Auri, Art, and Something New….

As I type this, Worldbuilders has raised $287,000 dollars. We shot past the $250K stretch goal like it was nobody’s business, and that means tonight, (Wednesday the 26th) Nate Taylor and I will be going a Google Hangout taking about the art in The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

auri_front-closeUp 2

The hangout will be starting at 7:30 central time, and will last for about an hour. Nate and I will answer questions, talk about how we worked together to come up with the pictures, and show off some of the images that never made it into the book.

Amanda has set up two of these hangouts for the fundraiser, which means she’s pretty much a professional hang-outer. It also means we already have a link you can follow right now so when the hangout starts, you’ll already be there.

http://youtu.be/_FOex40bR1Q

Yeah. That’s right. I just put a link in the text of the link that it’s a link to. That’s how I roll. Extra meta.

What I recommend you do is open a window on your computer right now and turn the volume on your computer up. Then when we start the hangout tonight you’ll freak the hell out because you’ll hear my voice coming out of nowhere and assume that I’m a maniac who has broken into your house.

You can show up and ask your questions in the hangout, or on twitter using the #GeeksDoingGood hashtag. Or, if you’re not into all the space age tech, you can just leave a question down in the comments at the bottom of the blog. That’s fine too.

* * *

As a bit of a teaser for our upcoming Black Friday sale, we’re doing something we’ve never done before in the Tinker’s Packs. Something we’ve never been *able* to do in the Tinker’s Packs because our previous website couldn’t handle it.

We’re selling computer games. Or rather, the steam codes for computer games.

This is kind of exciting for me because I know both of these companies, and I know they make quality games. And if there’s one thing better than sharing things I love with other people, it’s sharing things I love while making the world a better place.

Let’s do a picture here. I’ve been having the kind of day where I need to look at a happy kid to remind myself why we’re doing this.

heifer

There. That’s what this is all about.

I don’t want to get all heavy here in the middle of my charity post. But I’ll be honest with y’all. These last couple weeks have been hard for me. Sometimes it just feels like everything in the world is spiraling into shit. Politicians are awful. Corporations are worse. Our justice system seems to be irrevocably fucked. Cash register receipts are giving us cancer and the oceans are poisoned with our plastics.

There’s just so much of it, all the time, and I can’t fix it. All this shit is so wrong and it’s just so fucking *big* and I can’t do anything about it.

There is a word: “Weltschmerz.” I’ve heard it defined as “the despair we feel when the world that is, is not the world we wish it would be.”

I feel this way all the time. I am so endlessly angry and disappointed in the world. If people really understood how constantly, incessantly furious I am, nobody would ever dare come within arm’s reach of me.

That’s why I run Worldbuilders. Because the world isn’t what I want it to be. And I can’t fix it all, but if I don’t do something I’ll either start drinking or simply rage until there’s nothing left of me but ashes.

I can’t fix it all. But I can do this.

Lugazi Dioces Heifer Project (21-0616-01)

There. That’s what I’m about. That little guy is so fucking excited because he has clean water to drink.  That I can do.

So thanks for coming along with me, folks. I do this to make the world a better place, but the fact that so many of you come with me on the ride, the fact that you are all so generous with your help. It makes me feel like there’s hope for humanity. And hope is in such short supply these days.

Okay. Sorry about that. Like I said, it’s been a rough couple of days.

Enough digression. Quick link to the donation page, then on to games.

*     *     *

First let me talk about Hidden Path Entertainment.

Two years ago, I was on a panel out at PAX, titled something like “Narrative in Gaming.” I had a ton of fun because everyone else on the panel wrote games, and I was just a novel-type author. Since I wasn’t an expert, I just got to speak as a storyteller and someone who has been playing games for about 30 years.

Which mean I mostly made jokes and shot my mouth off a lot. I probably sounded like a cross between a mad prophet and that angry old man who shouts at kid to get off his yard. “Story is King! Today’s games don’t give people the chance to fail! Narrative engagement is the Holy Grail! I spent two years trying to solve Zork III! Uphill! In three feet of snow!”

At one point, a member of the audience asked, “Is narrative important for a good game?” And I jumped in quickly with a “Absolutely not!”

Everyone was pretty surprised, because I was the story guy on the panel.

“Tower defense games.” I said. “Vastly entertaining. No narrative.”

“What about Defense Grid?” someone asked. “That’s great tower defense game and it has a great narrative too.”

“What?” I said. “Seriously?”

That was the one game that I bothered tracking down at the convention, and when I did, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were fans of my work. I admitted that I have a strange love for tower defense, and one of them gave me an access code for their game.

Simply said, I loved it.

defensegridheader

Fast forward to now. Hidden Path has given us a bunch of codes for this, their first Defense Grid game. I have to say. I’m a bit of a connoisseur of this type of game. To say that this is the best tower defense I’ve ever played doesn’t even do it justice. It’s like saying Portal is my favorite Jumping game. Doesn’t come close to doing it justice.

Did I just compare this game to Portal? Yes I did. Let me say it more plainly. This is the Portal of Tower Defense games.

And I say that with layered meaning. The game bundle we have available in our store includes a bunch of DLC. And in addition to the extra levels and maps. There’s a special little expansion of the game called the You Monster DLC.

That expansion features GlaDOS from Portal. She effectively takes over your training simulation and starts to screw with you. Changing the rules of the game on ever level. Not playing fair in any way.

I have to say, I thought I was pretty good at the game before that DLC pack. But the truth is, I was cookie dough, after I worked my way through the levels and beat GlaDOS. I was carved out of wood.

Amanda says: “Really? Okay, Pat. You just made your first sale.”

You can head over to the Tinker’s Packs and buy it right now.

Defense Grid 2

After I played the game, I called Hidden Path and gushed about how much I liked it. I must have made an impression, because later on, when they were writing the sequel, they asked me if I’d like to come in and do some work on the game with them.

I really wanted to, but I said no. I was working on novel stuff, and besides, I was already committed to one video game project already. (Torment.)

So I introduce them to Mary Robinette Kowal, because not only is she an amazing writer in her own right, award-winning and more experienced with Sci-Fi than I am. But if they can’t get me, they should get someone who’s better at pretending to be me than I am.

Hidden Path has given us codes for the Steam Special Edition of this game. It comes with a bunch of stuff, including the digital book The Art of Defense Grid 2, the e-book The Making of Defense Grid 2: The Complete Story Behind the Game by Russ Pitts, and “A Matter of Endurance,” a audioplay written by Mary as well, performed by the same actors who voiced the game, including one of my favorite voice actors of all time: Alan Tudyk.

You can head over here to buy your code and all proceeds will go go Worldbuilders.

Windborne_Download

The folks over at Hidden Path also sent us download codes for the Early Release of their new game, Windborne. It’s a social sandbox game with quests, exploration, building, and lots of multiplayer options.

I haven’t played it yet, because I just had a book come out, and I’ve been busy running Worldbuilders. But at this point, I’m willing to trust them to produce a good game.

It’s already extremely well received on Steam, and you can be a part of this early access test by buying your copy over here.

Wasteland2_Download

Remember when I mentioned that I was already working on some video game stuff? Well that’s how I know this company. InXile Entertainment is the company that is making Torment, and I’ve been working with them on that for more than a year now, building my companion character and helping write that game.

I’ve been nothing but impressed with them so far. They have a strong focus on storytelling and character, and I’ve already seen them viciously revise the torment storyline once when it wasn’t doing what they wanted. As a hard-core reviser myself, I respect that dedication to the story.

Wasteland 2 is a game that follows in the tradition of the Fallout games. And not just thematically. The first Fallout games were actually put together by people who wanted to write a sequel to the original Wasteland. So Wasteland is actually where Fallout originally drew a chunk of its inspiration.

This game has been a long time coming, and it’s been getting good reviews. I haven’t had a chance to delve into it yet (because writing) But I’ve seen people having fun with it online:


So you can see that these guys have a strong sense of fun as well.

If you want to explore the apocalypse and find your own Wesley doll, you can buy a download code over here.

*     *     *

Tomorrow’s thanksgiving, so we’ve got something a special planned. We’ll be sharing some stories you might be interested in….

And after that we’re having our Black Friday sale in the store.

So stay tuned…

pat

This entry was posted in baby ducks, gaming, Stories about stories., Worldbuilders 2014By Pat22 Responses

22 Comments

  1. imnosuperhero
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    So did you intend to write a story from an autistic perspective ala “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime”?

    • mmlauser
      Posted November 26, 2014 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

      As an autistic person who felt a lot of Auri’s thoughts and emotions were quite familiar, I second this question.

    • akemi
      Posted November 27, 2014 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

      While I too noticed the autism-luke thought processes and behaviors of Auri, I put it in a more magical sense, where something happened to her, and the best way to show that was through these mannerisms and behavior (the OCD aspect as well), but that probably the intention wasn’t to make it as “simple” to be able to name it as one thing or another. That’s just how I took it, as a person who works in Special Ed.

      And Pat was quite offended at a talk once when a person asked if he meant to make the Adem autistic – when they clearly were not in the first place, just that they may present that way to those who don’t know their way of communicating.

  2. Rahl
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 5:49 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat & WB team!

    Just a quick question, will the codes work worldwide (specifically in Europe) or are they US only?
    Would love to pick up a copy of wasteland but don’t want to commit until i know.

    Thanks 8)

    • Amanda
      Posted November 26, 2014 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

      We’re double checking – we were pretty sure they’ll work worldwide, but we’re asking the donors to verify. Thanks!

      • Amanda
        Posted November 26, 2014 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

        Officially verified – they DO work overseas. Buy to your heart’s content :D

  3. michael.h.tritter
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    Sometimes it just feels like everything in the world is spiraling into shit. Politicians are awful. Corporations are worse. Our justice system seems to be irrevocably fucked. Cash register receipts are giving us cancer and the oceans are poisoned with our plastics.

    There’s just so much of it, all the time, and I can’t fix it. All this shit is so wrong and it’s just so fucking *big* and I can’t do anything about it.

    There is a word: “Weltschmerz.” I’ve heard it defined as “the despair we feel when the world that is, is not the world we wish it would be.”

    I feel this way all the time. I am so endlessly angry and disappointed in the world. If people really understood how constantly, incessantly furious I am, nobody would ever dare come within arm’s reach of me.

    Oh, so I’m not alone. That helps some.

    • redphx
      Posted November 26, 2014 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

      That’s exactly what I thought too… seems like most days anymore I just want to give up and go live in a cave, far away from everyone. :-(

      Humanity seems to want to break my heart every damn day, so I have much respect to Pat and other inspiring individual human beings that give me some glimmer of hope that not all human beings are hopeless assholes.

  4. Marquita
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    Silly question, but would there be a way to view the hangout after its happened if you’re not available at the time? Just wondering if someone would be capturing it somehow.

    • Amanda
      Posted November 26, 2014 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

      No worries, it gets recorded and automatically posted to YouTube. That same link will take you to the finished video after the fact :)

  5. Marquita
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Ps, I’ve never done a hangout because I hated Google plus so I’m not familiar with how it works. If its automatically recorded and this is like a basic feature, don’t judge me lol.

    • Posted November 26, 2014 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

      No worries. We don’t judge based on tech issues. I was one of the last people on earth to get a smart phone, after all…

  6. JJLeggo
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    “I feel this way all the time. I am so endlessly angry and disappointed in the world. If people really understood how constantly, incessantly furious I am, nobody would ever dare come within arm’s reach of me. That’s why I run Worldbuilders.”
    Pat, that is why you are an incredible human being. I follow your blog because I admire you as a person, not just because you wrote some amazing books. Despite what you might think, you are anything but ‘just a novel-type writer.’
    As for your Weltsmertz, you could always move to Canada :) We still have crappy corporations, politicians, and justice system, but y’know, less so…
    Or you could just give someone a hug – that usually helps :)

  7. Hans
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    Hey Pat, my wife and I just finished “The Slow Regard of Silent Things.” Thanks for a beautiful, unique and mysterious book!

    My wife is a professional choreographer, and she saw Auri’s interaction with the Underthing as a mirror (she called it an ‘allegory’) for her own creative process when making a dance. Auri follows strict procedures (doing things the ‘right way’) to develop her work; looks for the essence and rightness in each element that guides her work forward; revisits inferior solutions until they are right; becomes consumed in the work and struggles with the (existential) despair of creator’s block; and has rich epiphanies through struggle that alter the context and meaning of the entire work. Auri’s perspective offers a unique and distilled account of the experience of artistic development from the inside. I’m struggling to think of another book that treats this experience so wholly, let alone honors it.

    Were you aware of this connection? Is your artistic experience as a writer similar to Auri’s as a… shall we say, “world builder”?

  8. hemmer
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing great games with us, big fan of all of those as well. Haven’t played DG2 yet, but after hearing that Kowal and Tudyk are involved, I’m gonna get on that on the double!

    To people who are unsure about Tower Defense games, I can heartily recommend Defender’s Quest, which is pausable, relatively easy and has an interesting story with hilarious characters. Also dirt cheap every few months or so. (I myself have a spare Desura key for it, if anyone’s interested.)

  9. Posted November 26, 2014 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    Regarding your weltschmerz, you’re in good company. Neil Gaiman wrote an article about how Terry Pratchett uses his anger over injustices to fuel his writing.

  10. Nayef
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

    This reminds me of you guys at Worldbuilders http://i.imgur.com/NxStjBx.jpg

    • Nayef
      Posted November 26, 2014 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

      Guys… Y’all? Folks? there is a gap in the language here…

  11. AR NO
    Posted November 28, 2014 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    Hello Mr. Rothfuss,
    just to ease your mind about a little part of the stuff you’re worrying about:

    There are people better suited to the task than a fantasy writer working on cleaning up oceans from plastic parts, and even with considerable progress:
    http://www.theoceancleanup.com/

    all the best, Arno
    PS. your books are making my life a happier place :-)

  12. Holmelund
    Posted November 30, 2014 at 4:07 AM | Permalink

    Is that Auri on one of the Mortal Guest cards of the Faen Deck?

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