The Blog:

Writing my universes into the stone of the internet, one blog post at a time.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Six: Setting and its importance.

I have mulled over this for awhile now, and I feel like sharing my opinion. The setting should not be key to the enjoyment of a product, nor should the setting be a redeeming point to pull a product out of mediocrity.

Now I'm sure there is plenty of people who already knew this fact, but I have played a number of games that, in my own opinion, are carried to acceptable, if not good levels of quality purely on the setting. Not going to name any out of misguided politeness but in the last few years I have moved further and further away from this preference. More than a fair few films fall to this. "But its X!" "But I don't want to go see a film where X is the only redeeming factor." "BUT ITS X!"

Characters and plot seem to be coming more key in my mind, more in focus with what interests me when playing games and the few rare times I watch TV shows or movies, characters more so.

I suppose this is a good thing, considering I'm writing, but I attribute this change to two things. Firstly the people I hang out with regularly, secondly writing itself has twisted this around for me. My first "serious" attempt at writing was extremely poor with both characters and setting, as was the second. The third, Hydron, prioritized the setting and has extensive back-story, timelines and in-universe justifications for its magical systems, and when I finally sat down and wrote chapter one, I found myself hating it. What I had created was far to seeped in its own setting to function. Hydron has since been left to boil in the back of my mind for later.

Still, I am not disputing the value of a good setting, I am more at odds nowadays that a good setting redeems a product, book, film or game. I'd love to mention examples, but there goes my misguided sense of politeness again.
Should not have to be said, but of course, that was entirely my own opinion and musings, and even if right, should never be taken as an absolute truth.

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