What video games can teach us about writing (3/3)

Over the last two months, I've written posts about how Breath of the Wild is an excellent example of how to do settings and how Shovel Knight reveals the depths of its characters through gameplay. While I'm sure the Breath of the Wild sequel will continue to advance its worldbuilding technique, and the final Shovel Knight DLC will give more insight into one of its boss characters, I'd like to spend this month discussing how Hollow Knight can provide writers with some clues on how to write effective foreshadowing, integrate ambiance into their settings, and provide steady and discernible character growth in their protagonists. Before we get into it, though, I feel a short explanation of the "Metroidvania" genre is in order. Hollow Knight is a platformer that abides by some of the basic tenets of games like Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (hence the genre of "Metroidvania"). There are two main aspects to a good Metroidvania: exploration and upgrades....
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What video games can teach us about writing (1/3)

Art inspires art. Sometimes a beautiful painting can give you an idea for a short story. Perhaps a beloved song is a jumping-off point for a novella. Maybe a great movie can get your creative juices flowing for a book of your own. Art can come in many forms, but one form most people don’t readily recognize is that of video games. I’ve already written about how games like Not Tetris describe my idea-collecting process, but recently I’ve played a few games I would consider artistic enough to pull some lessons into my own writing. Art inspires art. But, are video games art? Video games have come a long way from the days of Pong and Pac-Man. While these games were kept simple due to technical limitations, today’s video games no longer have these restrictions. I think one of the reasons why video games aren’t considered art is that most art is one-directional. You go to a museum to view paintings. You listen to music on your...
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