Well, I did it. I got Knostril’s D&D backstory up for Arcanauts in February like I said I would. I mean, the post went up the last day of the month, but so help me I did it. Even if it nearly killed me, which it felt like it did what with the rush of tests, two presentations, a paper, a handful of other assignments, then (for Knostril) realizing throughout almost the entire process there were details that needed to be worked out and I didn’t even know the answers those. But I published the thing I promised I would within my own deadline, so, victory. Unless you were one of those blokes for whom it was first of March. I guess I let you guys down. Oh well. ‘MURICAH!
What is it though with me and getting things done on practically the last possible minute of a deadline? Seriously, I do that with everything; it’s not solely a stupid, college kid habit for college stuff. Even for stuff I love doing, when I assign some sort of schedule to it, I put it off, struggle, and finish it at the last moment. “Grrr, Ian, schedules = no fun, Rawr,” is what my brain is thinking I guess. I’ll work on this as I go along. It will likely require baby steps.
Okay, so all of this leaves the Warhammer 40K and Halo 4 posts that had to be pushed back to this month. Since Halo is definitely going to be an on-and-off series for probably some time, I’ll get the 40K thing out of the way next. Dark Fantasy. I might reference Tolkien’s On Fairy Stories essay for contrast to this genre.
Now Halo: I actually started collecting material last week for the next series of posts. I’ve always been one of those (frustratingly few) people who is more interested in the universe and its mythology than I have with the “LOL HEADSHOT N00BZ!” aspect that depressingly overwhelms its community to the power of Avogadro’s number. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for this universe and I’m determined to show it’s more than the typical dumb shooter. So I’ll predominately be sticking to story, lore, the mythology of it, the mythology in it, and its themes–yes, it has themes, try not to be surprised. Bungie (the original creators of Halo) has been working on their next game series called Destiny, and while there isn’t much out on it yet, one of the things they keep saying is how they want to make it this “mythological shooter”. I honestly look at Halo, and that’s what I see, especially in the aspect of its long-gone Forerunner race. It does have that feeling of myth and legend to it, that epic sense and scale those old stories possess, which is screaming to come out more in certain places.
I am determined to champion the good of the games and call out the areas in which they deserves scorn. What needs to happen is that the good needs to be enforced and encouraged, but it also has gotten to the point in the past decade where the crap has persisted and grown so that there needs to be a calling out. It’s incredibly idealistic of me, but I need and want these thoughts to be expressed–to get them out there–because they’re just sitting in my head and going nowhere. I understand how big the uphill battle is, but at the very least, I’ll feel better after I get the chance to vent and muse.
As far as Halo 4 goes, I have a bit of a conundrum. The plan was to dive straight into the campaign review, but 343 Industries has done something incredibly frustrating with their story by spreading it out across practically all forms of media. You have the story they relegated to the new multiplayer “campaign” Spartan Ops, which while annoying, is at least manageable to deal with. You have the online webseries Forward unto Dawn that tells the story of an in-game character, and finally there are two different book trilogies, still being worked on I might add, which are being used to introduce elements in the game… so that they don’t have to be explained in the game. Overall, they’re trying to actively incorporate more of the book lore into the games, which is nice, but considering the degree to which they’ve divided everything up, it’s turned what should be one story into one giant, convoluted mess. I don’t mind tying stories into one another, but an individual story needs to stand on its own and not rely on a dozen other stories as puzzle pieces to make whole what is technically suppose to be–and is marketed as–a new, standalone story. All of this to say I had plans to eventually review the Karin Traviss Halo: Glasslands novel and Greg Bear’s Forerunner trilogy… but those are from the two trilogies I referred to earlier. What I’m trying to decide is whether or not I should tackle those reviews first before the Halo 4 one, or if I can get away with referencing just relevant details for the game. I can’t help but get the feeling though that Glasslands at least needs to be set up first, especially in matters pertain to a crucial background character, Dr. Halsey. I’ll figure it out.
In other news, I’m writing a poem. This is surprising for me as I am not one for poetry at all (except for Tolkien’s poem Mythopoeia–freaking love that). I mentioned it on Twitter a couple of days ago and how I was mulling over how to go about handling form and such. I might share that when it gets finished. We’ll see.
Assuming I get a lucky streak this month, I’m contemplating returning to Knostril again to talk about the origins of the character and what was the process of making him what he is in Arcanauts. Also, there’s been an influx of MMOs in the past couple years or so. MMOs frustrate me. There was a time I played LotRO, but I just can’t bring myself to anymore, and in some ways that really saddens me, because there is a good game to be found there. I want to talk about why all this is.
These last three things on the list are “maybe’s” for this month; they might get pushed to next. A lull has hit the school semester and spring break is only a few days away, so it just might be the perfect time to get a good chunk of writing done. We shall see.
Finally, I think I’ll stick to this form I’m using of doing an overview of what I plan to write for the month–until I find something else suits me better.