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Words of Wisdom, from Author J Robert King

Posted by Jarrod Penfold on Saturday, July 14, 2012,
Famed author of Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Magic: the Gathering, Planescape, Guild Wars 2 novels, just to mention a few, J. Robert King (@jrobertking) was kind enough to offer me some advice on the preparation of novel writing.

Hey, Jarrod:

For many novels, I've created a detailed outline that breaks the novel into chapters with a paragraph or two per chapter to explain what will be happening.

This approach has a number of benefits:
1. I can explore the whole story arc in a condensed form.
2. The ext...
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Melancholy - Short Fiction

Posted by Jarrod Penfold on Wednesday, March 28, 2012,
An old, reviled thought rose to the surface.  He was probably the oldest being alive.  Truly alive, that is, disqualifying full-blooded gods.  He'd been around since before the magic left.  Before the magic left...  They were good days, he mused.
He brought the cup to his lips, took a sip, and placed it back on its saucer.

"I was an advisor to rulers and emperors long before you", he muttered to the silent king.  "They were good days", he said, echoing his thoughts.

He was born from a union betw...
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Wednesday's Interview - Short Fiction

Posted by Jarrod Penfold on Thursday, March 22, 2012,
"Good afternoon, and welcome to the show.  We are lucky to have with us today the Immortal, Wednesday", the presenter said, turning to face the hulking blue form beside her.
"Wednesday, thanks for coming".
"My pleasure, Keri, and thanks for having me", Wednesday smiled.
"Now, you're an Immortal, that must be exciting.  How did it all start?"
Wednesday's smile broadened.
"Well, I have to admit that a few centuries ago, during the Plight of Man, I was a mortal, just like you".
"No", Keri said, feigni...
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The Spirit (or at least skeleton) of Belief

Posted by Jarrod Penfold on Monday, January 4, 2010,

Well.  Another Christmas down, and I hope Santa came to visit you with lots of nice presents, as he sprinted in his own private, global race to visit everyone in 24 hours.

Speaking of red running things, or rather, things running red, I've been able to catch up with a favourite game of my past - albeit in digital - Blood Bowl.

The game itself is a fairly faithful reproduction of the board game, although some teams didn't make the cut - like my beloved Undead, and the Dark Elves (which have sinc...

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Quantifiable benefits of story

Posted by Jarrod Penfold on Thursday, November 12, 2009,

The good folks over at The Narrative Designers Network posted a link to a great article, where they were trying to observe the quantifiable benefits of story.  In their research they came across the Significant Objects project, where a little piece of story, a 'narrative context', is given to normal objects.

The stories created are purely fictitious, but the value 80 or so objects sold rose by over an incredible 2000%!

How did this happen?  Well, Hugh Macleod over at Gaping Void often talks...

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Pictures from GameJam 09

Posted by Jarrod Penfold on Thursday, October 29, 2009,
As mentioned previously, we've recently had a GameJam 09 event here in Sydney, which was a chance for some of us video game types to get together and discuss what we're working on, some of the popular trends, and also some current problems that this industry is facing.

Not many pictures have emerged at this stage, but there are some here, featuring yours truly giving the presentation featured in my previous bog entry.  I'm the handsome bearded one with the microphone.

It was a great day, and fu...
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GameJam 09 Presentation

Posted by Jarrod Penfold on Wednesday, October 14, 2009,

I recently gave a short speech at Sydney AFTRS GameJam 09, which was great fun, not to mention a good opportunity to meet like-minded people.  I was given the opportunity to talk about one of my favourite topics, story, which I'd like to present here for anyone interested:

"There were some early talks by some of my erstwhile IGDA peers, touching on story and narrative.  Dan Graf looked at the anatomy of game story, Chris Lee delved into non-linearity, and Daniel Dresser talked about story vs g...

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Sorcerer of the Red Dawn

Posted by Jarrod Penfold on Wednesday, September 30, 2009,

An amazing dust storm devoured Sydney last week, turning the harbour city into an orange, post-apocalyptic, nuclear wasteland.  Except that it was full of people, and business as usual.

When I woke, at first there was a deep, blood-red colour, from horizon to horizon.  Very ominous and cool.  My heart quickened, wondering what such a dawn might herald.  I'd been through dust storms in my home town, although I had never awoken to one so pervading and red.

I couldn't help but wonder what our ...

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Posted by Jarrod Penfold on Saturday, August 22, 2009,
Greetings and so forth.

Do you often buy a game without looking at the blurb on the box?  Or a book without reading the outline on the cover?  Or an unseen DVD without paying heed to the story on the case?

Well, maybe you've taken the gamble on the occasional DVD - sometimes a great list of cast or an amazingly grabbing picture may make you think it's worth the punt.  And to be honest, they do say that a picture is worth a thousand words.

But words themselves are great, powerful, artistic magick...
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