Several of my readers have asked me to reveal more of the
4thWall Awareon story. I’ve been avoiding blurbs because I’m not as confident at writing copy as I am at storytelling through the game.
Am I worried about spoilers? Not from a plot perspective, but from a quality point of view. The game will tell the story most effectively.
Blurbs on the backs of novels are usually terrible: It’s no wonder genre-fiction is often considered cheesy, because the summaries are. The better blurbs are the ones that quote passages. IE: On one printing of The Hobbit there’s a short paragraph of Bilbo’s encounter with Smaug and it’s brilliant. It reads like short prose should. Tolkien was one of those writers who’s long prose broke down into good short prose (a love of language and poetry probably helped).
So I need our version of a story quote. How do I pull out a quote from an unfinished game, that sums up the nature of the game’s story, as well as the gameplay?
I see three options:
- Tell some story as a tease in a mixed-media format like a comic book, or an audio segment, or machinima, etc.. I’d love to do this, but I’d have to settle on a format that doesn’t require a lot of resources to develop. Re-using game assets would be wise, but may mean waiting until game assets are suitably ready. It also has to be short form, if it’s replacing blurb copy.
- Reveal more of the setting that the story takes place within. So you’d hear about the Norship and the Nor themselves, as a society. It’s a bit of a cheat / misdirection, because it’s not plot or character development, but it would fit the existing content of our website.
- Copywriting. Sum it up in a textual blurb. I’ve avoided this so far because it’s not playing to my strengths. I may need to do it anyway. I shouldn’t fear so much that it won’t be good enough, because like everything else I can keep iterating it until it grows into better material down the road.
I’d like feedback. If anyone can think of an option D, I’m open to suggestions. I’m about to take action though, so I may pursue some combination of A, B, or C soon.
Regarding A: Back in January our team considered commissioning a comic book via John Amor, to tell a bit of Char’s backstory. We ended up sidelining the comic because of budget, time and energy: We felt best to apply those efforts to our game itself.