Well, now we know that Elite: Dangerous can compete with AAA titles: any self-respecting game release has to have its own controversy and ours follows Frontier’s announcement that E: D will be online only. No internet, no game.
The Good News Out of the Darkness lives! It’s a real book; Elite settings, characters, plot, themes—it’s all in there. The first gamma draft is complete, and pretty polished. The Scary News It’s very existence in in great peril. The book is currently with Frontier for approval. Death can come in many forms… can Out of the Darkness survive? If so, will its soul remain intact, or will it be torn asunder, rendered a mere shadow of its former self? Only one man knows… which side of Michael Brookes’ personality will the novel draw out? This? Or this?! We should know in a little while… So, backers and would-be readers, as we wait, let us focus on the positive, make optimism our banner, and raise our heads and sniff the roses… the Roses of Success! More Good News We have a proof-reader—qualified, experted an’ everfink! I want to thank the awesome … Continue reading →
Frontier Developments found itself at the centre of a storm of controversy this morning as another internet pressure group stepped up its campaign to ‘clean up the gaming industry and make it safe for our children’ as Anole Biddy (‘I think I look 21, don’t you?’) of No Irresponsible Playing with Plastic Leisure Entertainment Systems (NIPPLES) was heard to say to reporters, before telling them to remove their boots from her ‘immaculately manicured lawn’.
Submit! Quotation rumoured to be from an internal Frontier draft memo, ‘Maintaining Correct Relations with the Minions’, Chapter Two, ‘How the Writers MUST See Us’: ‘Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic… regarded this earth us with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.’ H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds. As other Elite: Dangerous writers finish with editing and prepare to face Frontier’s vast and cool and unsympathetic intellects, the forums echo with the sounds of rejoicing. Yet, the reverberations are falsely hearty, covering the drip, drip, drip of insidious fear and slight loss of bladder control.
How long is a piece of string? Does my bum look big in this? The answer to the question, ‘What makes a good ending?’ is as nebulous and subjective as they come. For some, an ending is only ‘good’ if the heroes win. For others, such an ending will always be trite and formulaic. Some writers will even avoid the question altogether, writing an ‘ending’ that is either so open or ambivalent that a reader has no hope of closure. Well, after five months of drafting, it’s now my turn to decide which ending will best suit this story.
It’s taken four days, multiple emails, much head scratching, lots of hacking and slashing, and the ejecting into the darkness of the first plot, but finally I have a go from His Royal Brabaness for Out of the Darkness (Mk II). Thargoids still feature, but due to game constraints a hefty wedge of tech and the main story premise had to be ejected. Replacing them with something engaging wasn’t easy, but the new plot now sits (by necessity) much more deeply in its Elite setting and there’s lots of potential for a gripping story. I feel sorry for Frontier. With the change in emphasis I won’t be pushing so many unusual tech ideas, but there will likely be a storm of emails and possible forum postings clarifying the minutiae of galactic workings. They’re really busy, so I’m sure we writers are not always their favourite people. You can imagine the conversation over coffee: Michael Brookes: ‘So, … Continue reading →
Rejoicing they flew: white lines, block-filled triangles, and shaded panes of colour; the sounds of the void beeping and burping in one ear before separating and enveloping them in textured audible reality. But they were cast into the outer darkness – for years nothing but a blanket of false hope to shield them from the coldness of uncertainty. It could have ended there, their humanity leached into the uncaring nothingness around them. Broken, cold. ‘We cannot die,’ a voice inside them said, ‘for if we die then The Dream will die with us as our Messiah sleeps, dreaming of rails and screaming children throwing up Slushies on the crowds 50m below. So, while He dreams of ticket sales and ice cream, we will attempt our own resurrection.’ And Alpha was born. Alpha was silent, ugly, temperamental. Alpha was no fun to play. So they emailed, forummed, read, and coded, and Beta was born. Beta was … Continue reading →
Over the last couple of weeks there has been a flurry of emails winging their way through the ether (sorry, that’s steampunk, wrong genre) discussing Out of the Darkness and how it fits into the Elite: Dangerous universe. One unforeseen, and very positive, outcome was that the lovely Frontier indigenous life forms (FILFs) have asked me to contribute some ideas for the game universe by compiling one of the E: D writer’s guides. Developers and writers will use the guides when creating content for the game and the fiction that goes with it. Of course, I jumped at the chance! Being given the opportunity to work with these talented FILFs is a privilege, but I imagine you are sitting there thinking, Why should I care? Well, it was the ideas for the backstory and setting for the book that they liked which means I seem to be on the right … Continue reading →
23/08/14, Editing finished and the book was released to backers and made available for purchase (Kindle compatible apps and eReaders). YET TO BE COMPLETED: Epub files for backers; other formats released to alternate outlets; paperback formatted and released.