Tag Archives: Metric Ton

Why “it was really, really good” isn’t good enough

Success or Failure?Last night I finished a huge scene. It’s pivotal to a plot thread, and required a great deal of unique dialog and a metric ton of description.

Both were challenging by themselves; together, they were a nightmare.

I wrote no less than 1500 words; 3x my daily quota. If you saw the progress meter jump 3% today, now you know why.

Nevertheless, I was satisfied with the result.

If you read “The Novelist’s Burden” below, you know why I was aching to share this material, in spite of the fact it’s still probably unpolished (I can never tell until a few days later). So it was that when my wife arrived home from class and lab, I gave her an appropriate number of hugs before begging her to read a total of 68 pages, half of them containing new content.

She loved it. Which is frustrating to me. You see, my wife loves everything I write, whether it’s legendary or total crap. It’s very sweet, but it makes it impossible for me to judge the quality of what I’ve written.

But let’s suppose for a moment she was more critical and never said my work was good unless it really impressed her. And last night she thought my new material was very, very good.

That’s still not good enough.

What I’m going for, folks, is that when you set down the manuscript, you say “wow”, just the slightest bit breathless. You might not say it aloud, but if you’re at least thinking it, I’ll have won.

Anything less is just me playing in the sandbox for my own amusement.

11 minutes ain’t bad

I’ve been trying to compile a gameplay video for Spore for a buddy at work…sort of the JRP version of “try before you buy” for a game that can’t be rented.

It’s far longer than I originally wanted, and I cut what felt like a metric ton of content for the video, and much of what’s left goes really fast. But I’m trying to represent hours and hours of gameplay (which itself purports to loosely represent 4 billion years of evolution and progress). DISCLAIMER: This video includes none of the Galactic Adventures expansion, mostly because I felt the video was too long already.

Video editing credit goes to no less than four different applications, none of which I’m going to name because I’m unhappy with all of them — else why would I have needed 3 more? Credit for capturing goes to Fraps, and no thanks to Gamecam which, although has served me well in the past, has recently proven very unreliable to me.

Music credit goes to Eric Johnson for Cliffs of Dover, and Bear McCreary, the score composer for Battlestar Galactica, for two pieces called One Year and Prelude to War. (You’ll know which is which, I think.) All remaining audio was taken directly from the game itself apart from one quote which I’ll disown you if you don’t know. And for your old(er) timers, I chose the version I remember best from my childhood; no offense to the original, eh?

Without further ado, then, this is what I have so far of the Spore Gameplay Video. (There are still a few takes I think could be done better, but this is my first attempt at a video this cohesive, and I’m out of patience to keep tweaking without sharing.)

If the embedded version doesn’t work, you can download the whole thing here. I hope you enjoy.