Tag Archive: w


W – Walkthroughs

WA high level of nostalgia means that this year my chosen theme for the 2016 A to Z challenge is Pokemon. Whether you yourself have a similar level of sentimentality or you’ve never really gotten into it, I hope that you enjoy this month of posts as I indulge myself.

Walkthroughs, sometimes called strategy guides, are used to help players get through games, giving them hints as to what to do next, what they can expect to find in certain places, and just basically providing a map to how to play the game. You can find them in print, or online, because every thing can be online these days, and actually, quite often, the print version are produced by the people who produce the game (often marked as ‘Official’ guides).

Does Pokemon have walkthroughs? Of course it does. And actually, I mostly choose the title today, so that I can show you one of my prized possessions – a walkthrough guide to Red, Blue, but mostly, Yellow:

20160427_185509 20160427_185522 20160427_185550 20160427_190114

This is more me showing off a cool thing and finding something for an awkward letter in the process 😛

 

WooperPokemon of the Day

W is for Wooper

Wooper is a duel Water/Ground type Pokemon that has a blue body, short legs, a tail, and frongs coming out from either side of it’s head. Male Woopers have a lot more branches in these gills than females do so it is easy to tell them apart. Wooper is a fairly dull-witted and slow Pokemon, possibly due to it living in cold water for most of its life. It will partially bury itself in mud at the bottom of a pond, lake or river when it sleeps and if it does come out onto land it will only do so on cold days, most in the evening, and searches for food along the banks. Whilst on land it coats its body in a slimy film to keep it moisturised, and this causes a shooting pain if touched with a bare hand.

Mostly I like Wooper because it’s modelled after axolotl, which are these super cool amphibian salamanders, which has those really cool gills on the side of their head. That, and this Pokemon closely resembles me of a morning. Completely derpy (my best friend calls me a derpy turtle, so, you know, derpy axolotl isn’t a millions miles off :P)

wooper_by_silvervanadis

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W – World Building

Toothless Letter WI’ve talked a lot about it in other posts, by mention or otherwise, but here it is. The world in which your story takes place. Also called setting.

Every story has a setting. It can be your home town, a tiny village, a big foreign city, another world, a parallel world. Real or fictional, every story happens somewhere, and world building is all about the where.

If you write fiction set in a real place, great, you’ve had some of the work done for you. But by no means all. You as the writer need to know the places that you are writing about. Go visit, use google maps, buy travel guides, get to know the place more intimately than you need to for the story. Small details really help to build the picture.

And even if you are setting it in a real place, is everything going to be exactly the same? Are all the shops along the high street as they are in reality, or is one of them a trendy piano bar? Does one of them have a secret basement? Is there a building actually home to an ancient ghost fighting family rather than the rather pleasant accountant that actually lives there.

And then we come onto the non-real world. I write fantasy, so I have to build whole worlds from the ground up. We’re talking geography, climate, terrain, cities, towns, styles of buildings, cultures.

So I have a list of things I need to think about.

1. What does the story/plot/conflict need from a location?

Do I need a city or a rural location? Do I need forests or plains? Am I focusing on a small area, such as a single town, or is my character going to travel so I need to build up multiple places? Is there anything special?

For instance, in Eidetic, I needed something that was a challenge but needed a reward. I’m not sure when exactly the idea of labyrinths/mazes came forward, but once I had that idea, I built the world around them.

worldbuildingThen you need to think about the ‘passive’ stuff of location. Climate – does it rain a lot, is it hot, are there three suns so you only get sunset every 67 hours? You do need to think about this, because readers will want to immerse themselves in your settings, and you need to know what the place smells like after it rains to get them there.

2. Think about the people.

Once race? Multiple races? What about nations? And even if you have one nation, there are bound to be minorities, sub-groups and other things. How do they interact? What beliefs do they hold? In any society, get three people in a room and you’re likely to hear four different opinions on the various topics.

And then you have the day to day things. What do people eat? How do they get their food? What do people do to earn money, or do you have a completely different economy that relies on something other than money?

If might seem boring, but you do need to think about the big parts of life, and then how they affect people in the everyday. Economics, religion (I’ll admit I sometimes ignore this one), social issues. What are they and how do they crop up in your story?

3. History

Linking in from the last point, what is the history of the setting? If it’s earth, brilliant, you’ve got most of it. If it’s alternative earth or not earth at all, then you’ve got more work on your to do list.

What are the big things that have happened to your world. Has there been war? Religious turmoil? Political outmaneuvering? Evil overlords ruling for years?

History is actually really important because you’re writing a story, a story in which change is probably about to occur. History sets the stage for that change. Why are things the way they are now, and why is the time ripe for things to change? It’s set in history, and flavoured by all the things I mentioned with people above (religion, society, economics). What are the background reasons that stuff can happen right here, right now.

4. The laws of the world

Does physics actually have a place in your world? Are the laws of physics as we know them now present? Is there magic in your world, and how does that interact with non-magic or other rules of reality.

I talked a lot about magic in another post, but it does also come into world building because the world does need to function as a cohesive whole, and if you have magic that simply comes along and breaks everything because you didn’t think about the consequences then it gets old really quickly.

what-is-world-building

Unless the point of magic is to break everything but there are horrible consequences for the user, that could be fun.

But the point is, there need to be laws and rule, and you need to know them. Even if the laws have nothing to do with magic. Maybe water isn’t affected by gravity on your planet, so rain and waterfalls fall upwards, meaning that there is a constant water crisis, which they make up for with abundant tourism. You can go wild, just remember to be consistent (and if you have an explanation, that helps!)

5. Details!

But above all, try to give things detail. One dimension gets boring, especially if the reader picks up on them. It might take you hours of world building to get the level of detail that you need to write that one scene where the lightning storm rages around the floating city as the social elite maneuver around each other for the election, but the payoff of investment from the reader (and your own satisfaction as writing a damn good setting) is great.

There you have my quick guide to world building. As a fantasy writer I do a lot of building up from the ground of worlds, so I have pages and pages of notes about worlds I have built up, and other’s that I’ve built as I went along. Either way is good for me.

W – Dragon’s World

So close to the end! And I’ve managed to keep up and not drop a single day! That’s a record for me, now where’s some wood to touch….

Today I’m going to be talking about Dragon’s Wrold, which is a tablet/phone/mobile device game all about dragons: breeding news dragons and a little bit of fighting on the side.

dragons.1

You start off with one island (which floats in the sky, very cool) and two dragons with habitats: Fire and Earth. Then you breed the fire and earth dragon together to get a Lava Dragon!

There are eight different elements of dragons, which you unlock as you get more levels

FireEarthNatureWaterAirMagicLightTwilight

 

 

As you might be able to tell, the raw elements, in order, are fire, earth, nature, water, air, magic, light and twilight. When you level up you have the ability to buy the common dragon eggs (common being single element) and from there you can breed your dragons in the breeding cave, the parents elements will make different hybrid elements, and you can even get three and four element dragons.

It might just be because I like dragons, but I have been having a lot of fun with this game with breeding all the possible combinations, and the fighting bits where you choose a team of three dragons and fight them agaisnt other real people’s three dragons teams. There is the classical elements are good/weak agaisnt other elements, but it’s a fairly simple table:

images

The table that shows all of them is a bit too large for this post, so here’s a few of my favourite dragons:

Lake (Water, Nature, Magic) – River (Water, Earth) – Tortoise (Water, Earth) – Lightning (Air, Light)

LakeDragonStore180px-RiverDragonStore180px-TortoiseDragonStore180px-LightningDragonStore

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