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Posts tagged ‘gaming’

WORDSMITHS: 5 WAYS TO SHARPEN YOUR EDIT

January 7, 2014

brookeburgess

The Edit

I’m about to edit a book. Seems like a straightforward mission statement, right? But for me, the prose editing process generates a special, singular kind of fear. I’ll get to that in a second.

When you’re launching an initial assault on the blank page, there’s a leap-into-the-void, roll-the-goddamn-dice, what’s-the-worst-that-can-happen? kinda quality to the whole thing. That’s why I actually enjoyed the NaNoWriMo exercise – you show up, put your head down, and commit to your daily word count. That’s it. So, if your outline was strong enough, and your characters were clearly defined, and you respected your narrative roadmap (no matter how many shortcuts or off-road excursions you indulged in along the way), you’re gonna end up with something. And, unless you’re a complete tool, said thing will resemble an actual ‘story’, with words and paragraphs and dialogue and chapters and a beginning, middle, and end. Groovy.

But then comes the hard part. You see, in keeping with my oft-stated transmedia philosophy, Storytelling (on singular or multiple platforms) is akin to the mining, cutting, and polishing of a precious gem. Writing in prose has only reaffirmed that for me. The story outline is where one surveys the land and takes soil samples. The first draft is digging and sifting until you find the raw stone. Which makes the hardest part – the detailed cutting and polishing phases, which give the stone its unique beauty and shine — the edit.

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‘RISEN’ : A Transmedia Strategy Overview

November 21, 2012

brookeburgess

RisenFat

Apologies for the stretch of incommunicado, folks – I blame it on a frenzied mix of travel, research, and project launches – but I wanted to keep you posted on what’s baking in the transmedia oven.

You might’ve noticed a feature I have in development in the PROJECTS section called Risen.  Well, it’s still very much alive;  there’s a third draft of the screenplay nearing completion, a graphic novel ‘package’ with artist attached, and cross-platform strategizing fully in progress.   And now, you can peer behind the proverbial curtain and see some of the lever and pulley action that goes into prepping an original IP for the transmedia stage.

IP LOGLINE

At a remote mountain sanctuary, a disabled orphan receives a revolutionary implant to restore his health.  But when the young man finds himself able to manipulate the digital world with his mind?  Then it’s a race for answers – and for civilization itself – against rogue military, an obsessed scientist, and the terrifying Consciousness awakening within him.

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‘Untitled’ Game High Concept

June 29, 2012

brookeburgess

(Here’s a narrative overview I recently created for a game dev client – can’t announce the developer or project specifics yet, but I’m definitely happy with the relationship and the results!)

SYNOPSIS

You and a host of powerful beings were charged with creating Life on a pristine world.  But something went wrong.  Through negligence and arrogance, your creations quickly evolved into a terrifying demon horde, threatening to scour the fragile Eden.   Outraged, your Master decides to wipe the slate clean, and imprison you (his Architects) and the abominations deep underground.  Now, you must harness your divine energy and scattered technologies to destroy your tainted creations, awaken your fallen Brethren, and escape the prison…or remain trapped in darkness forever!

You were the First. 

A being of pure Will, infused with unfathomable power, and charged with a sacred Mission.  But you were the first of many.  A legion of beings would soon join you in this new realm.  Together, you would craft incredible technologies, and harness near-limitless energies to engineer the primordial sparks of Life.  And as lightning and otherworldly fire filled the skies, and the first creatures twitched and stirred beneath swirling dark waters, you could feel the growing pride of the One that had set these events in motion.  And it was Good.

But it would not endure.

As time passed, and the web of Life on this young world grew infinitely more complex, a division began to form within the ranks of your Brethren.  The sheer scope of the plan and the energies at your disposal tainted the weaker amongst you. Some went mad with the weight of responsibility.  Some even whispered of rebellion.  But the greatest flaw was harbored in the hearts of those who fell prey to the lure of Ambition.  Fueled by newfound arrogance, these Architects used their powers to veer the course Life far from the intended design – one of harmony and symbiotic balance – and down a path both twisted and profane.  That was when the monsters rose from the mire.  When onyx-horned and cloven-hoofed things clawed their way from molten cracks in the world’s womb.  When creatures of unspeakable horror howled at the sky with blood-soaked teeth and mindless hate.  And that was when you understood what must happen next, for the grand design had been defiled.

You had failed in your sacred Mission.  The punishment was swift.

With thunder and fury, the One shook the foundations of the world.  The oceans drained into bottomless rifts, and towering mountains crumbled to dust. Through a veil of fire, the earth yawned open, and swallowed beast and Brethren alike in jaws of stone.   And there you would remain…for eons.  Trapped in a forgotten chasm beneath the earth, and shackled by otherworldly machines of your own making.  Abandoned in the dark, with nothing but the shrieking demonic hordes, and the cries of your fallen brothers.  Everything had been taken from you…save for your Essence.

And that is the key to your salvation.

Though disembodied, you are still an Architect.  Through sheer force of will, your prison matrix shall become your liberation, as the technologies transform into the armor and weaponry you’ll use to break free and destroy the abominations.  And as you battle through countless chambers beneath the earth, you are sure to find your fallen Brethren – imprisoned, as you were.  Free them, and you’ll become infused with their essence, as well as the unique tools and gifts that they possess.  Call upon them in a moment of despair, and divine Might shall rain down upon your foes!

You will taste defeat – it is inevitable – but each time you fall, you will retain the knowledge of your prison, your foes, and the arcane powers you have acquired.  Thus armed, you embark again on a desperate quest for freedom and redemption.  You were the First.  Now you are the Last.  This is your only Mission…

And you will not fail again.

What’s YOUR Story?

June 6, 2012

brookeburgess

Let's COLLABORATE

Special thanks to Hulo Films for the shoot/edit, and Tobias Tinker for the tunes!

POPCAP GAMES

WORK
popcap-games-logo-large

TIMELINE:  Spring 2012

PLATFORM:  Desktop / Mobile / Social

GENRE:   TBA

It’s same to assume that I met with the clever crew at PopCap Vancouver to discuss the narrative possibilities of their best-selling casual gaming slate.  Stay tuned to this space for the latest developments…once NDAs allow ;)

GAME OF THRONES (TCS)

April 9, 2012

brookeburgess

eddard-game-of-thrones-preview-sean-bean

As promised, it’s time for our first Transmedia Case Study (TCS).  In this bi-weekly series, I’ll be digging into a recognizable Big Media property – a major film, broadcast TV show, published book series, AAA videogame, popular comic book, indy/cult hit, or even a beloved consumer brand - and evaluating the effectiveness of its transmedia campaign.  To get things rolling, let’s start with an example of transmedia done right.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…GAME OF THRONES.

It’s a property close to my heart.  I read the first book in the early 90′s, and George R.R Martin’s fascinating tale of political intrigue, medieval warfare, and ‘mature fantasy’ captured me in its singular gravity.  Sadly, ‘life’ got in the way (as it so often does), and with no widespread Internets to keep abreast of series developments, A Song of Ice and Fire fell off the narrative radar.  But my time in Westeros would not be forgotten…

Flash-forward nearly 20 years.

I caught wind of the show going into development at HBO in 2007.  My biggest concern – you know, aside from the obvious ‘How the Hell are they going to pull off the sheer scope on TV???’ - was with audience awareness.  Sure, the books were best-sellers – and ‘fantasy’ had gotten a much-needed boost thanks to Tolkien going mainstream – but what about the masses? How were they going to reach the kind of audience numbers that would keep a show like this on the air, justify the hefty per-episode budgets, and make it must-see appointment television?

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ANATOMY OF A MEME

April 8, 2012

brookeburgess

catwatermelon

The following strip was floated on a pal’s Facebook this morning:

The glorious absurdity of it immediately struck me, so I made a playful (yet completely throwaway) comment, as I often do when cat wackiness is involved.

Within a few hours, some of my friends were commenting on the picture – one which I hadn’t officially ‘shared’ yet.  Another friend one-upped the absurdity quotient by saying, “This needs to be a religion…”.  I joked back that it would make the perfect stained glass window in our future church.

A few hours later, an old associate from my game industry days posted this:

Mind = Blown.

And immediately, I smell a meme.

We’ll see where this goes…

The Future of Love..?

March 21, 2012

brookeburgess

4bf92c0e5be60575a1b9f

Gamers Get Girls
Created by: Online University

COMICON: 5 DAYS in 15 MINUTES!!!

July 28, 2011

brookeburgess

Here’s my latest iPhone short-film montage from San Diego Comic Con:  IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN SAN DIEGO…

Featuring the trancey goodness of Broken Saints composer Tobias Tinker!

A SECRET REVEALED…10 YEARS LATER!!!

September 1, 2010

brookeburgess

The only place for real Nintendo news in 1999…

(The following editorial was submitted anonymously to IGN.com in 1999, during the wild and woolly days of internet gaming ‘journalism’.  This was LONG before FOX had bought them.  Hell…when IGN rose out of the primordial cybersoup, it was essentially a hardcore fan site where the Nintendo faithful went for the latest N64 scoops.  Yes – I am dating myself.  For reasons that will become abundantly clear as you read this, I could not let my cubicle masters at EA catch even the slightest whiff of its origins.  This was an era before ‘social media’ was even a tingle in anyone’s nether-regions.  Before ‘insider blogs’ glutted the WWW.  Before we were all merrily jeopardizing our career paths with mobile cam-uploads and slanderous late-night tweets.   And now?  My concerns seem almost quaint.  Enjoy!)

Art in a Corporate World

Interactive entertainment.  Electronic play.  Videogames. These are antiquated terms for what has become a multi-billion dollar medium – a method of transferring ideas and experiences through complex mathematics and manifested pathways of light and sound. We hunger for it. Our applause is registered at outposts of the global retail network, a system that is all-too-aware of our narcotic-like need for the next “masterpiece”; the impending “classic”; the “killer app”.

At the beginning of the century, the motion picture medium was demonized as the bastardization of “art.” About halfway through the 1900’s television was introduced, and a cacophony of criticism rose to pan this harbinger of personal intrusion and cultural sideshow… surely this glowing box leaves the masses no more than a “passive, neutered collective,” unable to distinguish art from a torrent of low-brow distraction.

We now face the close of this century, and of this millennium, with a medium that could transcend all those before it – a tool that could give millions the opportunity to express their uniqueness through action, reaction, and consequence – a strange and wondrous synthetic plane, where scientific approach, artistry, and the magic of storytelling combine to cast a spell born of electricity on those with courage, skill, and imagination – where the Creators learn from those who partake, and use their craftsmanship to improve and refine the worlds they have woven, until finally we (you, I, and the gaming collective) can choose to explore the mystery and splendour of a Virtual Eden…all whims satisfied…no wish too great.

That is the dream.  A romantic thought, indeed.

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