Upcoming site content


Author Reply
DMorgan
Flag
Posts:200
Comments:98
Thread Kills:7(4%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Gold Medal
(Keeping this stuff separate from the All About The Views thread now, which as I see as more of a feedback/opinion thing - so if people have ideas for things they'd like to see in particular, put them there rather than here just to keep things tidy and organised, and the reverse goes for stuff people know they will be putting up themselves)

Hi guys,

I'm very pleased to reveal that the guys over at Hypersloth have agreed to conduct an interview with us about their upcoming PC game, Dream.

If you're not aware of it (shame on you!) it was at the EG Expo this year and looks to be shaping up into a rather fantastic game. If like me, you have a thing in particular for great game soundtracks then some of the musical pieces are utterly wonderful in and of themselves. I can also confirm from personal experience that playing the game with the Rift headset on is a genuinely revolutionary experience and even at the very early stage of porting in support for it, the game worked brilliantly at the expo with the new-fangled VR resurrection (it genuinely had me crying out loud with shock at a couple of points in the Maze section).

All in all, Dream is shaping up to be a fantastic title and I'm proud to be able to feature it here on the site and give the guys over at Hypersloth some much-deserved exposure.

More about the game can be found here: http://dreamthegame.co.uk/

You can also pick it up through Steam Early Access here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/229580/

We're currently looking to conduct the interview on Thursday afternoon; with a little luck, the finished article should be up on Friday in time for your post-work reading. Of course that all depends on schedules and things but barring any last-minute things coming up, it should be with you in time for the weekend.

I originally got talking to the guys back at their stand at the Expo and have had their business card sitting around my desk for a while, so it's great to finally get back in touch and arrange an interview with them for AATG.

In the meantime, do take a look at the game. It's generated a fair bit of interest so far and we hope you'll agree that it's looking good so far.

If you have any questions in particular that you'd like me to pass on to the developers, then leave them here and I'll try to squeeze them in.
#1 at 16:33:21 - 11/11/2013
DMorgan
Flag
Posts:200
Comments:98
Thread Kills:7(4%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Gold Medal
Other upcoming stuff I personally have in the pipeline:

Very shortly after the Hypersloth interview, I should (barring any unexpected delays) have a feature piece ready for the weekend as a "where are they now" retrospective about the boom in attempted gaming "mascots" over the last 20 years, with a mix of "still going strong", "gone and good riddance" and "attempted but failed comeback hopefuls" entries, which some people might find fun as a trip down memory lane for those with long-enough memories (should have some original art too for that as a banner piece, courtesy of someone who will get credit for it). The idea for that one spun out of a couple of things like recent Kickstarter attempts and things; I just thought it would be a bit of fun to write.

Deal stuff is now something I'm looking to do as a regular weekly piece, so you can expect to see that around the start of every week around a Monday evening - if anyone would like to try their hand at doing an original bit for a regular banner then email me at the address on my profile page).

That's it for the confirmed stuff so far that I'm already working on.

If anyone else has stuff they definitely know will be going up at some point, then please feel free to put it here as a general FYI for forum readers, and don't be shy - last thing I want is to create an atmosphere that I'm dominating and putting off other people, or to give an impression like is a "me" thread. I'm just in a phase of being rather productive for this place atm. If/when general activity picks up then we could always shift this into a semi-regular front-page piece I guess.

I also have a couple of iOS reviews I'm *thinking* of doing if I have the time between other stuff, but I won't mention them here yet as I don't want to reserve them prematurely just in case.
#2 at 04:48:58 - 13/11/2013
DMorgan
Flag
Posts:200
Comments:98
Thread Kills:7(4%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Gold Medal
Just as a reminder, I'm carrying out the interview with Hypersloth this afternoon, so if you do want to ask any particular questions, please let me know either here or by sending them to dale@allaboutthegames.co.uk, and I'll try to squeeze them in!
#3 at 11:21:58 - 14/11/2013
NewYork
Flag
Posts:5237
Comments:1481
Thread Kills:105(2%)
AATG Pts:330
Star Rating
Gold Medal
Looking forward to that. Dream looks like a pretty interesting game.
#4 at 12:59:35 - 14/11/2013
DMorgan
Flag
Posts:200
Comments:98
Thread Kills:7(4%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Gold Medal
Right guys, the interview will be starting in about 20 minutes, so if you still haven't emailed me with your questions, now is your last chance!
#5 at 15:42:37 - 14/11/2013
DMorgan
Flag
Posts:200
Comments:98
Thread Kills:7(4%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Gold Medal
And we're done! Crikey, that's 45 minutes of recorded audio to type up!

Had plenty of time to cover everything, managed to get through every question I had for the guys and a few more besides! Going to start typing it this evening, with a view to publish either tomorrow afternoon, but at the latest it should be up on Saturday. Either way, there'll be plenty there for your weekend reading. As said before, I'll also have another feature piece, covering the various platforming mascots thrown forth by the games industry over the years, everything from Mario to Bubsy, and a look at where they are now. So that should be a fun read, particularly in light of the news about a new Bubsy game that surfaced yesterday and in the run-up to the new consoles.
#6 at 16:56:53 - 14/11/2013
DMorgan
Flag
Posts:200
Comments:98
Thread Kills:7(4%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Gold Medal
Right, by the end of the week you can expect to see:

Early Access Looks (going to do more of these)
Project Zomboid

Reviews
Dead Pixel (iOS) - IN FIRST DRAFT
Lego Marvel Super Heroes (Xbox 360) - IN FIRST DRAFT
Dragon Eternity (browser) - IN FIRST DRAFT
Killer Instinct (Xbox One)

Feautres
Jumping on the bandwagon: What happened to all those platformer Mascots? - IN FIRST DRAFT

Next Week (tentative)
Reviews
Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One)
Monsters Ate My Condo (iOS)
X: Rebirth (PC)


Previews
Hearthstone (PC/iOS)
Dream (PC/Multiformat)
Mighty Quest for Epic Loot (if Ubisoft get back to me about the NDA)

Coming Soon

Features
Classic Platforms: The Acorn Archimedes
Classic Platforms: The Phillips CD-i
Retrospective: Final Fantasy Tactics
Retrospective: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Retrospective: Zeus - Master of Olympus
Retrospective: Bully
Retrospective: Warhammer 40K - Dawn of War
Retrospective: Freedom Force vs The Third Reich
Bulding Better Worlds: Ico's Castle
The Not-So-Open-World
MMO Catch-up: The Secret World
MMO Catch-up: Rift
MMO Catch-up: Star Wars - The Old Republic
Backstabbed: Why Diplomacy could ruin your friendships
Retrospective: Viva Pinata
Stocking fillers: Xbox One
Stocking fillers: Playstation 4
Stocking fillers: PS Vita
Stocking fillers: WiiU
The Year in Review: 2013
AATG's most-anticipated of 2014

With a little luck I may also have some interviews on the horizon with developers.

I was also thinking of starting a thread, or doing an article, sort of a guide to getting into writing professionally, as I keep getting asked for advice and questions and things now already, which is a bit weird to be honest as it's still a bit of a new thing for me, but I had so much help and advice from other professional editors and journalists that it might be something worth doing)

On my AATG "To-do" list:
A shared resource, probably through Dropbox or something, consisting of Press Assets (ie screenshots), developer/publisher websites, PR companies etc) - I'd probably keep this protected and give out the password to content contributors as requested)
#7 at 18:10:56 - 19/11/2013
nekotcha
Flag
Posts:1709
Comments:175
Thread Kills:38(2%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Silver Medal
I'd definitely be interested to read an article or thread with some advice about writing site content. I'd like to write more content for AATG myself, and I also have my own company blog that I want to create unique content for, but it takes me absolutely fecking *hours* to write even a short article, which given that I'm also running my own company really isn't practical.

My problem isn't so much that I can't write anything, it's that I tend to write a few paragraphs, then decide they're crap, delete them, and have to start all over again. I don't think I struggle to write to a decent quality, but I do struggle to maintain that quality when I'm writing things, meaning that I delete an awful lot before reaching something I'm happy with.
#8 at 19:04:04 - 19/11/2013
DMorgan
Flag
Posts:200
Comments:98
Thread Kills:7(4%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Gold Medal
@nekotcha
I was thinking of something simple as a title for the thread or whatever I do.

Something like "My Adventures in the games press and Frequently Asked Questions" or something. What do you think?

Regarding writing something: I write down article ideas as I get them, with a couple of notes

After a few days I go back over my notes and if I still like them I shift them from a paper writing pad marked "ideas" to a pad marked "to do list".

Then when I get around to deciding to write it, I start with the research (in another pad I have marked "notes" - wikipedia can be very useful for this, and I have a few books and things about classic games and whatnot, which act as a good reference library as well as a source of ideas. And of course, that extensive library of games I had comes in VERY useful now indeed (ha! And people said I was wasting my money by collecting games!). Press releases can be a useful source of info, and where I can I also try to drop a line with the developer/publisher to see what information, assets, etc they can pass over to me.

Then I look at forums and discussions about the game to see what people have thought in the past about it, what areas matter most to people who play that game, etc etc (all very useful).

THEN, when playing a game, I ensure I take notes all the way through playing (chris will tell you this... I sent him a wall of text about my thoughts when he said he was being chased by the PR bods over Dragon Eternity). As time goes on, I review my notes and start fleshing them out into paragraphs. I normally try to start with the opening paragraph as you need a good intro. Then I start using my notes and drafted paragraphs to create a skeleton structure.

From there I flesh them out into a first draft of a finished article. In the second draft, I rearrange bits to get a good flow, ensure that I don't repeat myself, check for grammar and spelling (always, always my downfall even with spellcheck - leading to hasty edits after the article goes live!), flesh out or include bits I feel that I've missed, etc.

Then I check for word count and try to cut down areas where I think I can - rewriting sentences, eliminating redundant information etc etc.

Then - and ONLY then - I put the article up on the front page.

If I ignore the time actually spent playing the games, my Arkham Origins review took me around 8 or 9 hours (not all at once, obviously - broken up over a the days when I was playing it, then after). About the same for the Assassin's Creed IV review.

When it comes to Word Counts, I think around about 1500-2500 words is a healthy length for major game reviews, features, opinion pieces, retrospectives, etc. That gives plenty of room to develop the argument, cover gameplay details as well include a bit of flavour in the opening paragraphs etc.

For smaller games (iOS, for example), then depending on how good the game is then between 500-1000 is normally enough.

The longest I've spent writing something so far was undoubtedly the Hypersloth interview, purely because of the amount of time it took to write the transcript from the audio recording. That alone took me nearly an entire day and a bit - rewinding to make sure I took something down right, etc. Then research to fill in the blanks when it came to the references to certain people and things, then some editing and general tidy-up, going back to Sam to double check things, before I sent the final proposed piece over to him for his approval.

When he approved it, I split it up into three parts due to the fact it was about 6,000 words, so I tried to find a decent break in the text, and then did a little rearranging (the order of the questions in the articles isn't the order in which they were asked). Sam had already approved the basic transcript, so this didn't need to be approved again. Then I just added a short intro and outro, used some of the hi-res art assets he sent over for the headers and thumbnail, added the official trailer and the original assets as screenshots, and that was it! All in all? I did the Interview on Thursday afternoon, and the first article went up on Saturday, and I actually worked through the night on Thursday and Friday (chronic insomnia has its upsides for this stuff!). All in all, from actual interview to final publication, then I probably spent about 20-30 hours in total on that piece.

Hmm. Sorry about the wall o text. I'll probably use an amended version of that in the thread when I sort it out. So yeah, looks like that's another thing on my to-do list. At least then when people ask me questions I can just link them to it, with a list of contents in the first post...

It actually might be something eventually worth asking Rich to sticky when It's up and running (along with this thread, to be honest).
#9 at 19:25:16 - 19/11/2013
nekotcha
Flag
Posts:1709
Comments:175
Thread Kills:38(2%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Silver Medal
Some good advice, cheers - I think the most interesting thing is to hear about how much research you do. I've read before that research is the basis of any good writing (both fiction and non-fiction) but to be honest I think I'm a bit lazy about researching potential article/blog post ideas. I'll definitely make more of an effort to research things and see if that helps make the writing process any easier.
#10 at 11:18:54 - 20/11/2013
DMorgan
Flag
Posts:200
Comments:98
Thread Kills:7(4%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Gold Medal
@nekotcha
The thing is that particularly when it comes to reviews, interviews and features, the piece lives or dies on its factual accuracy.

In a review, if you get something wrong (depending on how major it is) then you can seriously hurt the credibility of the piece (and, by extension, yourself) - people will either think you haven't played it properly, that you rushed it, etc etc. It could also obviously p*ss off developers, PR and publishers and the last thing you would want to risk is to get blacklisted by those guys.

Obviously mistakes happen and always will, but I always make the effort to do research and things right from the beginning of the piece. I also read and re-read what I'm writing continually from start to finish until I'm happy I've spotted as much as I can that might need a little attention. Even if you have an editor to hand or someone to read your work before publication, being your own editor is always the best approach.

I make a point of sticking my name against the article, but this is obviously a personal preference. I know at least one writer who uses a pen name for his professional work and there are plenty of good reasons that this is an option. Also, you may want to "brand" yourself and write under some other label (or write as a collective, if you're an organisation) - again, plenty of places and writers do this too (EDGE, for example).

Anyway, I'll keep writing and talking about this stuff over in the "Aventures in the Games Press" thread for now, until it sort of develops into its own thing.
#11 at 11:38:11 - 20/11/2013
ilmaestro
Flag
Posts:6577
Comments:421
Thread Kills:290(4%)
AATG Pts:240
Star Rating
Silver Medal
Are you still thinking of taking a look at FFXIV, DM?
#12 at 16:32:09 - 20/11/2013
DMorgan
Flag
Posts:200
Comments:98
Thread Kills:7(4%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Gold Medal
I was, but given my workload for AATG and in general, I may have to pass on it, and will gladly do so if someone else would to like to do something about it.
#13 at 16:37:43 - 20/11/2013
ilmaestro
Flag
Posts:6577
Comments:421
Thread Kills:290(4%)
AATG Pts:240
Star Rating
Silver Medal
I might actually write something up then, been too long since I wrote anything for the site.
#14 at 16:56:19 - 20/11/2013
Flying_Pig
Flag
Posts:1155
Comments:277
Thread Kills:25(2%)
AATG Pts:150
Star Rating
Silver Medal
Can I call dibs on a Tearaway review?
#15 at 21:56:03 - 20/11/2013
DMorgan
Flag
Posts:200
Comments:98
Thread Kills:7(4%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Gold Medal
I've got no problems with that at all, I've already got plenty to keep me going at the moment!
#16 at 22:35:41 - 20/11/2013
DMorgan
Flag
Posts:200
Comments:98
Thread Kills:7(4%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Gold Medal
Hey mateys:

You'll see that my review of Mega Dead Pixel is up.

In place of the Killer Instinct review - which I haven't been able to do - I wrote up my verdict on the Xbox One.

I'm currently still working through my pieces on Lego Marvel and Dead Rising 3 (i.e, I'm still playing them alongside taking notes and writing my first draft).

Pig's review of Tearaway is also now live, as you've probably seen. I edited the piece for him and published it once he'd approved the changes I made; and while I can only speak for my own experience, I found that a very pleasant, enjoyable and pain-free exercise. I like to think he agrees.

I'm perfectly happy to cast my beady eye over anything else that hits my inbox, if people decide to chuck it my way.

The Dragon Eternity review is still something that's a work-in-progress. Sorry about the delay - I've just had a lot on.

The X: Rebirth review is something that I've placed on the back-burner for now, until the devs have had the chance to patch it up a bit. I want to give them a fair crack of the whip as I know they're currently working around the clock to sort out the technical problems with it. That's not to say that I'm going to massage any final score though - I won't be bought, and no request in that area has been made. It was purely a personal decision.

The Hearthstone preview may end up being delayed while I wait for more information from my contact with Blizzard's PR department.

I think that's all I have to share right now about my progress on the list I posted earlier. If anyone wants to take things off my hands - you're more than welcome ;) I have habit of making a rod for my own back when it comes to my workload!
#17 at 05:43:22 - 25/11/2013

home
1