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Saeros
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PostSubject: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:46 am

Someone came up with this in the TW forums:

Quote :
My only negative if at all, is that i've come so late into the PoP world that I feel as if I have to take a college course, devoting hours each day just to catch up on all the story and lore.

Seriously, the lore is great, and we need some PoP BOOKS IN BOOKSTORES NOW! If clichéd stories like Eragon made the success they did, just imagine what would happen with a Pendor series?

Speaking of which, we also need good books on The Elder Scrolls (not that floating city crap). By the way: this guy has copied, printed and bound all in game books and lore from Oblivion: http://www.geekosystem.com/oblivion-books-bound-real-life/ (he uploaded the file for everyone, but it was on megaupload...).

As I also work with literature, I confess I'm really, really interested in the phenomenon of high quality literature arising from games (not fanfics) - something, I'd say, that's started with our generation and remains unstudied.
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Isabel Tenorio
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:00 am

I know I would love a more comprehensive wiki for the lore. I don't think it's terribly high on the priorities list though. I wrote up some Astraean prayers and minor religious customs if anyone is interested in seeing one fanon take on it.


The Elder Scrolls problem is that most of the good stuff was written primarily by Tedders and MK (Okay fine, they got credit for it, I'm sure the nameless writing peons deserve much more than they get). Neither of which are with Bethesda anymore. Skyrim was based on a chapter of the Pocket Guide that MK wrote... but they butchered it. It's tough to mesh the new writing with the great stuff of MK and Tedders.
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Sir Celdiur Moriendor
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:07 am

Couldnt agree more. Last year I had a major buzz to work on the wiki and got pretty far with some good quality pieces before I stopped. Its good to be working on such a fantastic project but when nobody else is really helping you, well, you start to think whats the point?

@Ana. Your not the only one. I too have been working steadily on some of the Astraean stuff. Not prayers, but the Holy Book itself. If it gets approved by the development team i'll be more than happy to share what ive got so far.

On the subject of the Elder Scrolls, I have been wanting to write a full length story based upon the Events of Morrowind. However how many people do you reckon would be interested in it?
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Isabel Tenorio
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:10 am

A lot of people at the lore forum would probably like it... but there is a test I must conduct.




CHIM


Your response? Wink
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Saeros
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:15 am

Some things will be published about Pendor, so I think that there's already a movement in that direction. Now I'm thinking that it would be a very smart move from those writers to use these small bits of player-created lore, such as your prayers, and implement them in future stories.

But what I'm really enthusiastic about is the possibility of creating real literature from videogames! The opposite is easy. Of course I'd rather buy a book written by Tedders and MK, but I'd be good also e.g. with a longer version of Barenziah's biography, rewritten by someone else.

EDIT:
@Ana: somehow that sounds oddly familiar.

@Celdiur: you too? well, that's great. I can't write Noldor-lore, but I've knowledge enough to work out some of the Empire's traditions.


Last edited by Saeros on Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:21 am; edited 2 times in total
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Sir Celdiur Moriendor
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:19 am

Saeros wrote:
Some things will be published about Pendor, so I think that there's already a movement in that direction. Now I'm thinking that it would be a very smart move from those writers to use these small bits of player-created lore, such as your prayers, and implement them in future stories.

But what I'm really enthusiastic about is the possibility of creating real literature from videogames! The opposite is easy. Of course I'd rather buy a book written by Tedders and MK, but I'd be good also e.g. with a longer version of Barenziah's biography, rewritten buy someone else.

I always did love those books, or is it the Real Barenziah? Whichever one is the more detailed one.

I use an interesting mod that alters the storyline and places you as the disgraced and banished heir to the throne of Morrowind. Its cool because Tribunal has been given new meaning due to the fact that your also trying to redeem yourself in the eyes of your father King Helseth.

But anyway not only do I really like reading those particular books, but as it stands she is my character's grandmother, so knowing more about the woman herself and the grandfather that he will never meet seems to have more significance.
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:25 am

Morrowind's story is much less about Helseth. The monarchy was just a ploy from the Empire to quite literally have a puppet. The Great Houses held all the power until post-Morrowind.


But don't write a story about Morrowind's plot until you've wasted a few dozen hours reading debates about CHIM. I'll give you a hint Saeros:

Spoiler:
 
It's a clue to the nature of the Elder Scrolls setting, but I've found a lot of people don't like it soo it has been spoilerized.


MK's great writing style is that he either had a master plan for TES lore that is incomprehensible to normal people, or he managed to put so many subtle threads into his early work to connect back to later that is beyond a master writer. The depth of it all is too much for me to accept that they're all coincidences.
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Saeros
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:31 am

Wow, that mod sounds really neat. I think it even manages to make Morrowind better - quite a difficult task!

I have a dream. In the near future someone will make a Skyrim movie. It will be awesome and will trigger new interest in the Elder Scroll series. Then, a clever marketing consultant at Bethesda will come up with the idea of publishing an Elder Scrolls books series. The bosses, too busy with drinking their tea or whatever, will just nod without paying attention, and promote the consultant to team leader of that writing project. Eight years later, those books will be bestsellers, and will be our generation's Star Wars.

Yep, that'll happen.
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Sir Celdiur Moriendor
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:33 am

Alright Ana ive found what youre talking about but...it still hasnt clicked with me. What the hell is it all about?
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:43 am

Spoiler:
 

That is a terrible simplification and there are lots of ways to poke holes in one part or another, but hopefully it gets the general point across. That 'truth' is what makes the Dwemer so facinating to me and it's why I still get goosebumps when I think of them and that phrase 'They were atheists in a world were gods clearly existed.'

If this interests you, read the lore forum. There are so many details of this hidden throughout the Sermons and everything else MK wrote. Vivec is a wonderful character with so much more than CHIM to explain to the player/reader. For instance the concept of the Tower and the Coin.
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Sir Celdiur Moriendor
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:48 am

Wow...well that gives Nirn a new perspective! And these clues are hidden everywhere throughout the lore you say?

I can see why a lot of the fans of the series wouldnt want to believe that.
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:51 am

They are hidden in everything pre-Oblivion. MK wrote some stuff pre-Skyrim and for KotN because, well, the lore absolutely sucks for Oblivion. It butchered so much... like the Septims of Oblivion's era were not his direct decendents. Plus a Dunmer woman ruled as Empress for a while because her husband was utterly insane.


Try reading the 36 Sermons of Vivec, along with the preSkyrim threads from the lore forum. They'll make no sense at first, but by the time you finish them you'll start to see. Also, read anything and everything that prowler and The Word Merchant post. Wink

TES lore is amazing, and borrows very well from so many real life religions that you'll get a lesson in them in the process.
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Sir Celdiur Moriendor
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:54 am

Ive read the Sermons many times and never picked up on any hidden message. The only thing I saw was a strong connection to RL Christianity.
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:56 am

MK prefers to borrow from Hinduism and Buddhism, but there is a fair amount of Christianity and Manichaeism mixed in.

There are some other things to read too... but I'm curious, did you pick up on what Muatra is? tongue
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:57 am

Hmm... its been a long time since I last played Morrowind. I mainly just like modding it these days! Remind me what it says about Muatra?
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:00 pm

Muatra is Vivec's spear.


NSFW!
Spoiler:
 

Trial of Vivec semi-official RP spoiler:
Spoiler:
 
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Sir Celdiur Moriendor
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:06 pm

Ana Sulran wrote:
Muatra is Vivec's spear.


NSFW!
Spoiler:
 

Trial of Vivec semi-official RP spoiler:
Spoiler:
 

Shocked

You are joking right?

Well then I think weve established what it means then!

Oh btw, did anyone find it funny that his statue outside the Halls of Justice show him killing a Shalk? Of all the things to show a demi-god killing it had to be an oversized dung beetle. Seriously?!
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Saeros
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:08 pm

Wat?

Some Morrowind books resemble Chinese works. Now even your explanation of CHIM seems to me very similar to Zhuangzi's butterfly dream.

But:
1) if Nirn is the dream of a mad god, does it mean that there is another world, where this god is only one of many, and where actual people worship him?
2) what about free will?
3) the mad god may actually be Bethesda Wink

I had a blog article on "Contemporary Ethical Issues in Skyrim" under work some months ago. I might as well do another one, with "CHIM and the problem of free will and moral responsibility".



EDIT: Wait! Wait! In Plaza Bridinsi Dorom there's a statue of Almalexia thrusting her spear into Mehrunes Dagon. Is she raping him? Well, TES is starting to look like a hardcore Greek tragedy.
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:15 pm

Yes, I am serious. Vivec is a very amusing character. He is known in the Redguard homelands as the God-of-Makes-us-Women because he is fond of taking thieves, warriors, poets, and kings as his wives... the Ordinators are his lovers as well. >.>

If we're thinking of the same statue, I think that one was supposed to be him destroying the children he had with Molag Bal. (Another great story featuring Muatra and 'spear biting')


As for CHIM, this is a common real-world concept that was applied in a somewhat unique way, it can be linked to multiple religions/philosophies. I wouldn't try to write about CHIM based on what I said, but read the many threads discussing the concept. Basically, go back to the lucid dream concept:

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:19 pm

/doublepost

As to the idea of another world, it has never been addressed and I suspect it never will. This kind of lore is too deep for what Todd Howard wants to make the series be about. As much as I despise that man, I can't argue with his point... most gamers don't like lore this deep. Personally I love it, and until Skyrim came out I lurked at the lore forum almost daily. I haven't managed to finish Skyrim yet so I've avoided it for fear of spoilers, but I've heard most of them at this point, sadly. At least it is better than Oblivion, even if they did muck up Alduin the World Eater and the concept of Kalpas...

For instance, Umaril the Unfeathered's father was a god of a previous kalpa.

http://www.imperial-library.info/content/fight-one-eating-birth-dagon This is one of the more amusing stories of the Morrowind-era of lore. Don't try to do the math about the stolen pieces of the world, it isn't intended to make sense in that way.


Last edited by Ana Sulran on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added a story to avoid a triple post!)
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:27 pm

The other world is just a logical consequence. If a god dreams, there is a world that exists outside his dreams.

Some people didn't like it, and I agree that the whole story should be more grand and epic than it is, but I confess that I cried when Paarthurnax told those things near the end. It echoes a concept present in so many traditions of my age (the Ultima series; Matrix; Chrono Trigger).

It's not a spoiler.


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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:28 pm

Interesting conversation, unfortunately I only dabbled in Morrowind, and only really became interested in TES with Oblivion. However the other stuff you are discussing is happening more and more often. I did a survey of gamers for my Masters thesis, asking what the most important elements of a game were, Story came a strong second after game-play which I found to be a very interesting result.

On the flip side, publishers and distributors seem completely unaware of this (or else are targetting a different market to the one I captured in the survey, its possible); though to sum up their stance, this came in an email earlier today from a distributor we were trying to get to help sell Vinland;

Quote :
While the story is very captivating, it’s text heavy, and our audience prefers to NOT read whenever possible.

Which honestly is a really sad state of affairs if it is proves to be true... The text she is talking about there are the mission briefings and debriefings which come to a total of about 100 words each.

One of the recent developments in the art of storytelling, a process known as "Mixed Media Storytelling" is something I am trying very hard to follow myself with the Vinland setting. Essentially it is the amalgamation of books, games, TV and film in one world, each designed to build on the others and develop the tale more fully and with more immersion for the reader / player / viewer. I've done some articles about it actually;

How we plan to use it in the company; http://glbkay.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/prestige.html
The process actually happening in Vinland; http://glbkay.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/mixed-media-in-vinland.html
The background to the idea; http://glbkay.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/mixed-media-writing-what-is-it.html
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Isabel Tenorio
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:37 pm

Saeros wrote:
The other world is just a logical consequence. If a god dreams, there is a world that exists outside his dreams.

Some people didn't like it, and I agree that the whole story should be more grand and epic than it is, but I confess that I cried when Paarthurnax told those things near the end. It echoes a concept present in so many traditions of my age (the Ultima series; Matrix; Chrono Trigger).

It's not a spoiler.

It isn't specified to be a Greek-style god, but is referred to as the Godhead, of the Hindu concept. So a physical world as we (think) know it isn't necessary. Imagine this world from a creationist perspective, it is physical and distinct from the creator... now imagine that the creator simply became locked in itself and dreamt. The way the world works is different, though whether the base existence is different is a matter for philosophical debate.

Edit:"God outside of all else but his own free consciousness, hallucinating for eternity and falling into love: I AM AND I ARE ALL WE."

— Jubal-lun-Sul

There is a quote from the Imperial Library, I don't know which source they pulled it from though.

I'm sorry to hear that Mordred. I definitely like a story-driven game, but then I think of my brother who thinks Call of Duty has too much talking.
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:39 pm

Quote :
Which honestly is a really sad state of affairs if it is proves to be true

I can think about Paradox games and the Civilization I-IV series as a quick counterproof. But I can mention Carr, N. "The shallows", as a confirmation of his comment, sadly. It's in great measure a neurological thing and there's not much that we can do against it.


Whatever the case may be, consider this: which players are the most faithful? The ones who will consume your merchandise for longer? Even after 8 years, I still see people interested in The Elder Scrolls and its products. Do you think that someone that doesn't like to read 100 words will be a stable client? No, they won't. If you know how to manage the marketing part of the thing, a text-heavy game can be more profitable in the long run. An impatient player will always require new and different games to quell his needs.
You may sell Morrowind mugs, t-shirts and books, and you can make comics and develop the lore ad infinitum. You can't do that with Farmville.




I will talk to a friend of mine who wants to study the link between game-literature. Perhaps this conversation may actually lead to academic research!
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PostSubject: Re: Literature   Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:57 pm

Oh there are many counters to her arguement which is why I thought it weak, doesn't help us sell Vinland though!

I fully accept that the lore-heads are the most loyal fans a community can have. I strongly suspect the Aftermath players are among the longest serving members of the PoP community. They are certainly the most active members of the community, and that activity drives other to take an interest in what has created such a "buzz". Likewise in Ultima Online, its servers are still live thanks to their strong support of Roleplayers (which is faithfully reciprocated), and it tends to be the roleplayers who are most interested in the lore, being the ones trying to more fully immerse themselves in the world.

Its much the same as wargaming or simulations, there are companies which sell only to that niche, and make a good living from it. The problem is; that is a niche, to chase the big bucks one has to look at more mainstream options that appeal to a wider audience, and unfortinately in the process you often lose the spark which made a product offering so striking to the lore-buffs in the first place.

I am pleased however with the continuing success of RPG's, like Baldur's Gate, Mass Effect, and other "story-based" games, likewise there is a rising market for "Interactive Storytelling", particularly on consoles; look at the likes of Heavy Rain and LA Noire. I think that games as a medium for telling tales is still maturing, but it is getting better all the time. Even games like Call of Duty invest very, very heavily in story; they could sell the game purely as a multiplayer experience, but there is a reason they do not. Everyone likes to kick back and lose themselves in a different world, and this is at the very core of gaming.
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