Thursday, January 8, 2015

Three Stories for Three Worlds

Elegy for a Dead World has to be one of only a handful of games to launch months before the announced date.  For better or worse it slipped onto the Steam store last December without much fanfare.  In truth it isn't really a game, so much as exercise in creative writing.  While I would say it does an excellent job of inspiring would-be-storytellers, reading other people's stuff is a bit tedious.  I'll echo what many have already said in that the browsing and presentation experience needs to be refined.  Those issues aside, I did pen three stories, one for each of the three worlds, which I like to plug here on my blog...if you don't mind.

"And It will be for Us" is the first story I published in the game.  It takes place on Shelly's charred orange world.  For this one I went with the freeform option, but chose to hew close to the sun-ravaged visuals and underlining themes of a hubris driven societal collapse.  To make it stand out I threw in a bit of a twist with some scientific bits to give the tale some weight.  The ending, I hope, will haunt readers.

"The Tindalos Paradox" takes place on Keats' rainy purple world.  Unlike the overall theme of love, loss and the suffering artist, I kind of went off the rails and wrote a story about the marooned survivor of a failed rescue team.  Everything is presented (in fiction) as transcripts of audio logs left behind at some unspecified time in the past.  The conclusion is a lengthy dialogue between two individuals inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

Last is "An Elegy for Me" on Byron's icy blue world.  This was the final story I wrote and, as such, is a bit of a meta commentary on the game.  It's also the shortest in terms of word count, and the only of the three stories in which I used one of the templates provided by the dev team.  The layout of the world made this a tough nut to crack for me.  That said, how much the reader will enjoy it depends on their susceptibility to self-effacing humor.  

On a final note, I just want to mention that the achievements for this game feel a bit ridiculous.  Getting 1000 commendations for no less than ten different stories about one world sound pretty much impossible.  When the average story gets a couple commendations at most, I would be genuinely surprised if anyone gets one, let alone all three achievements.  

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