Saturday, June 20, 2009

Would you like to become a Guide Writer?

Players often fancy the idea of writing a guide. Writing a series of quick tips may not be difficult or particularly time-consuming and players therefore often opt to post on message boards and forums instead of creating a comprehensive guide.

Some games are less time-consuming than others in terms of guide-writing. Harvest Moon games always require comprehensive guides that can take months to complete properly because of variables that affect events but Rune Factory is even more time-consuming.

The addition of dungeons and a wide range of Monsters who drop a multitude of useful items means that any Comprehensive guide for Rune Factory requires detailed information about combat and Monsters and a very detailed map of all the Dungeons.

The dungeons in Rune Factory and Rune Factory 2 were large but they were not half as complex as those in Rune Factory Frontier. The creators of the Rune Factory Frontier Dungeons made a series of mazes with puzzles and the addition of sliding doors that must be unlocked from the other side initially added yet another challenge.

After unlocking all those sliding doors, the ordinary player can go merrily on his/her own way, exploring the dungeons as much or as little as he/she pleases. The guide writer, on the other hand, is left with the colossal task of creating directions to every nook and cranny in every dungeon.

This may sound simple as well, but there is another factor that interferes with the smooth completion of such a project. Time, in Rune Factory Frontier, continues to run as usual in any dungeon. In writing a screen-by-screen walkthrough, attempting to note the position of every Treasure Chest, Crate, Urn, tillable field and Monster Generator, one spends more time than usual in each chamber or area.

What this means in practical terms, is that, in writing a screen-by-screen walkthorugh for the Lava Ruins during the past few days, I was required to reload the game again and again and thread my way again and again to the same positions, simply because my character would be sent home at 4.59 a.m. in the middle of writing the description of a chamber.

So, do you wish to write comprehensive guides for games like Harvest Moon or Rune Factory? I actually ask myself that question. With the prospect of four new Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games to be released later this year, there was a moment or two when I doubted I ever wished to cover another game comprehensively...

That kind of feeling does pass, though. I am incapable by nature of playing any game casually. If I like a game, I tend to wish to explore every detail. If I do not like the game enough to do that, I usually do not wish to waste even one hour on it even to play it.

Furthermore, when my Rune Factory Frontier guides are completed properly, I will experience a small sense of satisfaction that is an uncommon feeling that seldom can be experienced in daily life, where most actions are open-ended and most accomplishments nothing more than transient.


celticfairy15 said...

I actually wish to become a guide READER, lol. I would love to buy the Tree of Tranquility Guide, but cannot seem to find a place to buy it online except on Amazon, which for some reason is ridiculously expensive. Any suggestions on this front?

Freyashawk said...

Celticfairy, that is rather despicable really... I notice how they sell the Official Guides at half price if you pre-order them BEFORE the game is released but less than a year after the game is released, the guides are out of print! Why don't you contact BradyGames directly and tell them of your dilemma. They produced the guide. The actual production is done by DK Publishing (same people). They should have some copies to sell at proper RETAIL price!

celticfairy15 said...

THANK you, Freyashawk. I really appreciate it. Do you think I could have their email? I also wanted to know where to post questions about Valkyrie Profile 2:Silmeria?