Thursday, July 8, 2010
The Post About the Home Stretch
Who else is watching The World Cup? I know I am. This year was incredibly exciting for some reason. I followed the US team adamantly and was heartbroken when they lost to Ghana in the Top 16. After the US went out, my interest waned considerably, but I managed to keep up with all the scores. I'll definitely watch the finals!
Still, it's weird, but the World Cup is one of those tournaments that actually gets LESS exciting as it goes along, mostly due to the fact that the team you support has probably already lost. If the US was still in it, I'd be cheering my head off every game, wearing red, white, and blue to work, stalking Fifa.com, the works.
In writing games, you should hope for the exact opposite effect - the end should be the most exciting, nail-biting part! It's important that you don't make the most exciting event in your game happen at the beginning. Some people think starting off with a bang is the right way to go - I completely agree. But no one wants to watch the fall-out of a bomb going off when the explosion was so much cooler.
I'm currently in the Home Stretch of Project "O". Major climaxes are coming, the endings are being written - this is where it counts. The last thing I want my players to think is "God, this is dull - just end it already!". There's nothing more disappointing than...
"Epic warriors with dragons have to fight alien ghosts that have invaded the entire Northeastern United States! Their only hope lies in one magical boy who can stop time and conjure up mythical beasts from a far off-dimension! After much exposition and a fantastic inciting incident followed by hair-raising build-up, our heroes find themselves stuck in line at Starbucks."
There's NOTHING more disappointing than a crappy climax. Especially when it's prefaced by some fascinating exposition. A crappy climax isn't a climax at all. That's the point of the word: it's supposed to be climatic.
My personal strategy? I make my climaxes super dramatic, heart-wrenching, action-packed - maybe overly so. I can always go back and tone it down if I need to. Sure, I may go back at roll my eyes at my cheesiness, but at least I won't get stuck in line at Starbucks. :/
(Awesome Shakira video is official World Cup Music Video! ENJOY!)