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Well we have a game jam and now we have cocktail jam, so the natural progression is a fiction jam! (Credit goes to clairehosking for suggesting the jam) The basic idea is to write a little short something with all your thumb friends. I was thinking we could steal be inspired by wizard jam with episode title themes. Have a story inspired by any episode title from the network. You can write about Poopwater, New Mexico, In Search Of (Burnout) Paradise or Brendon Chung. Unlike in wizard jam, everyone writes about the same randomly chosen title. That way we see everyone's take on the same title. This is a lot of fun, see the multiple "Build the Nublar"s and "Shoot That Pizza"s from wizard jams. Basic rules: We start a new theme every month on the 4th. We submit our entry every month on the 1st. Entries should be a maximum of 3000 words. When you're ready to show your story, you can post it on Medium.com tagged with "Idle Fiction Jam". Feel free to add other tags you want of course, this tag just allows us to see all our entries together. Our theme for July 2016 is: A Person-Shaped Thing is a Person We also have diversifiers, optional constraints for you to apply to your ideas, in the hope that it can generate new interesting ideas. Try one, try five or try none if you want! The entries for June's theme Space Boss: The Lord of Space are here: There's also a #fiction-jam slack channel for anyone who wants to go on there for chatting about how the jams will work, or just chatting when we start writing. Here's the thread about the Thumbs slack: https://www.idlethumbs.net/forums/topic/10426-idle-thumbs-readers-slack-discord/?hl= discord I think this is the current signup link for the slack: http://stingo.infinitebit.net:8001/
I looked around, but couldn't really find a catch-all thread for sharing books and other writing about games. StoryBundle is currently doing a big bundle of great books about games. It's all DRM-free and sold in the same beat-the-average price structure as Humble Bundles. Oh, and you can donate a portion of what you spend to Pixelles, a non-profit initiative for women in games. I picked it up last night. There's some stuff in there that I'm really looking forward to reading (having peered just a little bit into the abyss of Wisdom Tree, I'm very interested in jumping into that), but the real standout here is Ray Barnholt's Scroll magazine, which I'd been wanting to nab for years now after hearing him talk about it during his many appearances on Retronauts. If you beat the average, you get all 12 issues for half the price of the ebook edition of the magazine, so it's great value anyway, and I love Barnholt's dedication to covering very off-the-beaten-path games and companies. You want an interview with the My Summer Vacation guy? Got it. You want to know more about Japan-only original Xbox games? It's covered. You want to read about Artdink, the developers of No One Can Stop Mr. Domino for the Playstation? There's a whole dang issue about it. Really great stuff.
I have been playing a lot more dialogue driven games in the past year and I find that I hate being out right told the implications of a plot point. This mostly happens in cut scenes but it is still off putting. Also games seem to be afraid to represent the player a bit better in cutscenes. Movies have characters that point out some of the flaws of the protagonist and are there to kinda call out them out on their bullshit. I don't know how many of you have seen Frozen by Disney, but they have a character in that movie named Olaf, he is a snowman, he is used to bring some of the weird tropes that Disney has made in the last few years and help them be addressed in a meaningful way. Correct me if I am wrong but I haven't seen many characters that do this in games, if there are please mention them I would love to see them. Maybe I am completely off base with this observation, I would love to hear what you guys think.