Wow, it’s late! I should have posted hours ago! Bad, bad AJ! But the fact is, I almost didn’t post at all. I went to brunch with my sister and my good friend, fellow writer Stanley Ford. Then I got sick in the restaurant parking lot. Then I came home and was sick again. Decided I wasn’t up to posting and was just going to post an apology here, and say I’d catch you next week. But, foolish me, I checked my email first. An email there led me to a really TERRIFIC conversation on the Dieselpunks forum (check them out; they are one of my treasured go-to’s for Dieselpunk info). Between reading, writing, and contributing to the conversation, I get distracted from the post and next thing I know, it’s creeping up on three o’clock! Wow, time flies here in the darkest jungles of Appalachia!
But, cool conversation or not, I’m still pretty sick. So today’s Fun Friday is gonna be short and sweet. I’ll give you more next Friday.
Okay, on to the fun.
So I know this really cool writer named Sarah Hendrix. She’s a blogger (her blog, “the darker side of the fire” is right here), and a purveyor of fantasy and SF short stories (her most recent story, a flash piece called “The Fadeaway,” was published by SciFi-and-Fantasy.land. You can read it here). So I was talking to her about our favorite subject, writing, and she suddenly said, “My oldest introduced me to a game that would fit your steampunk/dieselpunk theme I think. I might even play it some next week. It’s called Dishonored.”
Now I’ve been known to play video games, but I’m very much stuck in the 1990’s and 2000’s. I like RTS and platform games. Boring, I know, but they make me smile. Obviously this means I am not up on the newer games. So I went to my game guru, my younger son Levi. Not only was he familiar with the game, it turns out we have a copy (shows you how video game savvy I am!)!
Okay. So Dishonored was developed by Arkane Studios, and was published by Bethesda Softworks in October 2012. It’s available for PC, Playstation 3 and XBox 360. It has a star-spangled cast of voice actors: Susan Sarandon, Carrie Fisher, Brad Dourif, Lena Headey, etc. The musical score was written by Daniel Licht (who also scored the TV show Dexter).
The game is a first person stealth action adventure (okay, mostly first person; sometimes it’s in third person). You, the player, are Corvo Attano, a resident of a fictional city of Dunwall, and the Lord Protector of the Empress of the Isle. At least until the Empress dies ten minutes in, her young daughter is kidnapped, and you are imprisoned for the crime. You escape almost immediately thereafter, and the rest of the story is about trying to find the killers, rescue the girl, and clear your name.
The setting, the technology, the vibe of the city (which you get to see as you travel by boat to the palace) is deeeeeply Steampunk, lots of clockworks, lots of sweeping architecture; you’ll love it. I was watching a Let’s Play video of it, to get a feel for it, and the Let’s Player (Markiplier, one of my favorites) pointed out something I hadn’t made the connection to. It also has a very Third Reich feel to it. The palace guard uniforms look like modified SS uniforms, there are those long red banners hanging everywhere, like you see in videos of Hitler, or that movie V for Vendetta. So the atmosphere is almost a Dark Steampunk, which is very cool.
Now, I haven’t played it yet. It’s on my system, so I’ll probably end up playing very soon. Right now I’m just watching the Let’s Play of it. I’ll report back when that happens.
Okay. Still sick. So I’m going to leave off there. I know, I know, I’m giving you short shrift. I’ll make it up to you when my tummy stops rebelling on me. In the meantime, comment, tweet, share, email. Monday we get the thrilling conclusion of Errand, and Wednesday…. well, Wednesday is gonna be interesting. See ya then!