Author: thepenofjoel

Ur engish is wrongs

I couldn’t help that title, but let me get a few things quite clear regarding Legends of Eisenwald, and the ‘style’ of English we are aiming for.

Are we using Old English? No.
Are we using regular everyday speak? No.
Are we using the optimal way to deliver dialogue? No.

Why does it sound like this post has a history behind it? Because I’ve seen way too many comments usually saying something like ‘I don’t know anyone who talks like this’. You’re right. Neither do I. I am not trying to perfectly recreate Ivanhoe, or the modern man/woman, but I deliberately choose certain words to convey archaic dialogue. Not much fiction today when referring to the ‘old days’ will use period specific terms all the time, but some try and convey the time period through what we deem as sub-optimal language use. Some choices are deliberate, don’t necessarily assume it’s an error even though you might not personally appreciate it.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, how’s the work coming along? Quite well. I am currently occupied with a very large scenario that has some fairly neat narratives contained in it. The short stories are coming along well, and we’ll probably talk more about how that’s going to appear later on.

Hast thou questions? Verily, thou art free to ask me any questions on my twitter. Peace be unto you, and all that jazz.



Death to Plot: Expanded Thoughts

Hi guys and gals, hope you enjoyed my recent video, and in case you didn’t check it out, I’ve linked it below.
I thought I might put together this blog post to answer a few questions you might have after watching the video.
In case you think I’m a big proponent for structured games, I assure you that this not the case at all. I enjoy and praise games that do things quite organically such as the example I mentioned (Dark Souls) as well as another example that I’ll be talking a little bit about. The Mount and Blade series.
Mount and Blade captures the plot-less game design almost perfectly. Almost.
With the exception of With Fire and Sword I consider the M&B series as a great example of a ‘true’ sandbox game. After a quick tutorial you are plonked into a world filled with characters, quests and a whole lot of bandits.
If you are unfamiliar with Mount and Blade, it’s basically a medieval mercenary/bandit/knight/king simulator. Avoid becoming king of everything, because in an almost philosophical move, a world without enemies is a dull one indeed.
The ability to ally yourself to a faction or choose to ‘be your own man’ is an experience like no other. To this day I have not found anything to the freedom that exists within M&B Warband. However like Tom and Richard said in the GDC presentation, characters are important and this is where the game falls a little short. Also the very fact that any named character in the game cannot be killed is a problem, because there is no gravitas to a battle, because you know they’ll simply come back another time.
Games are uniquely suited to allow this experience and perhaps in a way this is what Tom and Richard wanted to put forth, if only they had explained it a little better. I can definitely get behind this style of game narrative and in no way condemn non linear games. Just a bit of clarification so you don’t raise your pitchforks after watching the video!

What is this video all about?

Yes, I haven’t put up a post in quite awhile, but there are a couple of reasons for it. The second instalment of the Daniel Roth Mysteries is eating up quite a bit of my time while working on a few other novella projects. Also Eisenwald is heating up, and a few of the short stories/scenarios I’m working on are looking quite exciting (more on that another time).
But down to the reason for this short post. As I mentioned on my twitter I’ve been getting a few questions regarding my thoughts about the game writing industry. So I was thinking about a review-style approach to critique without resorting to a traditional review. These videos are a response to those questions in a streamlined manner. Game clips might be few and far between since I’m talking about theory rather than regarding general gameplay. As to the regularity of these videos I’m not putting down a solid timeline because things could change at any time.
Well this ended up being a long rambling tweet (no wonder they have a character limit) but hopefully you enjoy the video!

Legends of Eisenwald: My Involvement

community_image_1381405533 So I haven’t really talked about the basics of what I’m doing with Eisenwald, and thought it was a good idea to finally do so. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you would have picked up on some tweets about how Eisenwald is not a ‘translated’ work. Now those statements were born from a few things, namely a few reviews and comments people have made about the game. I totally understand the stigma surrounding a translated game and the sudden need for people to become grammar professionals overnight to highlight problems with the translation, however, I’d like to straighten out a few things, in order that people don’t get the wrong impression about the story and the English version of Eisenwald.

What do I mean that Eisenwald is not translated into English? Well, simply that. It is not a direct translation at all. Instead I take the existing story and rewrite nearly all the conversations, all the descriptions and basically all the text. Which means Eisenwald’s English version is built from the ground up.

So while I’m on the subject of my work on Eisenwald, let’s also talk about the process. How does the chain work? Well, I get sent the scripts from the team over at Aterdux and I get to work on taking the translated text and rewording it. Once I’m done with the structural edits and overall changes it gets sent to the English editor who does the line edits and proofreading. Once that’s done, it’s sent back to the team at Aterdux and then if there’s any changes or additions it’s sent back to us. Rinse, repeat.

What about mistakes? Ah, now as you know we are all human and text errors are bound to slip through here or there. And I’m no line editor, but thankfully we do have an editor looking at that to make sure that we prevent any errors from seeing the light of day. And it works, 99% of the time.

There’s something that’s not specific to game writing and that’s the fact that stylistic choices are not mistakes, even if you don’t appreciate that particular phrase or sentence. Sometimes dialogue may not seem grammatically correct, simply because it’s dialogue. There are various choices that have to be made that not everyone will agree on, but that’s just the way of it.

Why do I think that it’s such a big deal to say that Legends of Eisenwald is not a translated work? It’s a matter of perception. I don’t want people going into the game expecting mistakes, because as human nature dictates, we’ll naturally be looking for the inevitable mistake and see everything ‘stylistic’ as a mistake.

A big thanks to all the fans of the game and like them I’m looking forward to the big launch. Till then, I’ll keep writing and you keep playing!

Quick Update

Hi Guys and Gals

Hope you all are enjoying A Final Portrait, and if you haven’t checked it out yet you can download it for free on this site. Just thought I’d post a quick update on what’s coming up.

If you didn’t notice from the ending of AFP, Daniel Roth will be continuing his adventures in the near future, so stay tuned for the date of his next adventure. However before he makes his return there should be another character popping up on the radar shortly in about a month or two. I understand this is rather like an announcement of an announcement but hopefully you’ll be able to bear with it. The audiobook version of AFP is coming along slowly and I should have more to say about that in a few weeks.

Also, in case you are interested in the progress of Legends of Eisenwald you should check out their Twitter. We had a great first impressions video from Ryan Letourneau which you should have a look at if that interests you.

Following on, some news in the literary department. Two great writers, Lucas Di Quinzio and Kezia Lubanszky are starting up a online literary journal for emerging writers. You should check the Morning Bell on Twitter. Filling the world with beautiful writing never seems like a bad idea!

As always keep writing, keep reading and keep playing along!

A Final Portrait

A Final Portrait

A Final Portrait delves into a world of high society and a mystery that starts with the crack of a gunshot.
Daniel Roth has returned home after ten years of war with one less arm and more problems than is at first evident. The fires of industry burn in Redmark, fueled by the war and the profit it brings. But as Daniel arrives in his home town of Derring he is thrust into the maelstrom of a murder investigation. He comes across a troubled painter, a grieving widow and an Inspector sent from the Capital.
A Final Portrait is a hark back to the mysteries of old with an emphasis on character and set in a world of glamour, intrigue and murder.

To purchase the ebook version you can get it on Amazon and Kindle. For the free audiobook version you can download it below: