Script Lock

Philip HarrisChatter, Video Games, WritingLeave a Comment

Tap. Tap. Tap. Is this thing on? [checks blog] [checks blog again] Oooh boy, it’s been a while. There are lots of things I should talk about really. Trips to Sweden, England and the US, lots of writing, video games, board games, books, movies and TV shows, live music, running. The weather. Maybe one day, but for today I want to talk about Script Lock, a podcast where writers Max and Nick Folkman “sit down with other writers and developers for an informal discussion about storytelling in video games.” It’s fantastic. It’s not a new show (it’s been running for over three years now) but a co-worker pointed me at it (I think) and I grabbed Episode 44: Rhianna Pratchett, Jill Murray, and Cara Ellison to listen to on one of my longer runs. I was immediately hooked. So hooked in fact that I ran farther than I’d planned to and now I’ve jumped back to the first episode to work through them all. There used to be a really good podcast by Simon Whistler called The Rocking Self Publishing Podcast. It was a great show, with lots of well researched interviews with interesting guests. Even if I wasn’t interested … Read More

So This is Christmas…

Philip HarrisChatter, Glitch, Movies, Television, The Ghost Smuggler, Video GamesLeave a Comment

I have mixed feelings about Christmas. I’m a big fan of the whole goodwill to all men, peace on Earth thing, not as big a fan of the incessant commercialisation. And the perfume adverts…don’t get me started on those. In fact, don’t get me started on any Christmas ads. I’m lucky in that the office shuts down from Christmas Day to New Years Day. That doesn’t always mean everyone gets that time off because it’s not unusual for us to have a project in the final stages of development which means a few people are in the office fixing bugs, testing, coming up with last minute design changes etc. But at the very least the constant stream of email and meetings eases up for a week. Normally, I just stick to the one week of vacation at Christmas but this year I wanted to get some extra writing done so I took Friday, Monday and Tuesday off which means I’m on the third day of my Christmas break already. As usual I’ve got a whole string of things I’d like to get done. Finish off the first draft of Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. Write the first draft of a play … Read More

Stockholm 2013

Philip HarrisChatter, Travel, Video GamesLeave a Comment

Last night, I got back from a five day trip to Stockholm, Sweden. It was primarily a business trip to the Frostbite Developer Days – an opportunity for around 300 of the company’s smartest people (and me) to get together to talk about the Frostbite engine. It was a fun and productive event (you don’t always get both of those things together). I got to hear how other teams around the company are using Frostbite, about some of the upcoming improvements, got sneak previews of [REDACTED], [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] and got to see [REDACTED] running on [REDACTED]. It was a lot of travelling for a relatively short trip but I was glad I was able to go. We also managed to spend a bit of time in Stockholm (another thing you don’t always get on business trips). Mostly that involved wandering the streets looking for somewhere to eat but we did visit the Vasa Museum. The Vasa is a ship that took its maiden voyage in Stockholm in 1628. Unfortunately, it only made it 1,500m before sinking. It was salvaged in 1961 and is now housed in the museum in Stockholm. Despite there being 333 years between sinking and salvage, over 95% of … Read More

Another Aftermath

Philip HarrisChatter, Stories, Video Games, WritingLeave a Comment

The story I started three weeks ago, Bottled Lightning, is now sitting at 4,356 words – a little over 1,500 words shorter than the first draft. I read through it again yesterday and tweaked it a bit more. I’m happier with it, but still not happy. In fact, I was more disappointed with it than I remembered. It was kind of demoralising actually. Never mind. I did write a new story yesterday, Aftermath, a one hundred word submission for an upcoming anthology. It’s actually the second piece of flash I’ve written called Aftermath. Apparently, I’m fond of that title. In other news, I’ve been playing a lot of Letter By Letter recently. It’s a word game on iPad and iPhone that’s sort of Othello with letters. You score points by placing tiles onto the board to make words but you can also use letters your opponent has played. Doing so changes them to your colour, giving you points and taking points away from your opponent. That simple mechanic means that the lead swings back and forth between the players and games often come down to the final turn. You can get Letter By Letter for free on iTunes and there’s a bit more info on the … Read More

In a Vinyl Cafe Far Far Away

Philip HarrisEvents, Music, Video GamesLeave a Comment

Busy week this week. On Wednesday we went to the Vinyl Cafe Christmas Concert. The tickets were an early Christmas present from my wife but neither of us really knew what we were going to see. It turned out to be a really fun show; a mix of stories by Stuart McLean and music by Hawksley Workman. The Vinyl Cafe stories feature record store owner Dave, his wife Morley, their two children and in the case of the three stories Stuart McLean read on Wednesday, some ferrets, a car wash and a hockey game.  The stories reminded me a bit of old British comedy shows – there’s an innocence to them that you don’t see very often any more. Don’t get me wrong, I like the sophistication of today’s comedy (the good shows anyway) but it was fun to just sit back and be entertained by some good old fashioned fun. I ended up buying Hawksley’s latest CD – Full Moon Eleven – and I have it playing now. His website says his music defies category and I have to agree so I’m not going to try to describe it. Instead, you can listen to his music on YouTube. This … Read More