Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Story Time: MegaWestgarth and PC Gaming





Picking up our new GPU (GTX 750 Ti) from the post office was remarkably memorable. Everyone jokes about the elitist "PC Master Race", but as I prised open Amazon's cardboard envelope and saw Asus' overly dramatic packaging, I really did feel as if I were starting something special. You see, graphics cards have been the stuff of dreams for as long as I've known about them.

The vast majority of my gaming has been on consoles and hand helds. From the Mega Drive, to the GameBoy Advance, to the Xbox 360, there's always been something available to me that required no technical knowledge to start up and play. PC gaming on the other hand was a befuddling minefield of system requirements, patches, and general sense of hit-and-miss regarding whether or not a new game would work.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

TSSZ: Vertical Slice - Marines, or not Marines



TSSZ's favourite column has returned, and this time I talk about Sega's track record of pre-order incentives, shoddy game launches and the upcoming Alien: Isolation: Vertical Slice - Marines, or Not Marines.

Check out the excerpt below:

This didn’t stop Sega from revealing not one, but two enticing pre-order bonuses in the form of game add-ons featuring the original characters and cast from Alien – one of these add-ons being retailer exclusive.

I would argue that such additional content should be included with the game outright, but shameful DLC hijinks is a completely separate discussion. What I did find ironic about Sega’s pre-order DLC announcement, however, was that even though Sega is trying to distance Alien: Isolation from Aliens: Colonial Marines, the company’s marketing strategy for both games is almost identical.

“Trust us you idiots, this is the Alien experience you’ve been waiting for, and buying it in advance will only make it better!”

Go have a read of the article in full over at TSSZ.


More From Vertical Slice:


Vertical Slice: So Called Journalism [TSSZ]
Vertical Slice: Just Like the Movies [TSSZ]
Vertical Slice: Anything But Shadow [TSSZ]
Vertical Slice: Sonic Fans are LOVE [TSSZ]

Monday, 15 September 2014

Thoughts: Self-Imposed Gaming Rituals




Have you ever wanted to start playing a videogame -- one you've been itching to play for a while -- but feel unable to do so unless you beat the game you're currently playing?

I've having that problem with Rouge Legacy -- a little indie game I was playing in the evenings while working on my novel, Soci of Metro. I wanted a game that didn't require large blocks of time to play and would be over once the first draft of my novel was done. And after watching my girlfriend play parts of it, I thought Rouge Legacy would fit the bill.

Friday, 12 September 2014

MegaWestgarth's By The Victors Episode 14





In the fourteenth episode of MegaWestgarth's By The Victors I talk about rewriting, rejection and have a special visit from the scrap man.

MegaWestgarth's By The Victors Episode 14

(Direct Download)





MegaWestgarth's By The Victors is a solo podcast project put together by me, Michael Westgarth. It's a short, ten minute podcast on the subject of creative writing from the perspective of an unpublished creative writing author. Previous episodes can be found at the bottom of this page.
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MegaWestgarth's By The Victors theme, "square and enjoy", by Goto80. Used under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Creative Writing: Rewriting is Hard





I mentioned on my Tumblr blog last week that I finished the first draft of my novel, Soci of Metro. Aside from a few failed attempts at NaNoWriMo, I've never undertaken such a large piece of creative writing, and it was certainly a huge challenge for me.

But I suspect the trials and tribulations have only begun.

Following the advice of many, many writers, I've put my 40,000 draft of Soci of Metro to one side to stew in my unconscious while I work on other projects. Interestingly, the week following the completion of the draft has been great in terms of short story writing, and I've already completed two stories which I'll be sending out to various publications soon. One of these two projects, however, has taught me an unexpected, and somewhat harrowing lesson on the art of rewriting.