Amnesia Month

In which I step back from all of the games and culture stuff and try to reclaim some of my own creativity.

At GCAP, Natham Martz talked about Amnesia Fortnight at Double Fine – a 2 week period in the middle of Brutal Legend when the entire company put that project aside and prototyped a bunch of smaller games, which gave them the grounding for Costume Quest, but also helped recharge their creative batteries.

Just before Freeplay hit, I had the realization that not only was I stressed about the event itself, but I was also stressed because i hadn’t really spent a lot of time, for a long time, working on my own stuff, and ultimately doing what we implored people to do at Freeplay – to just get out there and make things

Since being self-employed, my own projects have fallen by the wayside as i’ve tried to maintain paying work, realised how much time it takes to run a festival, and tried to find the balance between money and creativity. The main one of those is the novel I’ve been working on for a few years now, and while I still care about it and want to see it finished, I also think a break would do that work good – and would give me a chance to try out everything I’ve (hopefully) learned as a writer.

NaNoWriMo is perfectly timed for that break.  I know my premise, plot, characters, first few scenes, and the core conflict – and even this early, I’m starting to feel my way through the shape of the thing. I’ve done it before, and know it’ll drive me absolutely mad, but I’m also looking forward to seeing what comes out of the whole process. I’m signed up as Pcallaghan if anyone wants to follow along there.

It does mean that I’ll likely be blogging a lot less for a little while, at least about games and culture. Shame. But I do have some thoughts on why we need to have the moral outrage & censorship arguments, narrative and mechanical grinding in Dragon Age, and the role of archetypes as they apply to not only game narrative, but to the cultural discussions we have too. I’m sure I’ll need a break from the 50,000 words though, so maybe they’ll get written before they evaporate completely.

If not, see you back here on December 1st for a Nano debrief.

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