Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Titles: The Bane of a Writer's Existence

Why is it so hard coming up with decent titles? I've always struggled with it. Woven has gone through several titles over the years, some of which I guarantee I'll never recall. The other books in its trilogy have had various iterations too. Same with the series title.

And it's series titles that are giving me the most grief right now. I'm trying to come up with a series title for my superhero stories. I have a vague notion of the series plot lines that'll run through the books. Right now, I've got about 5 books in the series. I'll be world-building on them come January to really make them connect and pop while standing alone. (There'll be a definite reading order though.)

I think every project I write or set out to write goes through the angst of finding the right name. I know titles change 99.999% of the time between contract and appearing on shelves for purchasing. But it's important to have a title if for no other reason than to be able to hashtag the angst of writing and revising the thing. (And tagging posts appropriately on one's blog.)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

I promised this blog was gonna be a lot of me. And that includes video games.

I have a confession to make. I'm in love with the Lego games. Batman 3 will be my fifth title I've bought and played. I've jumped around as far as when the titles were released and when I bought them. My first was Lego Lord of the Rings then Lego Star Wars.

Jumping around in time like that has given me a skewed sense of development in game mechanics and such. That said, here's what I think so far of Lego Batman 3. (I've completed the story and am now in free play mode in hub and levels.)

The good:

~They stuck with the flight mechanic they'd developed for Lego Marvel Super Heroes (which I believe came out after Lego Batman 2). No more of that atrocious target aim for flying that was present in Lego Batman 2.

~The suit wheel is an improvement over the clunky pads in Batman 2.

~Doesn't appear to be as glitchy as the last few Lego titles I've played. I did encounter one fatal glitch on level 4, Space Station Infestation when fighting Killer Croc.

~The voice acting is pretty on par with the other Lego games I've played.

~Graphics are par for the course on a Lego game. (I loved seeing some familiar landscapes in the London portion of "Europe Against It".)

~I like the addition that once you activate a red brick and turn it on in the options menu, it stays on even if you exit the game and turn your console off. (Wii U). This may be a glitch, but if it's not I like the addition.

~When going into a level on free play, some (if not all) of the levels are split into parts, I would assume to make it a tad easier to go back in and pick up something you've missed, say the last mini-kit at the end of the level. I could see it being a useful feature, depending on your play style.

~Big name cameos that felt right and made the game even better.

The bad:

~No changes or improvements to the flight mechanic following Lego Marvel Super Heroes. An on-screen hint did appear during one of the auto-save screens that indicated you can change your elevation while flying using the right-side joy stick on the Wii U. This does not appear to be the case, however.

~Too much handholding in the game. From the bat signals where you can get hints to the automatic changing of suits/characters when at a puzzle, they dumbed it down enough that I'm annoyed. It takes the puzzling out of puzzle-solving to press a button and you're playing in the suit or as the character you need for that section of the level.

~Annoying repeated voice overs. Primarily this is in the control room when you're selecting your levels on the Lantern planets. Every time you go up to it you don't need to hear the "This is what this is" instruction. This was a step back from Marvel Super Heroes where Coulson only told you once that the Helicarrier control room was where you could choose levels.

~I wish they would have put the form change and suit wheel controls on a different button than the character selection button. As it is all three functions are accessed from the X button on the Wii U. This makes free play a bit of a chore, especially if you happen to have one character with a suit wheel and one with a form change. This was a grievance I had in Marvel Super Heroes too.

~Depending on how you play and how you feel, this could be a positive too. The True Hero stude thresholds seemed very high in this game. Depending on how much you like to be challenged in collecting this portion of the levels, this is a bonus or a negative. Once I unlocked the Studs X 2 bonus and turned it on, True Hero didn't seem to be as big a challenge to make.

~Level length. Some of the levels felt really short while others felt incredibly long.

~Big name cameos that made no sense or added nothing. You might know who I mean.

~ Serious lag time in changing suits during free play.

The Ugly:

~ The atrocious camera on the lantern planets. Whose awful idea was it to force a top-down perspective that moves opposite to your movements? Oa seems fine but the rest make me nauseous after 0.2 seconds on the planet. Guess who won't be getting 100% on this game?

Overall, I've really enjoyed the game so far. (Even though some of the levels felt incredibly short.) I'm no comic book aficionado by any stretch, but the little call outs to the films that have been made and to some of the comic book storylines are fun and if you get them add another layer of humor to the game.

Friday, November 14, 2014

New Blog, New Start

Hello, everyone.

You may be a little confused about the redesign, etc., assuming your bookmark was stephanie-mcgee.com and not novicewriterchronicles.blogspot.com.

I've been blogging over at Chronicles of a Novice Writer for a while now. (It's been approximately 5 years, just a little over.)

Recently, I've decided that a fresh start at my writing career warrants a fresh start at some of my social media. Namely, this website. So I've started over.

My old blog remains on the interwebs. But I'm not going to link over to it or anything like that from here. This is my domain to start fresh.

To start over. I started blogging at CNW not sure of a direction or voice. I was just getting started on a writing career and blogging was all the rage. If you wanted to be able to call yourself a serious writer, you had a blog, you had facebook, you had it all.

I've changed a lot over the last five years. I've learned a lot, I've grown. I'm not with an agent yet or published. And that's okay.

For now, this blog will not have a regular schedule of content. But it will have something the last one didn't.


This blog will have a little bit of writing stuff, a little bit of cosplay stuff, and a lot of me.