Author Topic: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story  (Read 40433 times)

Megajoule

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2012, 09:03:23 PM »
In my opinion and experience, it absolutely is.

faith.grins

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2012, 12:28:48 AM »
As to giving professional fiction writing a go, I've often thought about it, but for me at least it is very difficult to write when constantly distracted by things like work, which sometimes lock up weeks of my time at a time.  And I have a way of writing that is I think unusual.  I think my strengths are conceptualizing a story, and editing a story.  My weakness is, perhaps amusingly, actually writing one.  The way I write, which is the way this story was written, was that I have to get something on paper, no matter how stupid and clumsy.  And then I criticize it into a story.  In other words, I almost deliberately write a bad story that at least has most of the ideas I want, and then I proceed to replace almost every single word of it until I have a better one.  Because its hard to write a good story.  But its easy to critique a bad one.  So I've found I can get decent material out of writing bad, then sitting back and saying "that sucks, it should be this" and "that's dumb, they should do this instead."
One of my favorite authors, a guy named John Green who writes young adult fiction, says quite frequently that all writing is re-writing.  By which he means that the first draft isn't necessarily supposed to be bad, but you don't write it expecting it to mostly look like your final draft.  If you have to cut a major subplot from your book, re-write two characters' back stories, and remove an entire setting from the middle of the book because that's what makes it cohesive as a narrative, then you cut the subplot, re-write those back stories, and remove that setting.  The process of revision, of turning the ugly thing that is only a success in that it gets events down on paper in a more-or-less correct sequence into something that's engaging and entertaining is the real process of writing.

It's no coincidence that The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises were edited by the same person.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 01:17:51 AM by faith.grins »
Aram:  "Man, just look at all this.  Sometimes it's hard to believe that we get to live surrounded by such wonder."
Gamal:  "We don't live over there." Aram:  "We don't?"
Gamal:  "No.  We live over there." Aram:  "... But it's all on fire."
Gamal:  "Yes it is, Aram.  Yes it is."

Victoria Victrix

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2012, 12:57:01 AM »
First: do not, do not, plan on being a fiction writer for a living.  You will end up living in a cardboard box under a bridge.

Of all professional writers, something like five percent of them write for a living.  Of that five percent, only half make a living from writing in one genre.  The rest are tech writers, legal writers, journalists, or have several pseudonyms for several genres.

It is so uncommon for writers to make a living writing that Neil Gaiman (Neil Gaiman!) is always asked at academic writing conferences where he teaches--it is assumed he could not possibly be making a living from writing alone.

Of those full time professional writers, most of them followed "Asprin's Law" (codified by Bob Asprin, who was an accountant for IBM before he went full time.  "Before you can quit your dayjob you must: (1) Have five years as a published author (2) have a full year's expenses in the bank with the taxes paid on it (3) have five contracts IN HAND (4) each book in your five previous years must have sold better than the one before it."

Even so, you must also answer the following questions:

Can I drive myself to work every day and get a set number of pages done, even when I don't feel like it, when I am sick or hurt, or when the rest of the world is making demands on me?

Can I rely on myself to pay out 1/3 of my income ahead of time into taxes and not spend it?

Can I find affordable health insurance on my own?  Can my spouse get both of us health insurance?

Will my family understand that going on vacation means no income during that period?

Can I make everyone understand that this is a real, full time job, and just because I am home this does NOT mean I am free to chat for hours, pick up/babysit their kids, run errands for them, walk their dog, mow their lawn, etc etc etc.

Can I deal with the uncertainty of never knowing when/if my publishing company will go under, whether my company will get engulfed by another and I will be deemed redundant, or the fickle public will stop buying my books?

Can I live with the fact that I will never, ever be able to retire and will probably be working on my last book on my deathbed?
I will go down with this ship.  I won't put my hands up in surrender.  There will be no white flag above my door.  I'm in love, and always will be.  Dido

Arcana

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2012, 01:42:13 AM »
First: do not, do not, plan on being a fiction writer for a living.  You will end up living in a cardboard box under a bridge.

Heh.  On my second day in engineering school, I had a class where the teacher asked "how many people are here to make money?"  He then pointed to where the school of business was.  And engineers actually make money.  Well, some do.  But rarely is it enough on a effort per dollar ratio.  And in fact I'm not a practicing engineer.

I've heard it said that writers don't write because they want to, but because they have to.  I like to, but I don't have to.  Which is why I'm currently perfectly happy with my amateur status.  But it is good advice for others.

Colette

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2012, 01:49:21 AM »
Arcanaville? YAY! Welcome to Titan, amiga! Big fan. I regret we never met in-game.

"I've heard it said that writers don't write because they want to, but because they have to."

Alan Moore said it best. "We do not do this because it is allowed. We do it because we are compelled."

I happen to know Mr. Ray Bradbury lived a very, very lean life, and he was one of the best writers of the 20th century.

JWBullfrog

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2012, 01:53:24 AM »
I once considered being a professional writer...
Then I took a reality to the knee.
 
I'll revel in my amateur status as well. The schedule is easier and I enjoy eating on a regular basis. Oh, I'll admit, I once had fantasies of being the next great author but I couldn't quite figure out how to do that and be as lazy as I prefer to be.
As long as somebody keeps making up stories for it, the City isn't gone.

burningchick

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2012, 02:39:59 AM »
I think my strengths are conceptualizing a story, and editing a story.  My weakness is, perhaps amusingly, actually writing one.
Here's a funny thing ...

I have a background in English lit. In university, I used to make pretty decent beer money editing other people's papers -- I could often bump a paper up by a full letter grade, give or take a bit. And it didn't really matter what I was editing. Or even if I understood the subject matter.

But I can't for the life of me edit my own writing, as evidenced by the (many, and frequently egregious) errors in my posts.

I used to harbour ambitions of being a writer, but then I thought of the poor editor whose life I'd make miserable.

Then I thought about being an editor and thought about getting a writer who's just. like. me.

Lily Barclay

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2012, 05:37:12 AM »
I've heard that talking to characters, as a way to make them real, is not uncommon.  I'm not sure its common when they stop suddenly and say "you want me to say what?  I don't think so.  Come back when that head injury heals."

Mine do that! Quit making me feel like a weirdo!

Rienuaa

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2012, 03:10:53 PM »
10/10

Amazing. Tied all the lore and the feeling of the entire world into a tangible end. A happy ending, with a sad ending torn up and wadded inside. A beautiful and harsh reality with the only available ending fleshed out so wonderfully I can't help but tear up.

You are amazing, Arcanaville.

I loved the subtle references to Silos' past/future, and especially the Rularuu bit.

Amazing.

Arachnion

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2012, 06:27:25 PM »
10/10

Amazing. Tied all the lore and the feeling of the entire world into a tangible end. A happy ending, with a sad ending torn up and wadded inside. A beautiful and harsh reality with the only available ending fleshed out so wonderfully I can't help but tear up.

You are amazing, Arcanaville.

I loved the subtle references to Silos' past/future, and especially the Rularuu bit.

Amazing.

This. So much this.

Beautiful story.

Simply... sublime.

 ;D
I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go
Walkin' with a dead man over my shoulder

Waiting for an invitation to arrive
Goin' to a party where no one's still alive

Starsman

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2012, 08:08:11 PM »
Even so, you must also answer the following questions:

Can I drive myself to work every day and get a set number of pages done, even when I don't feel like it, when I am sick or hurt, or when the rest of the world is making demands on me?

Can I rely on myself to pay out 1/3 of my income ahead of time into taxes and not spend it?

Can I find affordable health insurance on my own?  Can my spouse get both of us health insurance?

Will my family understand that going on vacation means no income during that period?

Can I make everyone understand that this is a real, full time job, and just because I am home this does NOT mean I am free to chat for hours, pick up/babysit their kids, run errands for them, walk their dog, mow their lawn, etc etc etc.

Can I deal with the uncertainty of never knowing when/if my publishing company will go under, whether my company will get engulfed by another and I will be deemed redundant, or the fickle public will stop buying my books?

Can I live with the fact that I will never, ever be able to retire and will probably be working on my last book on my deathbed?

These questions apply not only to writing, but for any self-venture. Writing for most people tend to lay between self-venture and dependent on others, though. Technically you are your own boss, but you still have a publisher/editor calling the shots.

If I was to offer any advice to writers (without any experience in the field  :o) I would say basically the same I tell any prospect Indie developer:

  • Keep your job.
  • After hours, work on your own personal project.
  • Publish it digitally, times are changing and you don't NEED a publisher. Kindle, iBooks, Nook stores, sell directly.
  • Sell cheap, $0.99 to $2.99 tops.
  • You will make very little on your first attempts but eventually may start making some money.
  • This is extremely important: Aim low. In the case of books, don't shoot for the next 1k page masterpiece. Stick to short stories at first. The more complete works you create (start to finish) the more you will learn about the entire cycle, and the better prepared you will be for the next one.
    You will get feedback faster, you will learn what works and what does not work faster. You will get paid faster.
    It's pure win/win/win to do shorter jobs at first.
If, and only IF, you find  yourself in such a successful position that you can pay off your mortgage, your car, and your food and property taxes for the next year, THEN feel free to quit your job and continue doing your writing and publishing your eBooks on the stores I mentioned above.

But the questions posted by Victoria are key. You must be ready to be your own boss, but you must be ready to be your worse boss. The boss that demands the most out of you than anyone ever demanded before. You should be capable of becoming your worst nightmare: a boss that can read your mind and slap you for even thinking about slacking.

It will be stressful, but if you have what it takes, even if you end up not making a living, it can be extremely satisfactory to hear from customers that loved your product.
For the sake of the community: please stop the cultural "research" in your attempt to put blame on the game's cancelation.

It's sickening to see the community sink that low. It's worse to see the community does not get it.

I'm signing off and taking a break, blindly hope things change.

Arcana

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2012, 12:22:03 AM »
You must be ready to be your own boss, but you must be ready to be your worse boss. The boss that demands the most out of you than anyone ever demanded before. You should be capable of becoming your worst nightmare: a boss that can read your mind and slap you for even thinking about slacking.

I have seen many people attempt to start their own ventures of one kind or another, and the one common denominator of everyone I thought would fail was they were incapable of being harshly critical of themselves.  They were happy happy people who believed a good attitude would get you through.  Oh, the other common denominator was that all of them did in fact fail.

I suspect its no coincidence that while being miserable doesn't guarantee being a good writer, it doesn't seem to hurt either.

Starsman

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2012, 01:57:41 AM »
I have seen many people attempt to start their own ventures of one kind or another, and the one common denominator of everyone I thought would fail was they were incapable of being harshly critical of themselves.  They were happy happy people who believed a good attitude would get you through.  Oh, the other common denominator was that all of them did in fact fail.

I spend a lot of time in another forum, a development forum. It is full of people that think that way. Although... I think there should be a line drawn between "failure" and "achievement". You can actually do an achievement AND fail. Most people that act the way you describe never achieve anything, semantically speaking, they never fail but simply because they never actually tried.

I think there has to be a big distinction set between those two, because some one that really wants to do any independent venture should be very well prepared to fail MANY times without considering it a negative thing.

I am proud to have failed with the games I have shipped so far. At the same time, I have achieved a lot, and learned a lot. In fact... perhaps with a better coordinated, and just a tad more polished first release (but mostly coordination and marketing) I may had succeeded with my first title (and by succeeded I mean just get my monetary investment plus at least half the time back.)

BTW, it's also important to put emphasis on the bit about "doing it when you dont feel like it, or are tired, or even sick". Holding two jobs (actually treating both as jobs,) can be VERY stressful, may also threaten marital stability if you happen to be married.

I think the old fitness saying goes here: no pain, no gain!
For the sake of the community: please stop the cultural "research" in your attempt to put blame on the game's cancelation.

It's sickening to see the community sink that low. It's worse to see the community does not get it.

I'm signing off and taking a break, blindly hope things change.

burningchick

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2012, 12:13:28 PM »

Solaris

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2012, 01:39:15 PM »
Loved this writeup from beginning to end. Thanks for a wonderful tale =]

Minotaur

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2012, 02:12:01 PM »
I suspect its no coincidence that while being miserable doesn't guarantee being a good writer, it doesn't seem to hurt either.

Doesn't hurt in many creative fields particularly music, it does however mean you may not survive long enough to enjoy your success, there are too many examples.

Segev

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2012, 03:10:21 PM »
Heh.  On my second day in engineering school, I had a class where the teacher asked "how many people are here to make money?"  He then pointed to where the school of business was.  And engineers actually make money.  Well, some do.  But rarely is it enough on a effort per dollar ratio.  And in fact I'm not a practicing engineer.

I've heard it said that writers don't write because they want to, but because they have to.  I like to, but I don't have to.  Which is why I'm currently perfectly happy with my amateur status.  But it is good advice for others.
This has always been an interesting conundrum to me. If, in fact, business/management education guarantees more money than engineering or teaching or any other profession, why don't we have far more business/management people in industry than we do?

My unprofessional but highly anecdotal examination of this reveals that, in most schools, we do have a lot of "business/management" students. They don't typically find their classes "hard" compared to those of the "more demanding" disciplines, either, so it's not that the subjects are necessarily hard to learn. (I am not disparaging them nor saying they're less smart or any such thing; just noting that the subjects are not as difficult, apparently, as, say, quantum physics or embedded system coding.)

So, then, if we're producing more business/management students than engineers, why are they apparently paid more? One in theory needs fewer managers than engineers, so supply being higher than for a job with lower demand would seem to dictate that managers should be paid less than their underlings by simple competition for the same post.

I think I've come up with the answer, though: there's a reason business managers get MBAs rather than sticking with undergrad degrees. Most people who graduate with a "business" degree wind up being "office grunts" if they can find a job at all. Those unwilling to do that work often are jobless. Though you need fewer managers than engineers, management really IS a lot of hard administrative work. And the higher you go, the stiffer the competition for the jobs are...but also the better and more dedicated you must be to it. So the high salaries, bonuses, etc. are there because every business wants the hardest working, best, brightest, and most successful leaders they can get.

In theory, there is a ton of competition from other business graduates. In practice, there must be something our academic system can't teach and for which it can't measure that makes the rich ones truly worth paying high prices to get. And since companies do have a fairly easy time winnowing out what must be thousands of applicants to get down to "short lists," there is something that helps them make the decision.

Cronyism and expectations wouldn't be sufficient to keep these executives highly-paid if there wasn't a true need for attracting specific talent and skill and dedication. I guarantee you, for instance, that the NYT could find somebody who'd do the CEO job for paid apartment rent, $30,000/year, and benefits. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of business professionals with degrees in management. But how many could really do the job? (One might argue, given NYT's current state, that they are overpaying for somebody who can't right now, but...you still get my point.)

johnrobey

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2012, 07:18:31 PM »
I've known honorable, hard-working executives and senior administrators, and their opposites, same as any profession.

As I heard at one college post-graduation party, the one of the Business majors said, "You know you Liberal Arts guys are going to be working for us in a few years."
To which a Liberal Arts major replied, "Yes, that's true.  But we'll have better parties."
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Starsman

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2012, 07:38:52 PM »
For the sake of the community: please stop the cultural "research" in your attempt to put blame on the game's cancelation.

It's sickening to see the community sink that low. It's worse to see the community does not get it.

I'm signing off and taking a break, blindly hope things change.

Nafaustu

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Re: The Immortal Game: The Last City of Heroes story
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2012, 07:48:31 PM »
Thank you for writing this.   I'm not a professional critic, or anything, but I know what I like.   I feel satisfied with this as an 'ending' that allows for a new beginning, either in another game or with the ressurection of CoX.  It was very well considered.

I understand if the game gets picked up this is unlikely to be made canon, but I feel like it could be.