Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fantasy Influences

As an extension to my last blog post I’d like to expand on the foundation that I have had to help set my scene for the future. All of the sources listed below I do rate as quality entertainment but for me more importantly they were building blocks to developing a vibrant imagination so if you pick one up I hope it has the same impact on you as it has for me.

First up let’s start with movies. Although I did read recently that interest in movies, particularly in younger generations, is dropping off due to a combination of home theatres becoming more popular and a preference to download and watch films at home. Still there are some great flicks out there and a few of my favourites, in no particular order, are these...

• Chronicles of Riddoch
• Gladiator
• Lord of the Rings Series, extended editions
• Braveheart
• Princess Bride
• Excalibur, 1981 version by John Boorman
• Beowulf, go the 3d version if you can see it for it’s a classic tale well told

Now I have covered books in my last post but that was looking at the path I’ve taken over the years and a guide for those looking to start reading fantasy, follow the link if you’d like to read more, so I do not want to rehash the same story here. Thus a small simple list here should suffice. An interesting note however; Fly away Peter is not a fantasy work but is such a great book I felt I had to include it...

• Empire series, Raymond E Feist
• The Malazan Book of the Fallen Series, Steven Erikson
• Magician, Raymond E Feist
• Twins series, Weis & Hickman
• Chronicles series, Weis & Hickman
• Fly away Peter, David Malouf

Now to the last vestment of fantasy that I tend to spend a great deal of time in; computer games. The popularity of this medium has shown to be expanding over the last 6 years or so with this industry now topping the entertainment scene in terms of gross dollars income per year. So what are some of the hallmarks here, as with the previous lists there is no particular order of preference?

• Baldur’s Gate I & II, the second game in this was one of the best fantasy games
• Neverwinter Nights I & II, this includes the expansions which in truth were better than the original games
• Total War Series, now totally 5 different titles of which Rome Total War was perhaps the best so far
• MMO’s, here there are a myriad of different titles such as LOTRO, Warhammer, D&D Online, Guild Wars many of which current releases are based around existing fantasy worlds or stories to help gain traction in terms of sales and interest.
• Half Life I & II
• Dragon Age Origins, this is one of the most impressive releases I’ve seen in quite a few years which is why I have chosen to use the toolset for this game to create some mods for my world. The only unfortunate aspect to this game is that it is purely single player, hopefully that will be fixed in time with an update.

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