In response to "Hooking Up in Hyperspace" from The Escapist Forum: Many of the same systems that were found SO2 were also present in FFX. Depending on given responses to questions posed; in what order you spoke with various party members; and even something as seemingly benign as who you healed and in what order; Tidus could grow closer with one of the three female protagonists (Yuna, Lulu, Rikku) altering a few of the cutscenes in minor ways. The overall story however, did not change, nor did the ultimate outcome.
It would be nice to see a little more of this seemless process applied to current gen games (whereby your actions do have consequence on the final outcome).
I've complained in the past about the boring system applied in DA:O, for example. It uses the pretty typical "feed gifts to party members to raise relationship" for the most part. Yes, there is a less significant "Q & A" with party members, but that is still pretty unoriginal and can be easily over-written by the gift feeding.
Even the outcomes in this case, are a little stale. Sure, you get a love scene (whoopee!) and a bonus to a stat. But IMO, the older SO2 integrates relationships better and is far more immersive, as it directly affects the way party members react to you and to each other, in battle.
Great article. I'm happy to finally see some more people realise how deep the system of that game really went. Not only with how many variations there were in the possible story routes, and Private Actions, but to see someone doing an article like this actually cover it to the point of mentioning the favoritism the game plays with the A.I. from the relationships the characters have been built to have with each other.
Star Ocean: Second Story is one of my favorite games I've ever played, and I didn't even get a chance to play it the first time until last November. tri-Ace isn't the best story teller by far, but they did a great job with what they gave the players in this game. Still my favorite in the series, even after playing all the other Star Ocean games.
In response to "Interviews With the Fandom" from The Escapist Forum: "This issue is actually a source of tension within many fanfiction communities. While some are writing merely to entertain their fellow fans and have little reason to care about literary standards, other writers seeking to craft something with more depth view this approach as lazy."
This can be found at its most extreme, actually, over on TheForce.net's fanfiction forum. There, they've got an entire "fan fiction resource" subforum filled with authors who rail against "mary sues" and hold big threads about improving narrative structure, pacing, and characterization.
Also, I think that in general, Star Wars fanfiction tends to be of a higher quality to other forms of fan fiction because of this: when a new fan comes in to try their material, the very first thing they realize is that, no matter what level they're at, they're doing a better job than George Lucas. :p
I particularly don't care for fanfic, but if the view this article offers is accurate, I should never care. It says that bad fanfic isn't really bad per se because some people enjoy it. Yeah, plenty of people enjoy things that are so bad it's good - unless it's done deliberately, it's not a good thing, it's a massive mockery. It says that fanfic writers say people who don't get fanfic are just people for whom it isn't made for; while it's true that people on the internet love going to sites dedicated to things they hate and announcing they hate the thing the site is dedicated to, that doesn't mean the hated thing has any qualities, or that they should just focus on their small group. And the policy of making something more inclusive has not worked very well for webcomics, which anyone can created as long as they have a working hand or foot and are widely considered to be a waste of time except for a few awesome cases.
I have read a few fanfics, and other than the well-publicized car crashes like My Immortal and 'and then John was a zombie', my main problem with them is that the writers don't seem to love the media. Written media, I mean. They are writing an alternate continuity for a cartoon, or a comic book, or a game, and they can only do it in written media, so they try to comform to it but fail it, there's a certain 'I wish I could make a movie/comic/game based on this story, but I can't, so here's some lame plaintext instead'. Maybe it's because I want to be a writer and I'm the kind of guy who loves the Pratchett/Adams style of writing, in which you take the disadvantadges of the medium and turn them into advantadges. For instance, descriptive paragraphs are usually the dullest parts of a novel, but in a Pratchett novel there's sure to be a pun or other wordplay in it to make them some of the most memorable part of the whole thing. It's what jumps at my eyes; I endeavour to be not some Dan Brown or J. K. Rowling, but an artist whose work is so fit to its media that adaption means reimagining, not just taking the thing and using it as a script.
I don't write fanfic because when I was six I created a fantasy world for myself based on TV characters and I guess that went on to steal all my drive to work on media I don't create entirely. Whoops.
I wholeheartedly agree. I don't know when or why "angst" became a negative thing. It seems to me that when the word "angst" is used, its always as a negative connotation of it being whiney or "pussy" or something, when really, its just emotion, that thing we're all SUPPOSED to have.
It became a negative thing around the time people realized their stories sucked because they couldn't add conflict, but weren't good enough to come up with believable conflict. So they thought that they could get around that by making their characters sad. Angst itself isn't a bad thing, but the problem is that in several stories (and I'm not referring uniquely to fanfiction here) once you take the angst out there's nothing to hold the character any more, the angst is there not as part of one's personality but instead of it. It does give a bad name to people who can write dark stories well, but them's the breaks.
It's kind of like any video game with a good story has to have a plot twist in it somewhere, because plot twists make a story look more interesting than it actually is.