Currently residing in the Pacific Northwest, Greg blogs about his upcoming books in The Sy'Arrian Legacy Series. His posts also explore the creative process and what feeds our imaginations.

The Games We Play

You may be wondering; where the hell have you been? My hope is the title of this post says it all. If memory serves, after my last two to three month absence, I made a point of articulating a no excuse policy and apologizing for being away for such an extended period. Let me be even more transparent and authentic in saying, I will make no further promises to churn out a certain amount of monthly content except to allow for one rule; I will do my best to do something every month. Now, let us get down to business.

 In my last post at the end of September 2018, I listed a few source categories where I obtain a large amount of inspiration: books, video games and people.  Amazingly, the writer in me cannot find enough appropriate words to express the amount of joy and awe I have experienced at the hands of other content creators. I suspect fumbling to find the correct words to express the amount of appreciation I have for finely constructed story telling is the intended outcome. I strive for the exact same thing in my own writing because it tells me; I am going in the right direction.

 I want to isolate one specific story, which takes place in a setting spanning across several installments of the successful Assassin’s Creed franchise. I will not convey specifics of what is it about, its history, or where the series originated. I have provided a link below designed to answer those questions, so please feel free to read at your leisure. My intent is to review its masterfully braided elements, which form a tale so breathtaking, one dreads the day when its end is reached.

 The tale I am specifically referring, one I have spent over 150 hours playing is Assassin’s Creed: Origins (AC Origins), which takes place between 49-43 BC in Ptolemaic Egypt. As the player character (PC) you assume the role of the game’s protagonist, Bayek of Siwa, a Medjay whose fight to protect his people leads he and his wife, Aya to create the Secret Order of Assassins players have become familiar in the prior games of the series. Assassin’s Creed: Origins is a prequel, which I found both exciting and a perfect fit for my story-telling mind considering I had not played any of the prior games.

 The narrative stretches across the main story arc plus two supplemental stories, commonly referred to as downloadable content (DLC) in the gaming industry; The Hidden Ones and The Curse of the Pharaohs. What I particularly admired about playing through this game is how the content creators were able to maintain a sense of cohesion in weaving the main and side story questlines, without breaking true-life historical elements.

 As one who loved reading, everything he could about ancient Egypt growing up, I need to be honest in my own bias towards this content. It was exceptionally immersive and stunningly beautiful with quality voice acting. Just as I mentioned earlier, I dreaded the moment when I knew it had finally ended; a true sign, in my opinion, of a job well done.

 The object lesson here is the focus on interconnectedness in any content creation, especially when focusing on a series. Most of you will probably consider my point a well duh moment but let us be perfectly honest. I think all of us have, at some point, read or watched content, which has left us asking the question; Um, where the hell are they going with this? As content creators, I believe we can become entirely too focused on the big picture and often forget to flesh out elements associated with connectively, not to mention how cause and effect feeds into immersive settings.

 This mindset is one I have to adopt whenever beginning a new chapter or drafting a rough outline for the next book in the Sy’Arrian Legacy series. At this point in my writing career, it is simply me, myself and I keeping track of every nuance associated with a series tentatively slated to encompass eight to nine books. This is one of the reasons why I dedicated a prior post to the importance of maintaining detailed notes.

 No matter if your story is 90 pages or nine books, readers will notice inconsistency and inaccuracies. If you do not provide solid reasoning for such disparities, they will find someone else’s content to occupy their time. 

 Fortunately, AC Origins not only delivered on its commitment to tell an engaging story but also exceeded my own expectations, which says a great deal given my tendency to be overly critical towards my own craft.

 As always feel free to post your questions, comments or concerns. I will respond, if need be, when I able.

 Video Game Reference Links:

 Assassin’s Creed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassin%27s_Creed

Book Two: The Fury of Ages

Creative Insight: Part Three