My New Column on Haywire!

The great people at Haywire asked me to write for them and I accepted!

Since I’ve been having trouble keeping up with my writing, this will also allow me to write regularly, but not feel like I have to write too often and feel overwhelmed.

My first article went up already: it’s about Final Fantasy 14 and how MMOs have failed to develop storytelling techniques that really make us of their “massive” number of player. You can read it here. If that article is written better than my usual ones, it’s all thanks to the two editors that helped me out. (and that I’m honoured, not to mentioned embarrassed, to be working with. It’s as if I wrote a novel and it turned out my editor was Stephen King)

Some ideas that didn’t make it into the final draft:

  • Multiplayer games’ systems are held back by their very players: everything has to be designed by taking into account the worst that humanity can offer, and every possible exploit. This limits what can be done immensely. Take MOBAs for example: not only there can be no friendly fire whatsoever, but you cannot design champions that interact in interesting ways with their allies, because some troll could use those champions to ruin the game for everyone else, and willfully put their own team at a disadvantage. This goes for *every* system, including narrative ones.
  • I think there’s an interesting comparison to be made with board games and Pen&Paper, but having a very limited experience of board games and no first-hand experience whatsoever with Pen&Paper I didn’t want to go out of my depth. My ideas are that, for one, a human game master can make stories more replayable and adapt them better on the go; a videogame has to repeat the same words every time, and can only work within the parameters the writers and designers anticipated and implemented. Secondly, playing with friends removes a lot of that conflict of motivation that afflicts online multiplayer. Then again, online multiplayer is popular precisely because few people have enough friends, or can regularly bring them together at the same time to play a game.

Aside from that, I think I’ll be playing Final Fantasy 14 as my go-to game for quite some time, while I play some shorter, more focused games on the side. (I’d have a lot to say about the good things FF14 has given me, but this is not the place) I’m also second in command in my guild on one of the EU servers. If you want to play together, by all means let me know! ^_^

Thanks for reading! Meow ❤


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