J. Martin

June 13, 2021

Back in the Groove

First off, everything checked out, I’m on Big Sur now. Beyond what I already anticipated, there was one unexpected hitch with NTFS for Mac, but it was my own fault as I’d mixed up some kernel extensions. And while I recognized and fixed the problem myself, I had fired off a support request to which Paragon’s support then reacted in a timely, helpful, and professional manner. Kudos!

After a three-month hiatus thanks to academic overload, I was able to resume my daily writing routine last week. Now, my target’s a scant two hundred word per day, and I know that sounds shockingly insufficient to arrive anywhere! But—as with my game design methodologies and my academic writing—I plan everything up front: theme, outline, setting, lore, locales, scenes, dramatic structure, pacing, functional characters, you name it. That way, I can edit while writing because I know exactly what each segment needs to accomplish, and why. Or what I need to change, and why. Thus, these two hundred words at, literally, the end of the day are quite polished, and I can later plunge into the subsequent editing stages (developmental, line, copy) without having to write second and third drafts first.

Accordingly, I cut down on my incidental writings and published just one linked-list item at just drafts on Ken Levine’s  2014 “Narrative Lego” GDC presentation. I’m not too fond of it, as you will see. What I didn’t mention in my remarks were reservations I have about how developer teams fared under Ken Levine’s studio leadership, from Thief to Bioshock to the dissolution of Irrational Games. That certainly colors my opinions, irrespective of how many of these games have been “released to critical acclaim.”

The two albums I uploaded to Flickr last week were also rather short, Beijing I: MOMA万国城 (10 images) and Chengde III: Puyou Si (5 images). But there’s also my ongoing album with pictures from The Pinnacle in Tanjong Pagar, Singapore, right next to the CBD. It’s a 50-story residential development with seven highrise towers and two sky gardens, breathtaking to behold both from the ground (the current album) and from the sky gardens (a later album).

Finally, for the fun stuff, I recovered two long-lost textbook memes during spring-cleaning on my Mac. Which of these my game design students found most depressing most hilarious depended on whether they majored in art or development

Now, on with the manuscript!