Monday, June 7, 2010

Alan Wake

Anyone who owns an Xbox 360 and is a writer should give this game a try. It's not the most incredible gameplay or amazing graphics (though both of those aspects ARE good) but it is one of the most interesting stories I've seen in a video game in a long time.

Alan Wake is a bestselling novelist who has had writer's block for the last couple of years. He and his wife Alice decide to take a trip to the fictional towns of Bright Falls, Washington. It's an idyllic setting with snow capped peaks, beautiful alpine lakes and dense pine forests. Eventually his wife goes missing and it all turns into a nightmare.

I won't ruin the story but I will share a little bit about the most fun parts for me as a writer. Throughout the game you are running around collecting pages of a manuscript that Alan doesn't remember writing and yet is a key part to the mystery. Then at one point your literary agent, Barry (that's him in the picture above in the red down jacket, Hawaiian shirt and cargo shorts) shows up to save you. He drives a Hummer and is basically a stereotypical New Yorker except he acts more like a Hollywood agent most of the time. It's funny because the people who made this game obviously didn't realize that literary agents in real life are already like rock stars. Have they not seen Nathan Bransford's hair?

You can read the manuscript pages as you collect them and I must say: though the story is very disjointed and there are a lot of cliche phrases, the writing ain't bad. The game even quotes Stephen King in a monologue at the beginning.

Now if that's not great entertainment for us dorky writers, I don't know what is!

Now I need to take care of some business. Hilary Wagner has agreed to do the guest post for TheQQQE this Friday and her book NIGHTSHADE CITY is set to be released by Holiday House Books this October. Here is what THE Rick Riordan had to say about it:

“Fans of Redwall and the Warriors series will love this heroic tale of good versus evil in a subterranean society of rats. The world of the Catacombs is so compelling readers will wonder if it really might exist under our city streets. Expect great adventures in Nightshade City.”

When I told my kids that Hilary was going to be kind enough to grace my blog with her presence and what Mr. Riordan (their favorite author) had to say about her novel; they literally squealed.

So obviously this means that all of you will be marking your calendars and making certain to return on Friday but it also begs the question who will be sharing their query in the week following Hilary? As of right now my spreadsheet is empty after her. I need to get on it and decide who I want to ask to be a guest but in the meantime I want to put it out there that any one of you who has a query that earned you at least one partial request can be a featured guest here. The idea is just to share and analyze queries that worked, at least as far as accomplishing that important first step.

My email is on my blogger profile if you want to volunteer.

26 comments:

JustineDell said...

LOL "Have you not seen Nathan Bransfords hair?"

Made my Monday, Matt!! Thanks.

Sounds like a fun game. Too bad I don't have an Xbox. Our family has a Wii obsession. ;-)

~JD

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Oh gosh if I get stuck into games I'll never write again. Playing billiards on Facebook is distraction enough at the moment!

Fantastic news about Hilary. Good stuff!

Will Burke said...

Wanted to let you know rhat there's an award for you on my Blog.Cheers!

Slamdunk said...

An x-box 360 game that can inspire you as a writer? Cool.

Creepy Query Girl said...

That game sounds really cool- and I'm not usually a video game player but I have to admit that I got really into 'god of war' when my husband had it on his playstation. I'm a sucker for greek mythology. I'll be here for bloffee early friday morning- can't wait!

Ted Cross said...

Hmm, wonder if that game is for the PC also...

Matthew Rush said...

Ted I think there is a PC version, try Googling Alan Wake PC.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

We have a Wii, so I won't be able to check out the game.

My query for my last book resulted in numerous request, but that's been locked away in the vault, never to be revisited. And I had a request for my recent ms (which is undergoing revisions) based on a query that has been torn apart and rewritten since (ready for when I start querying again). But I can't wait to see the next ones you analyze.

Can't wait for Friday. :)

Matthew Rush said...

Stina - if that's an offer to share for an upcoming guest post I'd be glad to have you, but you'll have to send me an email to make it official.

Will Burke said...

Thanks for the Follow! I'm with AA, I'd never write if I was a gamer, but I've heard of lots of writers who do!

salarsenッ said...

I will not turn into an Xbox junkie like my boys. *I'll wash and rinse that thought*

The game sounds great, really. Thanks for sharing it...I think. I'll let you know if I get buried. ";-)

Candyland said...

Sounds pretty cool. And yes, Nathan's hair is pretty rad:)

Jaydee Morgan said...

I just bought this game for my son this weekend - he loves it and says I will like watching the movie parts. Maybe I'll have to give it a go :)

Tahereh said...

lool that sounds SO COOL! how'd you even find it??

and woo hoo! can't wait to read Hilary's post! :D

Jen said...

If I had a query I would have volunteered but I'm not cool enough yet!

I'll for sure be stopping back for the guest blog, and every other post you decide to put up before then!!

Laura Marcella said...

Cool game! We have an Xbox 360, but I don't play it much. My husband is obsessed with Call of Duty, ugh. I prefer the Lego games, haha. Indiana Jones and Star Wars rock! Thanks for this game suggestion; it looks like fun!

Zoe C. Courtman said...

OMG - I'd FORGOTTEN about Alan Wake! I'd meant to get it, then just *poof* forgot. What an awesome way to be reminded. Thanks!!

MBW aka Olleymae said...

Wow that sounds like such a cool game. Unfortunately I went with the PS3 instead of Xbox.

THE NIGHTSHADE SOCIETY sounds super amazing. I can't wait to see the guest post!!

Matthew Rush said...

Yes, blogger broke temporarily as I know Cole does love my blog, just not quite enough to comment thrice! It appears to be fixed now.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Is there a PC version of the game? Or Playstation?

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Looks like I'll have to go to 'borrow' my brother's X-BOX to play on that one. I have a Wii.

Looking forward to Hilary's query. :)

lexcade said...

i read a lot about Alan Wake and thought I'd like to try it out. RPGs and action games are by far my fave (finally got to check out Uncharted 2 and completely agree that it deserved all its accolades). Even if it's not the best game ever, the storyline is enough to whet my appetite. Thanks for dropping the spoiler-free review!

Also excited for Hilary's post on Friday. Muy bueno!

Old Kitty said...

The game sound FAB!!! Now all I need to do is get me an xbox! LOL!

Looking forward to Friday's post!

take care
x

Okie said...

Alan Wake is on my "must play" list. I'm a cheapskate though (and I have a bunch of other games already in the queue) so I'm waiting for the price to come down a bit. Hoping to pick it up for the fall/winter.

Faith E. Hough said...

I'm looking forward to Friday! I'm excited already about Hilary's book and can't wait to see her query.
By the way, I read your blog all the time, I'm just a kind of lazy commenter b/c half the time I'm reading I'm also holding a baby. Just so you know, I think you're great. :)

Lydia Kang said...

A literary game, I love that idea!