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Subject: VGGeek of the Week #172 - Vincenzo Beretta (Reckall) rss

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Ian S.
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My week as THE geek was a lot of fun, but all good things must come to an end...so that more good things can happen for others! It's my pleasure to introduce to you fine folks your next Geek of the Week:
Vincenzo Beretta
Italy
Milan
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Reckall wrote:
I’m a Child of the Eighties, so my video gaming experience followed the classic pattern Atari 2600 —> Intellivision —> Commodore 64 —> Amiga —> PC. In June, 1989 I started working for several specialised Italian magazines, so this year marks my 25th anniversary in the the video gaming press.

During these 25 years my jobs ranged from translator, to contributor, to editor, to (my favourite) reporter from various fairs and press events all around the world. These were not the only dishes I spun in the sunny ’90s: I worked both as translator and content creator for tabletop role-play games like Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer, Cyberpunk 2020 and The Middle Earth Role-Playing game; and in 1992 I was accepted as a scriptwriter by Bonelli Editore - the leading comic book publisher in the Italian market.

Every then and now I also contributed to adapting video games into Italian. The list is rather long but it includes various kinds of contributions to titles like the various Tom Clancy’s franchises, Bioshock, Starcraft II, Diablo III and my favourite: Assassin’s Creed. The latter allowed me, almost by chance, to “cross the line” and become a videogame writer.

My main contribution in the video games field, right now, is with IGN Italy, even if I took a leave of absence. As you can see, my work life took the shape of interlocking jobs, where the experience made in one always turned out to be useful in other fields.

This also led me to appreciate a vast spectrum of videogame genres - actually all of them except, for some reason, sport titles. I’m also not really into online gaming. For various reasons, (including “romantic” ones), “Ultima Online” remains one of my favourite games ever, but it will remain an unique experience: the opportunity to do real role-playing online. I liked “Guild Wars” a lot, but as a fantasy battle simulator, certainly not as an RPG!

In a general sense, I could say that what I do look in a game is a good story coupled with game mechanics which exalt the narrative experience. Or, in alternative, a living sandbox world. This is why I feel there are less than six degrees of separation between the sandbox wars of “Falcon 3.0” and “The Sims” (or “Civilization IV).

And of course I like to play war-games, both against an AI or an opponent. Curiously, for someone who really likes to play historical strategy games, I’m not very good at them - usually ending up with a total defeat. IMHO, this comes from my love for military history, and the desire to try my hand at famous battles/wars. Just don’t expect from me to emulate Nimitz.

A last note: if you check my page on VGG you will not find many games. This because, according to my records, as of this writing I have 2030 games for PC and 663 for Mac - all from 1989 to 2014. Of course only a bunch of them were really memorable/meaningful, and these are the ones I recorded on VGG.


- What is the worst game you ever played (and why)?

In 25 years I played my number of dogs, so I'll cite the worst disappointment in my life: "Mass Effect 3". After a good first chapter and an exceptional second one, the final chapter... I don't know. I'm still totally amazed at what happened - if anything actually happened - at the end.

- What is your favorite video game-related memory?

When the writers Guild of America (West) accepted me as a member for my work on the "Assassin's Creed" Series.

- How long was your longest single VG-playing-session ever (and what game(s))?

"Resident Evil" in 1996. I started playing it late on Friday on a Playstation in my magazine office. I was hooked, so I begged my chief editor to lend me the console for the week-end. He agreed, and I finished the game both with Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine in an almost uninterrupted marathon. On Monday morning I bought the console back.

- What is your current platform of choice?

The PC. I'm currently playing a lot with the PS3 because after the launch of the PS4 you can buy for a bunch of peanuts both the previous console along with a lot of games which never arrived on the PC (like the superlative “The Last of Us”). But the PC will always be my platform of choice.

- What are you playing now, and what will you be playing next?

I’m replaying Resident Evil 2. I want to play all this classic series in order, including the games I missed, but non in an uninterrupted “marathon”. Thus my next game will be either Crusader Kings II (280+ hours on Steam and counting!) or Distant Worlds: Universe.

- Do you use cheat codes?

Never - and I consider "cheating" even looking at the solution for an adventure/survival horror; I'm happy to say that the few times I relented I discovered that the game had a bug (to give an example: I found myself totally blocked in “The Last of Us”. I finally checked a walkthrough - growling and cursing - and I discovered that a stair I had to pick up… was not there! I reloaded, this fixed the problem, and I felt that my reputation had been restored!)

- What is your favorite contribution (of yours or of another user) to VGG (provide a link, if possible)?

The blog devoted to iOS Boardgames, with all the news and the reviews (http://videogamegeek.com/blog/164). I think that the tablets will play a bigger and bigger role in this arena. A simple example: I never played (or even own) “Ticket to Ride” in its physical iteration, but I basically burned out by playing it online on my iPad.

Poll: Reckall's Top 5
There's a knock at the door. It's the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Reckall's been chose to be the last person on Earth, but can only keep one game from his collection. Which will it be?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Planescape: Torment
37.5% 6
Civilization IV
62.5% 10
The Sims
0.0% 0
Ultima Online
0.0% 0
Falcon 3.0
0.0% 0
Voters 16
This poll is now closed.   16 answers
Poll created by TheWulffman
Closes: Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:00 am

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Jonna
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"Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering." ― Steve Maraboli
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नमस्ते (Namaste) – I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.
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Congrats Vincenzo!

Here are my usual questions:

A Sunrise or sunset?
B Ocean or lake?
C What's the farthest place you've ever traveled to?
D If money (or nothing else for that matter) would be no object, where would you travel to?
E If you could go back in time and meet any one person you'd like to, who'd you meet and why?
F Your favourite pizza toppings?
G Any pets?
H What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
I What was the last film you saw? Would you recommend it?
J Which video game are you going to play to celebrate being the VGGotW?

Enjoy your week
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Ben Stephenson
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Congo-rats!
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Jan
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...and videogaming, boardgaming, RPG'ing and helping users as an admin!
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Congrats!

My usual questions:

1. What is the strangest video game you have ever played?
2. What's you're favorite meal?
3. What's you're favorite drink?
4. Do you (or have you ever) played Board or RPG Games?
5. Will you congratulate you're BGG and RPGG counterparts?
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Andrew Hodkinson
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Congrats Vincenzo. Here are some questions!

1. What do you think about the statement that video games are "the pre-eminent art form of the 21st century"?
2. How did you come up with your user name?
3. Where did you get your avatar?
4. What have been your experiences, if any, with Massively Multiplayer Online games?
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Rudy
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Congratulations, Vincenzo!

1. What is the most underrated game in your opinion?
2. What would you like to change about the gaming industry?
3. What do you love most about gaming?
4. Given unlimited resources, what game would you like to see developed?
5. What is it about current gaming that has you excited?
6. What do you like most about where you live?
7. Tell us about some of your other hobbies.

Have a wonderful week!
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Vincenzo Beretta
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Thanks to all! Before starting to answer, I'm sorry if my answers always do seem to be a bit late, but I'm GMT +1, so sometimes I do read the questions when I wake up

Anyway...

JONNA

A. Sunset. It is either relaxing (because it readies you for a good night of sleep) or the lead in to my favourite part of the day: from late evening to sunrise. Even when I have work to do I'm an "owl".

B. Lake for relaxing and meditating. Ocean (well, the Mediterranean...) for fun and nice girls in a bath suit

C. Sidney, in 1991.

D. Tasmania. It is a forgotten corner of the Earth, but they have a unique and fascinating culture (which I'm studying right now) and the landscapes are both eerie and breathtaking.

E. My first girlfriend. We were both in First Grade (about six years old). We went everywhere hand in hand. Being in love when you are a kid has an unique, wonderful quality. Of course I would need to be six years old again too...

F. Anchovy.

G. No.

H. "Children of Men" by P. D. James. It is really good, even if quite different from the movie. Interestingly enough, it was a videogame who convinced me to buy the book: "The Last of Us" for PS3 (unsurprisingly, my next to last book was "The Road", by Cormac McCarthy, which I liked a lot too).

I. "Gravity" by Alfonso Cuaron. Yes, I recommend it, but if you have the opportunity to see it on a big screen in 3D. It gave me a panic attack, and I do not suffer from panic attacks...

J. I just began (again) Resident Evil 2 and I think I will play it. When you have a PS3 connected to an hi-def television, and you play RE2, I think that it is as geeky as you get


JAN

1. Psychonauts. I think it is a wonderful piece of work, but I can also understand why a lot of people didn't "get it. However, I would like to add that there is a lot of experimentation on tablets right now, with games like Year Walk, Device Six or Monument (a lot of these games then appear on Steam and other operating systems). As long as experimentation doesn't become too personal, it can immerse you is some very strange experiences...

2. Pasta with fresh tomatoes, pepper sauce and parmesan.

3. I drink very little, but I do suffer (yes, it is a bad condition) from hyper fast metabolism: basically, my body expels unwanted substances (including medications, that's the problem...) FAST. The result is that when I drink - always at a gathering or a party, I like to drink basically every kind of alcoholic substance and send under the table even professional drinkers. A small satisfaction

4. A lot. Last year I finished a 13 years long (!) campaign at Dungeons & Dragons. Now we are "cooling down" by playing games like "Arkahm Horror" or "War of the Ring" - with the occasional brief stint at Call of Cthulhu (the RPG). The next D&D campaign will be either "CSI: Waterdeep" (yes, I'm serious ) or a sort of "Doctor Who" with Planescape as the playing field.

5. Absolutely! As long as I'm able to find them


ANDREW

1. I don't think that videogames will be the "prominent" art form. What I do think is that they are slowly breaking the pre-concept that they are not art, and will end up to be recognised as such. Of course this will bring any sort of complexity to the field: what about, for example, those examples of experimental interactive art (and they are already accepted as art) which use either in part or in their totality forms of virtual reality? Anyway, in a general sense, today's world does seem to refuse the idea that "personal art" can be joined with "ludus" (whereas we accept that "Hamlet" is a soap-opera with homicides and duels). As long as this idiotic pre-conception will last, any creative work with a strong "ludic" part, it doesn't matter how objectively excellent it is, will have to fight to reach it's deserved position in the field of creative arts.

2. In 1991 I started to write - exclusively for my own fun - a cyberpunk novel titled "Dick Reckall: Investigative Agency Reckall" (my main inspiration actually were the works of Raymond Chandler). I liked the name because of it's assonance with Philip Kendrick Dick - writer of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheeps?" It was only after a while that I discovered how "dick" has also another meaning in English... blush But I kept "Reckall" for my first forays in the real cyberpunk world (i.e. the internet) and here I am

3. She is Milla Jovovich in "The Messenger: the Story of Joan of Arc". The movie was panned by many, but I loved it, and I felt a strange but really strong emotional connection with the character of Joan as portrayed by Milla. It is something I can't explain even after all these years. I must specify that I know very well the story of Joan of Arc, and Milla in the movie has ***nothing to do*** with the real Joan. It is a personal think.

Well, either that, or my avatar is a portrayal of the "righteous crusades" I often launch on internet fora - usually ending up burned on the ban pole... laugh


RUDY

1. Planescape: Torment. It is a masterpiece - maybe *the* masterpiece of gaming, but it was a flop. A bit like it happens with some movies (think of "Blade Runner") people slowly realised that the game was above and beyond anything published before (and after, at least for a long time). Yet, it is still an "invisible cult game": name it to the average gamer and you will be generally met with a blank stare.

It is interesting to note how the only other game that, in my experience, can be compared to "Torment" in sheer quality, "The Last of Us", exploded like a supernova during the late PS3 period (when the big event for the PS4 launch is an adaptation of TLoU for the new platform you understand all you need to understand).

Anyway, when the group behind "Torment" started a Kickstarter campaign to do "a new game in the same spirit", the donations almost overloaded the system. We were invisible, but we were there

2. I'm already seeing the changes I once could only dream of: a return to an authorial control of games (like Lord British did with his "Ultima" games, the opportunity to play tabletop games on a tablet and, generally speaking, the return of a literal explosion of creativity. Of course the bubble is bound to break soon or later, but my hope is that the best experiences and success stories will remain, and, as a side effect, influence positively the now stale field of mainstream games.

3. Two things. The first is to immerse myself in another world through a character which slowly becomes my avatar in more than one sense (I often find myself "thinking what the character would think" - a byproduct of my scriptwriting experience I guess... or maybe it is the other way around. ) Of course what I'm looking for is a strong, immersive story, and a game designed so to exalt the key points of the story... poetic, for the lack of a better word.

The second reason is the opportunity to, let's say, read a book and have the opportunity to live in first person the interesting things I read about. So, to give an example, I read a book about the Guadalcanal campaign and i can immediately I fire up "War in the Pacific: Admiral Edition" and transform a moment in history fixed by words into a living thing of which I'm part.

I can add that this is true for scriptwriting and moviemaking, too, - as Stanley Kubrick reminded us in his interview with Michael Ciment about "Barry Lyndon". The means of creative expression may change, but I like to think that the inspiring spirit is the same.

4. Seeing Matrix Games finish "Computer World in Flames" would already be a big achievement laugh. But, since I like sandbox games, and I feel that we already have excellent wargames covering that genre, my game of choice would be an IMMENSE sandbox game of "The Sims", with advanced artificial intelligence, different cultures, different personalities (tied to the culture), different (and realistic) climates on the map, weather patterns, animals, wildernesses and so on. You choose who you want to be and... choose if to stay at home as a timid writer, or go to the savanna for a photo-safari. Meanwhile the world around you goes on by it's own (I'm talking about people, weather, natural disasters...) and maybe the girl you wanted to impress with your pictures of lions and giraffes in the meanwhile met your best friend... it happens

5. My platform of choice is still the PC, but I'm really excited about the new games (and opportunities) offered by tablets. I'm often on the road, and sometimes to relax, I fire up "FTL" or "Panzer Corps" without the need to bring with me even a laptop. This is why I see them (or any variation the future will bring) as a key gaming platform for the foreseeable future.

[As a personal note, add to this how, for my jobs, I only need a dedicate keyboard to transform a tablet into a mini-laptop. The iPad really transformed a lot of aspects of my life - including reading.]

6. I live in Milan, Italy. It is a beautiful city but, compared to Florence or Venice, you have to look hard for the many hidden beautiful places: urbanisation transformed Milan into a "Middle-European city, halfway between classic Italy and a German town.

The best thing *in* Milan is how you can enjoy both classic Italy (including one of the world's fashion capitals - tell this to your wife/girlfriend if she is not convinced ) and still have all the commodities of the Italian main hub to Europe.

A warning: I like to walk a lot, but the problem in Milan is pollution. The best days to discover it (even for we natives...) are the clear, windy ones. However it only takes one hour and half by train to go to the Riviera (a beautiful place even in winter) and one hour to reach the "Oltrepo'" - on the south: one of the best places in Italy for food, wines, relax, old forts and ruins, and wonderful hilly landscapes dominated by ancient Churches. And of course right on the north of Milan there are the lakes where you can meet George Clooney

7. My basic hobbies are reading; tabletop RPGs (I'm almost always the DM), boardgames and wargames; listening to "inspirational music" (Hans Zimmer, not Chopin or Enya ) and writing for myself (which is different from writing as a job...) And then there is my favourite one: walk all day long in a foreign city, like New York, Paris or San Francisco. My record, according to my GPS' utility, was 44Kms in 11 hours last year in Paris - at 45 years old! (to this day no one believes me - oh, well... cool)

Thanks! And have the best of weeks you too!
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Agnieszka
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Congratulations Vincenzo! thumbsup
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Congratulations Vincenzo!
What's the hardest video game you've ever beaten?
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Congratulations on being VGGotW!
Congratulations Vincenzo!

1) Star Wars or Star Trek?
2) Two door or four door?
3) CFL or incandescent?
4) Cruel or unusual?
5) Real or imaginary?

Enjoy your week!
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Vincenzo Beretta
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HIROCON

I'm totally inept at fighting games: my fingers end up in knots and at the end I start pushing levers and buttons randomly. However, for some reason, I really liked Soulblade (the original one). So I started training with one character, finished his "history" and then I moved on to the next one. Not even going to the gym made me sweat so much, but I made it.

Of course all of this in single player. My girlfriend, too, loved the game; we played it all day long and she slaughtered me every time soblue

FRUMPISH

1. Both or neither: it depends from the story. For example, I do consider "The Empire Strikes Back" one of the best movies ever made... and then I'm stabbed in the back with the prequels. cry

Regarding "Star Trek", to me the best among the movies is the first one: full of sense of wonder, ideas, plot twists... and with the classic characters forced to use their talents harder and harder in a situation which, with every passing hour, reveals itself to be more dire than anyone could have imagined. We had other good movies ("The Wrath of Khan", "First Contact"...) But to me the first one is still THE quintessential "Star Trek" movie. I never understood why it is so panned by so many.

Now J.J. Abrams, when he took the helm of "Star Trek", gave us two really good "Mass Effect" movies. So I have high hopes for him to resurrect the "Alien" franchise with his "Star Wars" ones

On television I do consider only "Star Trek". Again, we had both good and bad stories, but I never considered myself a "Trekkie".

2. Four door. I'm 6'2" tall, and travelling with my knees over my brow makes for uncomfortable trips... and makes my friends nervous when I'm the one at the wheel.

3. CFL. My city has an efficient recycling system, so disposal is not a problem.

4. Unusual all the way.

5. To paraphrase the late Douglas Adams "This is the kind of question that brings bread on the tables of philosophers laugh " However, since imagination brings bread on *my* table I will go for "Imaginary".

Thanks!

P.S. Regarding the earlier question about the place where I live, I forgot to say that next year Milan will host the 2015 Universal Exposition - so it will be a good moment for those who wish to visit us

Edit: spelling.
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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G'Day Vincenzo,

Congratulations!

d10-1 Which games, if any, of the Civilization family have you played?
d10-2 Do you have a preference for turn based or real time?
d10-3 What's the most ancient media that you have used to load a game for playing?
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Congrats Vincenzo!

*What's your favorite video game music?
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Congratulations Vincenzo!
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Vincenzo Beretta
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KARLSEN

1. All of them, with all the expansions. The first one was like "Star Wars!: it came out of nowhere and defined a genre and a generation. The second was even better, and many a people lost years of sleep trying to do "still one turn". I personally felt that "it was almost there", but some features were lacking and some concepts were still in an embryonal phase.

I then played Civilization III, and it is telling that I remember almost nothing of the game: a total disappointment. Then Civilization IV arrived and it was *the* game (IMHO of course) that Civilization was meant to be. The expansions made him even better, and, as I said, It never leaved my hard disk

Civ V is a crock. They tried to... Dunno, streamline this, simplify that... wow! exagons. All of this left me with the feeling of an "anemic" game. I never really got into it, and the expansions seemed sort of "tacked on". At the end I returned to Civ IV. There are excellent mods for it, but I usually play Vanilla - trying to master a difficult level and then moving to the next. Right now I'm at "Emperor"... since 2011!

2. "Real time" but not in the sense of "Command & Conquer" or (shudder) Starcraft, but Command Ops or Harpoon. A good alternative is simultaneous turns, when all players input their moves at the same time and then the computer calculates the results (like in "War in the Pacific: AE or Birth in America 2: Wars in America).

3. The Commodore Cassette Player. And I can tell you that the game was Microprose's "F-15 Strike Eagle". If with "load" you consider cartridges too, then it was "Star Strike" for Intellivision (I played Atari's games on a friend's console).


OSIRUS

"Silver", by Dean Evans. The game (a RPG) was well received when it was released in 1999, but today it is almost forgotten. I got the OST on CD as part of the press package, and it is still today one of the most beautiful CDs I have in my collection.

Of course there are innumerable memorable tracks from other games: most of the music done by Mark Morgan for "Planescape: Torment"; tracks like "Suicide Mission" or "The End Run" by Jack Wall for "Mass Effect 2", the Opening and End Titles for "Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers" by Robert Holmes; many tracks composed by Jeremy Soule for Icewind Dale and Skyrim... the list, even in the small percentage of game I played, is endless. But, as I said, IMHO "Silver" managed to have the most diverse *and* beautiful, haunting music ever composed for a single game.

Thanks again to all!
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Awesome -- spent last night listening to a bunch of Silver on YouTube. While I don't think any soundtrack can surpass Nier for me, I'll admit Silver was pretty cool! Thanks for letting us know about it.
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Wow that's as Italian a name as I've ever encountered!
Do you have any quick-hit-tips for short-story writing?
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Vincenzo Beretta
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Regarding my name, you are right... it was funny to discover how, after out of curiosity I did a research among Italian names, I discovered that in Italy there was only *a* Vincenzo Beretta who was over 18 (those under are protected by privacy laws): me

- The biggest hurdle to clear if you want to become a story-writer is to understand that you have to learn and then to apply your craft the way any other artist (or any other people who wants to produce properly done works) has to learn to do his own. Sadly, writers *think* that they can escape this "sweat and blood" part by whining "but this is my art!!!!!" True: the only problem is that it is ***badly done*** art. Friends will politely yawn and then, out of politeness, comment "No, it is... uhm... (yawn)... good" and then you will see them cut the corner. Imagine a professional editor...

[This, I wish to underline, when you want to produce a written product for the public. Freely writing for yourself may be therapeutic, it is a very good thing to do, and has no rules.]

Anyway, the first book I read which made me understand the need for your writing to have a proper structure was "The Screenwriter's Workbook" by Syd Field. It Italy, in the early '90s, it was the only one available in Italian. Don't worry if it is the follow-up to another book: it is a proper and complete book that makes you put the pen on the paper from page one. Similarly, don't worry if it is about scriptwriting: it will teach you all you need to know about the basics of the writing's craft.

And then "The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes" by Jack Bickham. Those two books taught be everything I needed to start a proper writing career (if you find yourself blocked, buy "On Writer's Block" by Victoria Nelson: a very bitter medicine - the sarcasm is off scale - but, it you survive, you will be even a better writer).

- It doesn't matter how good your idea is, how involving your first part is, how sparkling your characters are, THINK ABOUT THE END and don't start until you have at least a vague idea. Any kind of writing is like a trip. Maybe you are going to New York to Los Angeles, and maybe the trip and the companions are what is really important to you. But if at every bifurcation of the road you have to stop and wonder where to go next, you will find yourself lost in Minnesota FAST. This is the very reason as why a lot of stories never get completed, or end up with tacked-on endings. Right now I'm writing two 154 pages comic-books and for both I already have written (and drawn by the artists) the last 25 pages.

- A follow up: stories are not written in order. Once you have the basic structure in mind, feel free to write down the parts you "feel" more, and maybe add a blank page with a note: "Ten pages for the shootout where Erik is wounded" while you are doing research on firearms and shootouts. Putting down the number of pages is important, because it helps you to maintain a balanced story structure.

- Another follow up: maybe you are towards the end and you still lack the element that nails the culprit. Then, one day, you get this idea... that he gave to the Police the exact time of a thing he did because there was a grandfather clock on the wall where the events happened - but, and this is your idea, the clock is broken! No problem: go back, subtly change a scene or two so to introduce the "broken clock" concept in an almost off-hand way, and there you go. "The Sixth Sense" is, literally, a school in this kind of writing.

- "Work on your story every day" is basically THE suggestion every professional writer gives to principiants. While I agree, I think that the very word "work" is never really explained. What it really means is "do something towards your story every day". Some writers... write. Some walk around until a scene is, in their mind, perfect, and then sit down and put it down on paper three times faster than next door colleague. A day of work can be a day devoted to research. And so on. To give another personal example, I gathered material for a story which was very dear to me over the course of one year, and then I wrote it in Paris - 154 pages - working at the beautiful "Bibliothèque du Jardin des Plantes" every afternoon, 2:30PM-6:30PM, from Monday to Friday, in a month and half. It paid for the rest of the vacation and more. laugh

Don't take my words at THE suggestion: find your own method of writing, your own place, and be always honest with yourself and your characters. Maybe the most important suggestion I can give is this one: try to abstract your soul from yourself, look at your work with the eyes of someone else, and ask yourself: "Would I pay the (proper sum) for this?" If the answer is "no" work (do not stop! Ever!) until the answer is "Yes". And if the story is truly unsalvageable start another as soon as possible. And *don't throw away the first one*: maybe ten years from now you will have the right ideas (and experience) to salvage it

- WRITE!!!

Edit: spelling
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http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2014/07/27#mutable...
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Vincenzo Beretta
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HERMAN HUM

There is no doubt that this strip was written by a writer laughlaughlaugh
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Andy
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Congratulations, Vincenzo, on being chosen as VGGotW. Hope you're having an excellent week in the spotlight!

Here are my traditional questions...

#1 Do you own any games that you have not yet played?
#a If so, which unplayed game are you most likely to play next?
#b Is there a game that is likely never to be played? If so, why?

#2 What one feature of the videogamegeek.com website would you most like to change (or add)?

#3a What videogame universe would you most like to live in?
#3b and with which videogame character(s)?

#4 What one game from your early days would you most like to see remade for one of the modern platforms?

#5 What game that you've played for the first time this year did you enjoy the most? If none, then what game are you most excited about playing for the first time this year?

#6 Have you ever shelved a videogame because you found it: Too Hard, Too Boring, or for some other reason?
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Vincenzo Beretta
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ANDY

1. I get a lot of games "for free" as part of my job as a game reviewer. But I also do happen to buy games because I like them, and I like for the developers/distributors to have my money. These are the ones I consider "my" games, and which I included in my list (not in a specific order).

- AI War: Fleet Command: I actually happened to buy and try the original one, and found it to be both one of the best and intelligent strategy games I ever played. Let's say that, right now, I have it on my laptop with all the expansions...

- Skyrim: Now, should someone check my Steam page he would find that I recorded 100+ hours of gaming. The problems are the mods: the sheer number and quality of what the modding community produced is amazing, and 90 of those 100 hours went into trying various combo. One of these days I will say "enough", do a mega-install of the compatible mods I like more, and finally ***play the game***!

- Amnesia - The Dark Descent: Another game I started playing and then I said to myself "this game needs commitment, a lot of uninterrupted free time, and a totally dark room". I still have to find all of these requisites happening at the same time.

- The Witcher 2 - Assassins of Kings: When I bought it the graphics were too "heavy" for my PC, even at medium quality (a quality which I hate anyway). I think that it will now run smoothly, but it kinda "lost his turn" - for the lack of a better saying

- Europa Universalis IV: I have all the expansions up to the latest, but when it came out my "strategy gaming time" was dominated by "Crusader Kings II", so it is another game which "Missed the Bus"...

- "Chaterine" on PS3: It got, IIRC, this fame of "very controversial game" - which made me curious. Up to today I managed to avoid all the spoilers - so, please, avoid!

a. Chatherine and then AI: War - Fleet Command.
b. None, AFAIK: I like all of them and I plan to play all of them. If you speak in a general sense, then one of those cokie-cutter "Call of Modern Warfare: Battlefield of Duty" which, in different forms, are invading everything (like a literal "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"... brr!!) I played the first Call of Duty: Modern Warfare when (and because) it was a novelty. Then the genre became a symbol of the serious creative crisis gripping modern AAA videogames.

3. An easier to manage "Personal Page". The first time I wanted to check my Geekgold balance I battled for 20 minutes, and I was only able to find the right spot only when a friend of mine came online and helped me blush

4. "Ultima 9", a game too technical demanding for its times. Today they would easily remake it with an engine like "Skyrim's" or "The Withcher's 2's" ones. (My very first answer would have been "Truckin'" for Intellivision... and then I got "Euro Truck Simulator 2"! Now I'm waiting for an USA expansion )

5. "The Last of Us" for PS3. The very best game I ever played since "Planescape: Torment".

6. It just happened with "Command Modern Air/Naval Operations". Money down the drain. I like the topic (the title says all...) but the game is - in the most literal sense of the word - too painful to play. The UI is dire, the AI barely decent, features present in a 20 years old game like "Harpoon" are absent (like opening different windows so to be able to follow what happens in different areas of the battlefield) and a locked database. The game does seem to be loved all the same by a lot of people. Good for them.
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Alex Nguyen
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Reckall wrote:
- WRITE!!!

Thanks Vincenzo - your post was pure gold.
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Vincenzo Beretta
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I forgot two of ANDY's questions

3a. Sosaria, the original one from Ultima IV
3b. A commoner from Sosaria

This reminds me of an additional answer for OSIRUS re: videogame music. Download the freeware OST for "Lazarus: Ultima V" - the remake of UV done with the Dungeon Siege's engine. My favourite track is "Central Underworld" but all of them are amazing.

http://lazarus.thehawkonline.com/music.html



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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the steep cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Congrats!

Here are my usual questions:

1) What game do you play when you are feeling sad - because you know it will cheer you up?

2) What is your favorite book genre?

3) Do you play games mostly in the same genre you read?

4) Assuming the zombie apocalypse happens, what is your zombie smasher of choice?
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