Monthly Archives: July 2011

Will ArcheAge be the greatest game ever made or an impossible dream?

ArcheAge is a fantasy MMO from Korean developer XL Games, and the man behind it, Jake Song, claims it will be the first third-generation MMO ever made, a hybrid of theme park and sandbox. Every piece of information coming out about the game tells me it could well be the most amazing MMO ever created. The easiest way to see what I’m talking about is to go to AAPortal and watch several of the videos. Harvesting, ship-building, house-building, castle-building, furniture-building, sieging, questing, ship-to-ship combat, hang-gliding (!), PvP, and more.

But can it stand up to all the hype? It uses the CryEngine3 engine. That means it looks damn good, but anyone who knows about games knows that engine eats lesser computers for a late night snack. Also, Korean games are often known for being grindfests, which is something Western gamers are less tolerant of. And then there’s the fact that the game has no EU or NA publisher, so right now, the only known release is in S. Korea. It hasn’t been localized into any language but Korean either.

Reviews have come out from the closed beta tests, and the most consistent thing I keep seeing is “I played all night.” Even the Massively hands-on talked about playing until the sun came up.

Only time will tell, but in the meantime, I’ll keep drooling over the videos and news as it’s released.

Vote with your wallet

If you haven’t heard, Netflix’s prices are going up on September 1st. Instead of $9.99 for streaming plus one-disc-at-a-time, they’re being split out into $7.99 for streaming and $7.99 for the one-disc rental. If that’s the plan you’re on, instead of paying $10 the price is going up to $16. They ran their competitors out of business, then jacked their price up 60%.

When word got out, it sent the Internet into a tizzy. “Dear Netflix” trended on Twitter for two whole days. Usually it takes a government overthrow or photos of Justin Bieber kissing a girl for that to happen. Here’s the deal, though. It doesn’t matter how much you scream if you’re still giving Netflix your money. You can tell them they suck; you can threaten to go to Blockbuster; you can say all the mean, horrible things you want about how you hate Netflix. But if you don’t unsubscribe, they aren’t going to listen to you.

Companies understand one thing, and it’s not being told what big meanies they are. It’s MONEY. That’s it. If you don’t hit them in their wallets, they won’t get the message that you’re truly upset. You like Netflix. You like their streaming selection. I get it. I like it, too. I’m going to miss not being able to watch new shows while I exercise. I would never have discovered Harper’s Island or In Plain Sight or Survivors without it. I’m going to have to go back to DVDs (because I won’t get Hulu Premium as long as it has commercials), which means I won’t try shows I’ve never heard of before.

The only power you have with a company is deciding whether to give them your money. If you keep doing that even when you disagree with their business practices, all you’re doing is paying them to fuck you over. And when you’ve proven you’re willing to allow that, don’t be surprised when they tell you to bring your own lube next time.

(P.S. They won’t stop there, by the way. Once they’ve eliminated DVD rentals entirely, they’ll start putting in limited streaming plans. Unlimited streaming will either disappear or go up significantly in price).

The dreaded second draft

I’m currently working on the second draft of a new book, and I was struck with the realization that second drafts are harder than any other draft. First drafts have their problems. The writing might be horrible, or I might skip over fleshing out scenes, or an entire scene may not make any sense, but there’s a freedom in a first draft. Creativity is in full force. You get to shut your inner editor off and write.

Then there’s editing. Editing uses a different part of the brain than writing. More concentration, more analytical thinking. This is where you take the bad stuff you wrote and make it better. However many drafts this might take, every one improves on the story a little bit more.

But that second draft. That second draft is the one where you look at your first draft and think, My god, what have I done? So you rip out pages 42 through 200 and start over. Oh, maybe you keep that scene in chapter three, and that action sequence in chapter five still works somewhere else, and at least you can rip a paragraph here and a sentence there and that character can be combined with that other character.

And you find your writing is still horrible, and you’re still not fleshing out scenes, but you have to make it all better anyway. In other words, the second draft is the worst part of a first draft and the worst part of editing.

I still wouldn’t have it any other way, though.

Go read “The Memory Gatherer”

Morgan Dempsey’s first pro sale, “The Memory Gatherer” is up on Redstone SF. Go. Read. Enjoy. And then understand why I’m her biggest fan.


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