Worldbuilding involves creating a world and populating it with people, history, ecology, etc. It’s normally the stuff of fiction. But a quirky video game company named Double Fine has taken worldbuilding to a whole other level. More on that in a minute…
Ice Storm: 8 Days, 27,000 Words!
Today is Day 8 of my “open novel” experiment for Ice Storm, aka my “Development Hell” book. My brain is constantly on the move so I often end up distracting myself during writing sessions. I’ll play some Conceptis logic puzzles. I’ll check email. I’ll browse the web. I’ll do anything but write. Usually, that’s not a huge deal. But lately, it’s gotten a little out of control.
Yesterday, I took a different approach. I started writing first thing in the morning. I also timed my progress. My average writing pace is 2 pages per hour. When I’m unfocused, it can take an hour or even longer to write a single page. But when I time myself, I work much faster. I can usually write 3 or even 4 pages an hour. And yesterday was no different. I wrote about 1,000 new words and edited another 2,000 words in 2.5 hours. Not bad. So, I’ve now got 27,000 words done with 63,000 words to go.
Today will be a good test of my ability to focus. I need to write a couple of new scenes. If I’m focused, it should pass with relative ease. If not, well, I don’t want to think about that.
Drawing: Day 1!
I also completed my first lesson from You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler yesterday. It was about spheres, light sources, and shading. You can see the results over there on the right. On the bright side, the apple drawings are probably the best pieces of art I’ve ever produced. On the not so bright side, the apple drawings are…probably the best pieces of art I’ve ever produced. Clearly, I’ve got a long way to go. But this early lesson gave me a lot of confidence and a few tools to add to my toolbox.
Double Fine, Kickstarter, and Worldbuilding
Double Fine is a mid-sized video game company. Last year, they raised $3.5 million via Kickstarter to fund an old-school adventure game called Broken Age. They also produced a documentary for backers showing how they actually made the game. Now, Double Fine has launched a new Kickstarter project called Massive Chalice. Since last night, they’ve raised about $0.5 million.
I loved the adventure game genre as a kid and spent many hours playing Police Quest, Space Quest, and the Indiana Jones games. So, I ended up backing Broken Age. And then a curious thing happened. I started paying more attention to Double Fine. I purchased The Cave and played it with my wife. I enjoyed the emphasis on characters and worldbuilding. So, I started looking into their other games. I tend to have very specific tastes, but I found myself being intrigued by games that fall outside my normal boundaries. True, they make good games. But it’s more than that. Their documentary opened up a whole new world to me. I got to see them work, make games, and interact with each other. There’s an old rule in fiction…intimacy breeds sympathy. It certainly worked in this case. The more engaged I became with Double Fine, the more I wanted to try their other games.
In effect, Double Fine used worldbuilding techniques to create a unique nonfiction world. In the process, they’ve turned me from a casual fan into an engaged one. In many ways, they’ve helped inspire this latest “open novel” experiment of mine. Hopefully, you’ll get to know me and like what I do here. And hopefully, you’ll decide you want to read my books too!
See that sidebar? The one with Chaos in it? I’ve been thinking about expanding it to include international bookstores. My second largest store (after Amazon of course) happens to be Amazon’s UK store. Barnes and Noble is way down the list. So, I might shake that up a bit. Unfortunately, the link to buy Chaos at Diesel (see sidebar) is still broken. Diesel has a revised version of Chaos in hand so hopefully, this will be fixed soon. Finally, the Chaos paperback continues to be on sale for $13.25 at Amazon. Get it today!