, and it worked similarly to the Broken Sword series, albeit with a much simpler interface. In fact, you had to type out the actions you wanted to do – ‘smash vase’ for example. Except, it turns out that you have to type ‘get vase’ and then ‘drop vase’ or it wouldn’t work. I’m inevitable reminded of this game every time I have to try to think of a clever way to reword something.

3 – Baldur’s Gate

I’m a big lover of fantasy, and I used to play Dungeons & Dragons when I was a kid – in fact, we played first edition rules, because my dad and the family friend that we played with had been around when the first wave hit. Baldur’s Gate is based on the third edition rules of the game, and it’s not just the gameplay that’s immersive – the whole world is, as is the storyline and the dialogue. In fact, the world is so convincing that there’s a series of books out about it, too! Here, I learned that the details matter, and that you’ve got to take care of the little things before your world will be fully developed.

2 – Discworld Noir

Discworld Noir is the best example of a crossover that I’ve seen – after all, bits of it were penned by Pratchett himself! It’s also a fantastic example of both the detective genre and the film noir genre, despite the fact that it’s a game. What I learned here is that the boundaries between art forms are often blurry at best, and that it’s probably best just not to think of them.

1 – Final Fantasy IX

I’ve learned different lessons from different Final Fantasy games, but IX was my favourite and it always leaves me shivering when I think of it. From IX, I learned that less is more – after all, it’s my favourite Final Fantasy game because of its storyline. It’s got to be easy for people to believe in your world –forget Mako and the JENOVA project, Blitzball, Gardens and Cid, Cid, Cid. A guy goes to kidnap a princess and ends up falling in love with her. Simple.

 

So there we have it – those are the five games which have influenced my writing the most, so far at least. Big thanks to Adrianna for having me on her blog, and if you like my taste in games and you like the sound of the book, do check out No Rest for the Wicked on May 29th, and feel free to stop by DaneCobain.com to say hello!

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