In typical fashion, I’ve taken an extended time between posting. In typical fashion, I have been mad at myself for doing so and wondering why, oh why, do I still maintain this. That last part is a bit exaggerated, though. I covet my domain on here like a dragon with gold.
Today, while driving home from work and alternating between the current CD in my car and NPR (Kai Ryssdal hosting Market Place and PRI’s The World make my soul happy), I had a thought. It hit me hard, square between the eyes, and with all of the abrupt unapologeticness (that is a word, damn it) of such in-transit revelations.
I am not my heroes. I will never write like Neil Gaiman. I will never be the next Terry Pratchett. My works won’t be on the same level as Douglas Adams or Christopher Moore.
And those aren’t the things that I should want. I’m none of those people. My writing is my own, with influences from the writers I enjoy but also years of me finding and refining my own voice. There is some humor, some dark fantasy, and a whole lot of whatever the Hell I’ve turned into in terms of narrative voice and creativity. I am way more okay with that than I ever realized. At the end of the day, what is most important to me is continuing to write, continuing to strive towards publication, and (to a lesser degree) dreaming of somehow, someday becoming a well-known writer.
And so I continue.
This post brought to you courtesy of Sia’s “The Greatest”, which I have had on repeat as some sort of anthem to fend off any stress from recent weeks (I couldn’t say why if I tried, but I enjoy that song entirely and unapologetically), and the glass of Laphraoig Quarter Cask I’ve been nursing for over an hour now.
I love rainy days, but only so long as I can spend them at home. I realize that’s a bit of a tall order as I have to be at work on most-such days. That said: I love laying on the couch in the back room of my mom’s house and listen to the rain fall against the two skylights. Really dislodges the bullshit from my brain.
That said, I’m tired of the sky being a joyless gray as of late. I could easily attribute that to the dark days of a Trump Presidency (and, Hell, I am really, because he’s a thin-skinned, orange-faced puppet with a bad habit of taking to Twitter). They’re bringing me down.
Something more cheerful, however: I completed the first draft of Babel, Restored – the sequel to Dissonance in Harmony and what I wrote for NaNoWriMo. I’ve returned to working on Dissonance. It’s fun, but I can’t help but smile at the realization I’m probably unintentionally shitting up continuity without realizing it. The editing process should be…interesting. Continue reading →
Oh, hey. It’s six days into 2016 and I’ve managed to not continue writing the date with a 15 at the end. I’ll chalk that up as a pretty solid victory. Hopefully you’ve all had victories of your own, both creative and otherwise. (Really, though; can we take a moment to appreciate how easy it is to slip up and put the previous year on something? Because if you think otherwise, you clearly have your shit far more together than I do.)
With a new year, I find myself with new ideas. This shouldn’t be mistaken for me having new ideas and knowing what I want to do with them, of course, given that the new year also brought me being relocated to a new store at work. At least the ideas are there? Continue reading →
This is the sort of confessional post that I feel iffy about writing, because it betrays my well-established gruff and grumbly persona and exposes my soft, vulnerable under-belly. All right. Let’s get this out of the way so I can get some actual sleep tonight, and then maybe try to see where my brain goes with writing tomorrow.
Lately, and by lately I mean for quite a few months now, I have felt defeated. I haven’t had ideas popping into my thoughts like before. My projects have been gathering cobwebs like it’s their job. As I said earlier today: I feel less like a writer as of lately and more like someone who wrote here and there. I feel defeated. Continue reading →
After multiple reminders (and a robo-call from WordPress), I renewed my domain name ownership for Misadventures in Fiction. It was something of a prolonged back-and-forth, both internally and through dialogue with a couple other people. I didn’t make this decision lightly, which sounds ridiculous since it was a decision that cost me $18 and one that doesn’t necessarily hold any real weight of its own.
But it does, or at least it does to me. I identify as a writer (a comment that may shock and astound some of you, as I have not done much writing at all in the past year). It is painful that I’ve accomplished so little. Maybe a part of it is that my ambitions don’t match the reality of what I’ve accomplished. Or perhaps I’m letting myself continue to be bogged down by the less-than-great parts of 2015 (which, as a year, has had more good than bad, but I will not miss it when it has gone). Whatever the reason may be, I haven’t been writing. And that sucks.
I’m not calling this a New Year’s resolution in the same way that I don’t believe in those things; they usually fizzle, at least for me, and end with more frustration. Instead I am choosing to say I’m going to build up my resolve to write more often. Maybe not every day, or every other day, but I need to return to writing fiction. Otherwise, what the Hell did I finish college and work so hard to write a book for?
Plus, I mean, $18 could buy a lot of other things and so I feel like I need to make damn sure my investment proves worthwhile.
Meanwhile, I have all sorts of boring adult shit to do tomorrow. I also have a Christmas gift I need to finish up. I’m glad I got these thoughts out, if only for my own purposes, and hopefully I will see a gradual return to writing, creating, and finding my way back to approaching the creative process with a sense of wonder despite whatever background noise there may be. Time, of course, and my capacity to follow through on what I want, will be the deciding factors.
Five Nights at Freddy’s Haters: Can’t we all just get along?
I feel like it’s appropriate to make this the 20/20/20/20 Mode night topic because addressing how the anonymity of the Internet turns people into dicks is a terrifying, difficult process. Granted, I also think that Scott Cawthon having to address the level of vitriol people spew is absurd because that kind of thing shouldn’t be happening.
Love FNAF? Hate it? Indifferent? Let others do what they want regarding it.
People who love Five Nights at Freddy’s definitely put the fan in fanatical. I speak from personal experience. I also know that before I really gave the games a try (and once again, Markiplier’s videos are to blame and I will gladly say that to his face on the day I never see him to avoid such a confrontation) that I thought they were overhyped and probably awful. I’d voiced that opinion to people, accepting that those people liked the game and letting them do their thing. They accepted that I didn’t like those games (based on assumptions and so on) and let me do my thing. At no point did either party feel the need to verbally berate the other.
What Scott Cawthon did is kind of amazing
It’s really amazing, actually. He created four games in, what, the span of two years? Each one was a fresh look at the franchise. The first one was a pioneer in its genre, forcing players to sit still and wait for the bad things to happen. FNAF 2 gave that new life and more ways to potentially poop yourself over loud noises. And so on. However, the detail that seems to get overlooked is that Scott Cawthon made these games. There was no big budget studio responsible, but an indie developer who undoubtedly slaved over these games. To that end, no matter if you like or hate the series, I think we can all agree FNAF is a huge success. Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is especially impressive given the surprise early release, how polished the end-result is, and the promise of DLC. Most importantly: even if you don’t like the series, that’s no excuse to resort to personal attacks on its creator. Complain about any gameplay aspects, complain about the fanatical nature of people who love these games, whatever. However, just like everything else in life: don’t be a dick to a person over your views.
6a.m. and still alive
This week of posting has been a lot of fun. I think the Five Nights at Freddy’s series really did a lot for indie gaming and the horror genre. With the movie and FNAF 4, we see the likely end of this series once the DLC is done with…
As seen on ScottGames.com
…unless the 5 fans have found in the latest image on ScottGames.com is an indication of more to come.
Either way, this series is phenomenal. The anxiety and stress of gameplay, coupled with childhood fears and easy frights (jumpscares are the worst), make for top-notch horror gaming. Thank you, Scott, for giving us the heebly-jeeblies with some frustrating-but-ultimately-fun games. As many Steam reviews have said, these are some of the best Escape key simulators on the market.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: A Mastery of Anticipation Horror
The Five Nights at Freddy’s game is a lot of things. It has proved to be surprisingly polarizing among gamers, with some loving it and some absolutely hating it. While I’m not big on speculating about the lore of Five Nights at Freddy’s, as I feel like I don’t fully understand it (having not beaten the games).
I have, however, been thinking a great deal about what goes into making these games so effective at drawing out fear, anxiety, stress, and frustration in gamers. Obviously this isn’t concrete, and it’s well past when it should have been posted…but it’s been a long day.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 – Springtrap is more than enough to kill you
Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 takes place thirty years after the original game, with Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza having become a distant memory surrounded by horrifying rumors and children disappearing, murders, and so on. Like any local legend, someone decided to cash in on this by turning one of the old buildings into Fazbear’s Fright, a horror attraction based on the murders and disappearances and less on the warm and fuzzies people might have felt surrounding good old Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza.
The attraction itself is full of artifacts from the old restaurants, and players get to act as the night guard (mostly to make sure no one steals anything, the new phone guy says, or makes out somewhere in the attraction). There’s some disappointment, however, because though the place has an authentic–and creepy–feel, it lacks one thing: animatronics. Night 1 goes smoothly, with no jumpscares or horror. The ambiance of the attraction is one thing, but having to check the cameras for both the attraction and the vents throughout the building, the doorway to the office, and maintain various systems (audio distractions, the ventilation system, and the video feeds for the cameras). Because the building is so old, if the vents stop working things get even more pants-shittingly terrifying.
Night 2, however, is where the real terror begins. Phone Dude informs players that some of the old training tapes were found from back when there were wearable suits that doubled as animatronics. Even better, however, is that they found one. A real one. They found a working animatronic from the old restaurants.
This is a moment I’ve gotten used to seeing. God damn it, Springtrap.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 – An Involved Prequel-Sequel
Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 takes place before the first installment in this series. This is the first of the series with a more developed, more involved plot, and plenty of new ways to die. To combat this, there are new mechanics designed to help players–now playing a different Night Guard–make it through the week (and beyond, really).
The old meets the new with more animatronics than ever before. The original animatronics return, consisting of Withered Bonnie, Withered Chica (not an official name, but she’s missing her hands and some other bits so it seems fitting), original Foxy (who is still Out of Order). and Freddy Fazbear. Each of the original animatronics now has a Toy counterpart, save for Foxy who has a sort of alternative (The Mangle). The doors are gone, the flashlight is more important than the door lights ever were, and Foxy is far more of a pain in the ass than in the first game.
Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza is sparing no expenses in 1987, investing heavily in facial recognition software for their signature animatronics–the Toy animatronic line-up. The originals, featured in the first game, are out of order at the time of the game. Bonnie is missing a good portion of his face. Chica has no hands. Foxy looks about the same as in the first game, given that nobody apparently felt like fixing Foxy. Freddy’s about the same, if only a bit worse for the wear, while Golden Freddy and Shadow Freddy are appropriately creepy. All of this creepiness makes sense as it surrounds the disappearance of five children and a series of cover-ups. Mini-games made available between death screens–which will be something players become familiar with, as this game is significantly more difficult than its predecessor–give some insight as to who killed these children and why the animatronics are behaving as they are.
This is where Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 makes me a little less thrilled than other installments in the series. There are ten animatronics out to kill you. Checking the hallway, the vents, the cameras, and keeping the music box wound so the Marionette doesn’t pop up and insta-kill you. Golden Freddy, The Mangle, and Foxy complicate things by being a bit erratic, and the possibility of the Exoskeleton just popping up to be creepy and distracting. It’s easy to die to the old animatronics (Foxy aside) because putting the Freddy Fazbear head on even a second late means death.
The Rookie Killer
I’ve only played Night 1 of this game, and it was spent dying a whole lot. The old animatronics never really got a chance to off me. Balloon Boy ruined my shit more than once. Paying too much attention to one area was made worse by someone popping out of the vent and killing me. And so on. Alternatively, I did get to see all of the death minigames. I think the best summary of how frustrating FNAF2 can be is Markiplier’s 10/20 Mode playthrough, which shows just how wicked this game can be.
Misadventures In Failure
Not even getting past Night 1. Good god. That’s so embarrassing.
Overall Rating – Buy This Game FIRST
Shocking, I know, but it can’t hurt to play this game before the first one. It gives more backstory to the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise while adding its own fun (and frustration) to the series. The mix of new things being bad while old things fall apart (I won’t go into game theory stuff here as there are more posts to be had this week) is fun, but Mangle is like the older, more awful version of Foxy that I think most players are happy to never see again. There are few things as terrible as shining light on the right vent and seeing that damn thing. The jumpscare noises are significantly less painful on the ears, but the flash of time between Withered Bonnie or Withered Chica appearing and putting on the Freddy mask is always a tense moment. Those things in mind, this is still my least favorite installment in this franchise. I have tremendous respect for Scott Cawthon for creating this games in such rapid succession, but this one feels out-of-place compared to the others.