Monday, August 21, 2006

deadlines and dead lines

Nobody I know ever says “Thank God it’s Monday”

I can’t blame them really. But I kinda like Mondays – they keep me honest in the writing world.

And I’ve been feel lost in the wasteland of words for the past several weeks – let me explain.

I’ve been working towards a Sept 1st deadline for my script, and I’m pretty sure, as the days go by, that I’m not going to be able to make it. I have some quality standards that would need to be seriously compromised if I do so.

Sounds like an feeble excuse I know, but let me elaborate a little more.

A while back I mentioned that I changed the “idea” of my script from a dual theme to a single theme, and with that some significant rewriting needed to be done to make it all fit correctly. My old outline was done "pre" this revelation.

So, my old outline needed to be pretty much scrapped, leading me to almost start completely over again. I rewrote the beginning of my script to suit, and now find myself mired in a race to the finish line without any super clear direction.

I feel as though the deadline is causing me to write dead lines . . .

If you will pardon my language.

So, I’m stepping back some and revisiting the whole writing my script thing. I want it to be good. I want it to work – but it won’t if I force it through a strainer just to hit a deadline sacrificing quality for speed.

I see this more as a realization than a failure. You can call it what you want.

So, when Sept 1 flys by – I”ll still be cranking away on my script. It will be done when it’s done. At a guess, that may be another month or so.

More on my writing life next week.

On a side note:

I’ve had an entire week of quiet house (just me, the dust and the BBQ). No sounds except my fingers tapping on the keyboard or clicking the mouse, either writing or playing –

- Fallout 2.

Now, if you have never played Fallout or Fallout 2, you have missed one of the great reasons to be alive at this time and place.

Also – don’t miss watching Buffy or Firefly.

Some things you can go through life never experiencing.

But the first two Fallout games are not on that list. Well, for me anyhow. You may like knitting or flying kites or talking to your pets.

Now you are just dying to know why I find these games so incredible. If so read on. If not, now is the perfect time head to another website.

I’ve played a few (hundred) computer games starting way back as far as 1989. I bought my first PC then, a wonderful 088 computer running at 4.77 MegaHurtz for just under two thousand dollars. The first game I bought was Ulitma IV. I had a blast playing it on my 13” Amberchrome monitor.

From there I progressed to the D&D SSI games, etc. One absolute highlight was “Alone in the Dark” Man, that game creeped me out something awful – awful in this instance as in “Frelling Great!” I remember plugging my computer into my stereo system and playing it through there. I wonder why the in game shotgun blasts didn’t have the neighbours calling the police . . .

My wife could probably tell you I’m a computer game nerd, addict, nut or something.

And she would be right. I can’t help myself.

One of the reasons I like the Fallout games best of any computer games, is because they allow you time to make decisions. No twelve-year-old-on-caffeine reactions needed. Just your mind, careful planning and execution of moves and a story unriveled in computer game worlds.

Ahhhhh, the story. I love stories and the Fallout universe story – from the first game through the second – it is simply marvelous. Even Fallout Tactics (sort of a combat only game) has a great story unfolding as each mission is completed.

And the world which is created is desolate, realistic and post-apocolyptic in amazing detail. It really is a fully immersive experience and you can find yourself sucked into the tale as the hours go by. (not my sacred writing hours mind you . . .)

It has everything I could ever want in a computer game and I’m dying for somebody to make another like it. Fallout 3 (a true successor to 1 and 2) would be a RPG computer game players dream come true.

There have been rumblings on and off for years about one actually happening. But sadly, the third true game was turned into a console game piece of crap.

And Fallout Tactics, while fun and all, just isn’t the wandering-the-wastelands open ended fun that the first two games were/are.

So, I replay 1 and 2 and enjoy them each as much as the first. You can create different characters each game and complete quests several different ways. Both 1 and 2 are so open ended that you really, and I mean really, can do almost anything you want.

Be evil or good – you decide. And your actions affect the characters in the game and the world around you. Nothing could be cooler – in my opinion.

So, rush out and get them. Oh, and they work on Windows XP as well in case you were worried about that.

Well, until next Monday –

- I’ll be traveling the Wastelands and rewriting and reworking my script –

- but not at the same time.

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