owlmoose: (da - aeducan)
But I don't think I've ever quite fallen so far behind as this. And I'm not really going to update now, either, because it's late, but I did want to mention that we've gotten through the prologue and are now futzing around in camp. Much more tomorrow, I hope.
owlmoose: (da - seeker)
First look at my DA:I player character behind the cut. Apologies for poor iPhone photo "screenshot". No spoilers beyond the character creator, if you've been following pre-release info that includes the character names.

She's more tough than pretty, but I'm on board with that. )

I'm sure I will have much, much more to say later.
owlmoose: (da - seeker)
I got my shipping notice for DA:I last night, and it put a huge grin on my face. I probably won't actually get to start playing until tomorrow, since I have a dress rehearsal and won't get home until too late. Unless I can convince T that we'll have time to at least play the opening cutscene. Maybe character creation. A little bit of gameplay?

This is going to be a slippery slope, isn't it, leading to the spot at the bottom where we look up and it's 3am on a worknight.

As long as I'm here, a reminder that I have to imagine ought to go without saying, but then again there are some new folks about (hi, new folks!!), so here goes: please, please, for the sake of me and for other folks reading this journal, please no spoilers for DA:I in comments. I will be very clear how far I am into the game when I post about it; feel free to post information up to that point, but no further. Thank you, so much.

DA Keep!

Nov. 17th, 2014 12:09 am
owlmoose: (da - aeducan)
We ran through Dragon Age Keep tonight to set up our import for DA:I.

A few thoughts behind the cut. )
owlmoose: (da - isabella)
So yesterday or the day before, T and I were out driving, and he made an offhand comment about how I hadn't been called in for jury duty for awhile. I should have made a sign to ward off evil or something, because guess what came in the mail today?

December 9th. Yay.

Meanwhile, tomorrow Bioware will lift the embargo on spoilers in reviews of Dragon Age: Inqusition, which I suppose is as good a time as any to make my Tumblr hiatus official. I've barely been over there since my Hawaii trip anyway, so it's more a formality than anything. By the way, have I mentioned how nice it is to see more Tumblr people following me here now, and more folks commenting? Definitely nice. :) Welcome aboard!

I also need to finish my signup for DA Holiday Cheer tonight. That'll be a good note on which to take a Tumblr break. (Is it wrong that I'm actually looking forward to this Tumblr break?)
owlmoose: (da - aeducan)
The pleasures (if you can call them that :D) of being on the other end of a live text while someone else is playing through the end stages of the Deep Roads for the first time.
owlmoose: (towel dog)
Now that I'm earning a little bit of money again, T decided he could stop stalling and buy a PS4. We'd been holding off partly for budgetary reasons, partly because there isn't a showstopper game out yet, and I'd resigned myself to playing DA:I on the PS3, but now I can have the shiny new graphics, yay!

I guess that means I should pre-order now. Any thoughts on the best option for buying? Since I've been avoiding information from Bioware like the plague (their idea of what is a spoiler and my idea of what is a spoiler is... quite different), I don't actually know which retailer is offering the shiniest goodies. In particular, if anyone is selling an edition Day One DLC, I want to hear about it. Because I came to the franchise late, I missed out on both Sebastian and Shale the first time through, and I don't want to risk that happening again.
owlmoose: (CJ - make out)
So a week or so ago, I reblogged a post with a bunch of kissing-related prompts over on Tumblr. This turns out to have been a ridiculously good idea -- it's been like a mini-kiss battle in my inbox. So far I've mostly written a bunch of fluff (with a few exceptions). The inbox is still open if anyone else wants to make a request. :) All Dragon Age and FFX-2.

Fandom: FFX-2
Characters: Paine/Nooj
Prompt: Breath Kiss

"What do you think will happen tomorrow? And then— after that."

---

Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Bethany/Fenris
Prompt: Surprise Kiss

Bethany, Fenris, and a quiet moment in the Gallows.

---

Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Alistair/Anora
Prompt: Hickey
Notes: Okay, I admit it -- this one was just fun. :D

Anora stepped into the parlor she shared with her husband and dropped down onto the couch, kicking her shoes off with a sigh.

---

Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Alistair/Bethany
Prompt: Forehead Kiss

Bethany twisted the last of the wrappings around Alistair’s foot, tucking the end of the linen neatly underneath itself.

---

Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Leliana/Teagan
Prompt: Rain Kiss

"Hello, Bann Teagan," the red-haired woman said, smiling at him.

---

Fandom: FFX-2
Characters: Paine/Nooj
Prompt: First Kiss
Notes: This is a concept I've explored for Paine and Nooj before, so it took a bit of thought to come up with a completely new context. But I like this one a lot.

"Your work’s done." Nooj looked over his shoulder at Paine, then turned around with a small smile. "Why are you still recording?"

---

Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Bethany/Nathaniel
Prompt: Take-My-Breath-Away Kiss
Notes: This one is pretty much shameless fluff, and I am so totally okay with that.

Nathaniel trudged up the hill and toward the gates of the keep at Ansberg, five weeks of Deep Roads dust and darkspawn blood weighing down his boots.

---

Fandom: FFX-2
Characters: Gippal/Baralai
Prompt: Surprise Kiss

The sun had set long since, and Baralai moved closer to the fire as the wind knifed down the edges of the sand dunes, cold as a thousand needles pricking at his skin.

---

Fandom: Dragon Age
Characters: Alistair/Zevran
Prompt: Back Kiss

The day’s walking had been a long, hard slog down muddy roads, and every muscle in Alistair’s body ached, so when Zevran had offered him a massage, he couldn’t think of any reason to turn it down.
owlmoose: (da - anora)
Title: Down to You and Me
Fandom: Dragon Age: Origins
Rating: Teenish
Wordcount: 4,172
Characters: Anora Mac Tier/Teagan Guerrin, Eamon Guerrin
Spoilers: For the Landsmeet
Notes: Written for the 2014 Dragon Age Reverse Flash Bang. Inspired by [livejournal.com profile] cherith's Anora/Teagan fanmix, Dust & Ashes. The title is a lyric from one of the songs, "Dust & Gold" by Arrows to Athens.

Anora Mac Tier and Teagan Guerrin started out on opposite sides of Ferelden's Civil War. As alliances change and power shifts, they learn that they might work better as allies -- and possibly more than that.

On AO3
owlmoose: (da - bethany)
Title: Orders
Fandom: Dragon Age
Rating: Teen (for violence)
Wordcount: 12,622
Characters: Bethany Hawke, Carver Hawke, Alim Surana, Nathaniel Howe, Sigrun, Oghren, Velanna, Janeka, Stroud. Hints of Bethany/Nathaniel
Spoilers: For Awakening and the DA2 Legacy DLC
Notes: My entry for the 2014 Dragon Age Big Bang. Illustrated by [tumblr.com profile] veusovon. The artwork is embedded in the story and posted to the artist's Tumblr.

Thanks to my artist, to my beta [tumblr.com profile] spiritofemby, to my fantastic co-mods [personal profile] seimaisin and [livejournal.com profile] cherith, and to everyone here who helped me figure out what story I wanted to tell. :) I literally could not have done this without you.

Summary: When a Deep Roads misadventure forces Bethany Hawke to join the Grey Wardens, her brother Carver chooses to go with her. But instead of a safe haven, the twins find trouble in the Wardens: commanders who want to separate them, a mysterious woman who takes a strange interest in them, and a series of ambushes by the Carta.

On AO3
owlmoose: (da - seeker)
Since, as I mentioned to [personal profile] vieralynn in comments, I can't imagine I can avoid what's in the trailer forever, and I'd rather learn it by watching now than via random, not-as-vague-as-they-think-they-are comments in random Tumblr posts. :)

Not spoilers really, if you've been paying any attention to advance news at all. )

October? October. Good deal.
owlmoose: (da - flemeth)
1. My Tumblr dash is over half blocked posts. Must be new DA:I content! From the things that have slipped through (gaaah people why must things slip through), it sounds like a new trailer, which I would actually be interested in watching (just not dissecting in intense detail), so I'll have to check it out when I'm on a better Internet connection.

2. Speaking of Dragon Age, I'm still in need of a beta read for my Dragon Age Big Bang story. Any takers? At this point, given that it's due in less than a week, I'd be happy just for a quick read-through to look for egregious problems. Let me know.

3. I saw Winter Soldier again last week. It definitely holds up. I need to see it again. I posted my thoughts to Tumblr. Note, the entry also contains a significant spoiler for the two post CA:TWS Agents of SHIELD episodes. (Although it's the kind of spoiler that might actually lure some people into watching.)

4. We have another guest conductor this quarter. In some ways, he's as brilliant and as difficult as the guy we had in the Fall, but he has a way of communicating that makes him much easier to work with. The repertoire (church music by Holst and Vaughan Williams) is quite challenging -- so challenging that he actually pulled one work and substituted a much simpler one. It's a little disappointing to put three weeks of work into a piece and then not perform it, but it was absolutely the right choice, because now we can concentrate on making the rest of the concert amazing rather than struggling just to put it all together.

5. DOINK! I have my assignments and know which one I want to do. Now I just have to decide how I want to approach it. And see if I can manage to avoid all the shiny Steve Rogers distractions that the movie has put into my head.
owlmoose: (ffx - shiva)
Not leaving out the option that I might write more, of course, but here's my output for now. :) 2 Dragon Age, 1 FFXII, 2 FFX (one a crossover with Frozen, of all things). Hey, by the way, both kiss battles? Definitely still open. :)

Dragon Age

Title: Bolder
Characters: Bethany/Merrill
Prompt: Reunion

Kiss Battle Comment / On AO3
---

Title: Last Call
Characters: Carver Hawke, Marissa Hawke
Prompt: Warden!Carver/Hawke, the Calling

Kiss Battle Comment / On AO3
---

Final Fantasy

Title: Wreathed in Glory
Characters: Rikku(/Yuna)
Prompt: Flowers
Notes: AU. I'm sure a tragedy is exactly what [personal profile] seventhe had in mind for this prompt.

Kiss Battle Comment / On AO3
---

Title: Imperfect Solutions
Characters: Vayne/Ashe
Prompt: Perfectly arranged marriage
Notes: I can't quite remember whether this slots into canon or not. Borderline dubcon.

Kiss Battle Comment / On AO3
---

Title: Summoned
Characters: Elsa/Shiva (FFX)
Prompt: Like attracts like
Notes: A new character for me, of course. Spoilers for the first 20 minutes or so of Frozen.

Kiss Battle Comment / On AO3
---

Looking over these, I've been hitting the tragic/angstful/bittersweet stuff really hard this year. Time to pull out some fluff, stat!
owlmoose: (Default)


Welcome to the 2014 Dragon Age Kiss Battle!


Any kind of kiss is welcome -- het, slash, femslash; shippy, familial, gen; cheek kisses, mouth kisses, kissing of... other things; serious, fluffy, silly, or all three at once; fanfic, fanart, whatever you come up with; anything goes!

The post is now open! I don't anticipate closing it, so come by any time!

THE RULES:

  1. To leave a request: Post a comment with character(s) and, if desired, a prompt. Put the pairing/character(s) in the subject line and the prompt in the body of the comment.

  2. To respond: Reply to the prompting comment. Include characters, rating, and title in the subject line. If your response includes content relating to Dragon Age: Inquisition, please also note that in the subject line.

  3. Multiple responses are both allowed and encouraged!

  4. There is no limit to the number of prompts you can post.

  5. Artwork can be posted inline, but try not to make it too large. Please link to images that are very large or NSFW.

  6. Please, be kind to others regarding pairing choices, prompts, or anything else. This game is for everyone! :)

  7. Anon commenting is on, as is OpenID, if you neither have nor want a Dreamwidth account.

  8. Send your friends! :D


If you have questions, please ask them here. Thanks, and happy kissing!!
owlmoose: (stonehenge)
That's right: it's happening again!



Based on the Kiss Battle that has run in the Final Fantasy fandom for the last few years (credit to [personal profile] seventhe for the most recent variation on the rules), this is just a fun way to celebrate February with lots of fun kissing fanworks. Any kind of kiss is welcome -- het, slash, femslash; shippy, familial, gen; cheek kisses, mouth kisses, kissing of... other things; serious, fluffy, silly, or all three at once; fanfic, fanart, whatever you come up with; anything goes!

The official post is now open!

OpenID and anonymous commenting are on, so you don't need a Dreamwidth account to participate. If you're curious to see how the game works, here are links to the kiss battles from 2012 and 2013.

Any questions, concerns or feedback? Let me know!
owlmoose: (da - hawke)
After I answer this question, only one more remains. Any other requests?

Today's question (well, actually yesterday's, but who's counting?) comes from [personal profile] stealth_noodle, who wanted my thoughts on characterizing customizable video game protagonists in fic. I've been thinking about this question off and on ever since it was asked, because I think it's a pretty fascinating one. It's definitely an issue that comes up in Dragon Age fandom quite a bit (and I imagine Mass Effect fandom as well). How much flexibility is there for a fanfic writer when characterizing a Warden, or a Hawke, or a Shepard? Are there defined lines that we need to play within? Or is the protagonist essentially an original character, giving us total freedom to make them whoever we want?

Of course, there are some fic writers who feel free to say "Canon? Pffft, I do want I want" and take any character in the direction they like, not just customizable protagonist characters. And there's certainly nothing wrong with that approach, but that's not the kind of fic writer I am. For me, the interesting thing about fanfic is finding new and interesting things to do with characters and story within the structure that the canon provides. Even when I write a story with an AU premise, I try to keep events and characterization as close to canon as possible. Then again, can one even say that there is such a thing as "canon" for the Warden, or for Hawke?* As a general rule, I would say yes, but it's such a broad space of possible canons that there's a lot of room for flexibility. (More so for the Warden than for Hawke -- the Warden has a set backstory, different for each Origin, but personality-wise, they are essentially a tabula rasa. Hawke, on the other hand, does have an in-game personality, although the player has a hand in creating it.)

When it comes to writing the protagonist characters into my own work, I'm almost always writing about a particular Warden or Hawke -- one that I created myself, usually through the course of playing a full game. If I write about Sereda Aeducan, for example, she's not a generic female dwarf noble. She's the Warden I spent over a hundred hours with, playing through DA: Origins, Awakening, Golems, and Witch Hunt. The story is her story, set within her canon and reflecting the choices she made and the outcomes she discovered, or an AU with a purposeful divergence. When I decided to write Justify the Means, an AU about a very different kind of female Aeducan, I actually created a new character and played through her origin. This is why I don't write fic about Tabris, or Amell, or male Cousland, etc.: I've never played a Warden of that background, so I don't know who they are, or how to tell their stories properly. There've been a very few exceptions, mostly when writing to prompts or plot bunnies that don't suit any of my current Wardens, but writing a specific Warden whom I already know is much more within my comfort zone.

I can have a little more flexibility with a Hawke, as long as the Hawke isn't central to the story. For example, I wrote a few stories featuring a male Hawke before I ever played through my Garrett's canon, so I had to come up with a generic Garrett Hawke to fill that role. But as with the Wardens, I'm much happier if I have a known Hawke to work with (diplomatic rogue Marian, aggressive mage Marissa, snarky warrior Garrett) and am unlikely to put a generic Hawke into a starring role.

Although there are exceptions, from what I've seen, I think most fic writers who work with the protagonist characters in these kinds of canons do something similar. They aren't writing stories about A Warden or A Hawke or A Shepard, they're writing about their Warden/Hawke/Shepard. Some feel more bound to follow the canonical background and events of the games than others, but it's still where the seed of the character arises. In my case, as you might expect, I do use canon as my foundation -- I am very unlikely to create headcanons for my player characters that directly contradict the events of the game, although sometimes I'll fudge things a little for the sake of storytelling.

So in a way, it's not really that different for me than writing other characters. The main difference is that I had a part in creating the original canon, and that is most definitely part of the fun.

*There's also a larger question about what "canon" even means in a universe as flexible as that of Dragon Age, where outcomes and characterizations change based on player choices, and even more options open up when modding gets involved, but that's another conversation for another day.

Bingo!

Jan. 23rd, 2014 12:09 am
owlmoose: (ffx2 - rikku)


Five fics in five fandoms: Ace Attorney (yes, again), Dragon Age, Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XII, and Marvel Cinematic Universe.

All links go to AO3.

Title: Immersion
Fandom: Final Fantasy X-2
Prompt: Phobias
Rating: G
Summary: Rikku can only think of one way to beat her fear of thunder and lightning. Rikku & Brother

Title: In the Kingdom of the Blind
Fandom: Ace Attorney
Prompt: Coming of Age
Rating: G
Summary: After the events of Rise From the Ashes, Miles Edgeworth contemplates the life of a prosecutor. Spoilers. Also inspired by a prompt from a Tumblr meme: "Druxy: Something which looks good on the outside, but is actually rotten inside."

Title: A Song of Spring
Fandom: Dragon Age 2
Prompt: Songs From Childhood
Rating: G
Summary: Bethany and Carver Hawke remember home. Warden Twins AU.

Title: Not the Strangest Thing We've Seen This Year
Fandom: The Avengers (MCU)
Prompt: Dragons
Rating: G
Summary: The Avengers do battle with a most unexpected foe. Clint Barton, cast.

Title: Measurement
Fandom: Final Fantasy XII
Prompt: Pioneer
Rating: G
Summary: Drace satisfies her curiosity about Ffamran Bunansa, newest of the Judges. Spoilers. Also inspired by a request for Drace from the Chocobo Down database.
owlmoose: (da - seeker)
[personal profile] seimaisin asked me to talk about three things I hope to see in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Sorry this is late!

Before I get started, a note on spoilers: I went into information avoidance mode for DA:I back in August. So I've seen the teaser trailer, read the Game Informer article, and am aware of pretty much everything that was common knowledge up to that point. I very purposefully did not look at the Game Informer releases that came out after the article, and have managed to miss most of the major revelations since. So it's entirely possible that the things I talk about here have either been confirmed or denied by developers. I might guess correctly, or I might be completely off track. Either way, I don't want to know. So please, if you have been following pre-release information, or even if you've just heard a rumor here and there, don't tell me about it in comments.

This may seem like a hard line to take, but I know for a fact that too many spoilers will interfere with my ability to set expectations. I'm happy to speculate about the upcoming game in general, but I don't want to have too much pre-release information while I'm doing it. Thanks for your understanding.

Okay, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, on to my actual answer to the question! :)

Cut, naturally, for spoilers. )
owlmoose: (da - anders hand)
[personal profile] phdfan asked for my favorite and least favorite aspects of the Dragon Age games, possibly inspired by the similar post I just wrote about the Final Fantasy series. The first part of the question will be much easier for me than the second, since I'm still fairly well in love with this series, but that doesn't mean there aren't things to criticize.

Note that there will be minor spoilers within, although probably nothing that anyone who's ever played an epic fantasy RPG can't guess. I will try to keep it vague because I know some of you out there are still planning to play. :)

These are a few of my favorite things. )

And some less favorite things. )
owlmoose: (ff7 - sword)
[personal profile] vieralynn asked about my favorite aspects of the Final Fantasy series, and how these aspects compare to other fantasy/rpg video games.

My favorite aspects of the Final Fantasy games are characters, world building, and story, pretty much in that order. When I sit down to play a new FF, or come back to revisit an old one, these are the things I am looking for, and hoping to sink into. Of course, not every FF game has these in equal measure: the lack of world building in FFXIII kept me from investing as much as I would have liked, for example, and the stories vary in quality quite a bit, and even the games I love most (FFX, X-2, XII, and IV) have a dud character or a flat plot point here and there. But overall, I would say these have been the series' strengths for me.

As I mentioned in my answer to [personal profile] lassarina's question about RPG gameplay, I haven't actually played that many RPGs outside the Final Fantasy series, but the one other series I have invested in, namely Dragon Age, succeeds in all three areas listed above. Excellent NPCs across the board, interesting stories mostly told well, and a fascinating setting in the world of Thedas. So no wonder I've been drawn to it, both as a player and as a fan. Mass Effect is also pretty strong in these respects, especially the storytelling, but I didn't connect as strongly to the characters or the setting as I did to Dragon Age, or my main Final Fantasy fandoms (Spira and Ivalice). (I'm still not really sure why that was. Probably that's another post for another day.)

I think it's pretty safe to say that, so far, I've found the Dragon Age games more compelling across the board, in all three of these areas, than any of the most recent Final Fantasy titles (FFXIII and its sequel). And although I have some hope for FFXV, for various reasons I don't trust Square Enix as much as I used to -- especially not in how they handle characters and character development. It'll be interesting to see if I continue to be a fan of the franchise going forward.

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