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[UO Herald] Judging the Sudiva Fiction Writing Contest

Discussion in 'UHall' started by UO News, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. UO News

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    Hello Everyone,
    I was asked to judge the Sudiva fiction writing contest and recruit more judges to join in. The first person I asked to read the entries was Mike “Phoenix” Moore. But there are other people even outside of the UO team who have a lot of knowledge and love for the UO history - one of them is Kate Flack, one of our Lead Designers who also has a great collection of the old UO games. I respect her opinion and love her creativity so Kate was a logical choice to be a judge. With that said she has written a note to you guys.
    When Ultima Online producer Bonnie Armstrong asked me to help judge a fiction competition, little did I know just how creative and inspired the entries would be! As a Lead Designer for BioWare Mythic, I deal with writing every day. Whether it’s technical precision or emotive dialogue, I’m constantly assessing my team’s writing and pushing them to deliver at ever higher grades of quality.

    I fully expected to be the ‘bad cop’ judge. I’ve made a career of IP interpolation (that’s industry jargon for ‘coming up with new stuff that fits the game world’) and I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to explain ‘that’s a good idea, but it doesn’t quite fit because of x, y or z’ to an eager designer with a new idea. I was worried how I’d give you feedback that was kind, but accurate. You know the sort of thing- should I choose Justice or Compassion?

    Imagine my happy astonishment at the depth and more importantly, subtlety of the entries we received. Ultima isn’t an easy Intellectual Property to grok. The heritage of the game is long and winding. The systems of the various games are intricate. It’s high fantasy with even higher ideals behind it. It was a pleasure to read stories dealing deftly, even effortlessly, with the world. From despair in the darkness to the glittering heights of dragonflight, these tales do Ultima proud. Whether it’s Paladins with Mice, cunning peasants or spiritual insight, you’ve found inventive and entertaining ways to free Sudiva from the shackles of the Dungeon Covetous.

    It’s been hard to choose a few winners from amongst this crop. I was particularly charmed by the use of ‘dragonsmirk’ and even the idea of Sudiva settling in Moonglow Zoo. Still, this is a competition, so I’ve tried to pick stories that speak to the Virtues and the history of Ultima, whilst also being a damn good read.

    Well done to everyone who took part. Let’s do this again sometime!

    Kate Flack
    Lead Designer, BioWare Mythic.
    We are currently compiling the results of the different judges and will announce the winners soon.
    Thank you for all the great stories!

    Continue reading...
     
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  2. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    I want to know a lot more about this Dev. :)
    Thank you.
     
  3. Cogniac

    Cogniac Grand Inquisitor
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  4. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    I just want the judging to be finished... *chews nails*
     
  5. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    Same. I just wanna find out I lost so I can stop fretting over it.
     
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  6. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Can always do like I did... just write for yourself and your own amusement/stress relief and let the cards fall wherever they fall :thumbup:
     
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  7. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    Sadly just not how my mind works. Really wish it did.
     
  8. Adol

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    You've all gained recognition from one of the Lead Producers of one of the most famous studios for Plotting, so none of of you have "Lost" Crysta, indeed the submissions impressed them so much that Kate Flack said "Let’s do this again sometime!"

    Of course, I realise we all want to become part of the official lore, and be recognised as number 1 regardless... so yeah, butterfly stomachs over here too. But I'm trying to focus on the previous sentence all the same!
     
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  9. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    People always say something like that though. :p

    You really trying to tell me this is the first time you've heard "all of the entries were just amazing" in a contest?

    Not saying that I think Mesanna isn't telling the truth.. I trust her rather extensively. Is just nothing new.
     
  10. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Well, look on the bright side.. She could have said "almost all the entries were great, but a few of them sucked" :gee:
     
  11. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    There's something to be said about truth in advertising, you know.. :p
     
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  12. Faeryl

    Faeryl Babbling Loonie
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    Mine would probably be the latter choice :D
     
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  13. Adol

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    Well no, it is somewhat of a cliche I admit; however objectively if the entrants this time can impress them with the positivity and creativity of the community here and we do get another fiction contest, not only will that help with the wider reputation of the game (it would be unique in a major MMO to have that level of player input outside of mission creators) but every one of you were part of the deep pool of talent which made it seem worth repeating... or at least reporting on. Who knows which gaming media will see the 21 different stories and click with one of them in particular, like the "dragonsmirk" comment did for Kate?

    That one wasn't mine by the way ... but my story was referenced maybe twice :p BUT! Is that because I won... or was it the clichéd runner up prize mention again?

    HNNNNGHHH! Yeah, I understand self doubt. I hated my own ending as 1000 words were just not enough. The first draft came out fine, but I trimmed and cut and edited that last paragraph, and I saw a slight sentence error and I WANT A SECOND GO RIGHT NOW ARRRGHHH
     
  14. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    So um.. what's "dragonsmirk"?
     
  15. Faeryl

    Faeryl Babbling Loonie
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    I read mine again after sending it in and found a typo. I was like "oh nooooooo" lol

    I couldn't even get mine to 1000 words, but I sure did try. think I spent all my brainpower on reports though. :D
     
  16. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    I tend to hold off on doing anything till the last few hours because the pressure helps me. Unfortunately this time, I didn't notice the proper timezone for the contest.. ended up having less than an hour to write it, edit it, and send it in. I'm just thankful i'd had the general story planned out for about a week beforehand..
     
  17. Adol

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    Well in high fantasy, there's a tendency to compress two words into one, to further idealise the inherent (and idealised) nature of something, as if it's a proper noun (name) for something. The most famous and relevant being "Dragonkin" for (of the) Dragon Kind, thus indicating it's an actual race more strongly. One presumes then that it a Dragon Smirk "Dragonsmirk" is a particularly Dragon way of making that expression... hopefully we'll find out SOON ENOUGH THOUGH!

    *prods vote collating people*
     
  18. Crysta

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    Ah... neat... I guess it should be obvious I haven't read much fantasy, at least relating to dragons (that aren't conversed with by hobbits).
     
  19. Adol

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    I've not even read LOTR.... but I can spot cliches... and USE 'em! Mooohahahah. I'm supposed to be playing City of Heroes on a task force right now, but I keep coming back here to refresh the page, sigh...
     
  20. Crysta

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    Literally meant The Hobbit, actually. You should get it if you wait 'til the second half of the movie comes out next year. :p
     
  21. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    *arches eyebrow* There isn't anything specific to UO in there. Not that I see anyway. But, I like her attitude and the idea that this world is not new to her. It is also a huge plus that she counts pleasantly stepping on the dreams of young and impressionable designers bent to make us play in "their" version of "our" world as an asset. I do too.
    ;)
     
  22. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    Mesanna's post does say
    I think I can now reveal that the other judges were:
    Cogniac - for UOGuide
    Kahlan - for UOForums
    Lady Tia - for UOStratics.
    I'd also like to acknowledge with thanks the significant input of Nimuaq during the 'setting up' stage, especially for finding the accredited literary reference for judging criteria.
     
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  23. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    That's too funny. I did the same... :)
     
  24. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    You guys were able to read yours again after sending them in?
     
  25. MalagAste

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    Typically if I write something I DO keep a copy on hand.... and do occasionally re-read it even after I've read it 30 times ..... and still find something I want to tweak...
     
  26. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
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    I have a bad habit of doing my most thorough proof reading after I've submitted a piece...
     
  27. Crysta

    Crysta Babbling Loonie
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    It's just... especially if its a contest... I just get so embarrassed thinking about it that I can't bear to open it up and look at it again... I guess I just can't imagine what that's like.
     
  28. Llewen

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    I've been writing creatively for a very very long time. I've never had anything published, but I've done readings, and I've won contests. I know that I can write, and I enjoy reading what I write. And the wonderful thing I find about rereading my work, is I always find nuggets and subtleties there afterwards that I didn't expect or even intend, but which make me happy. I'm also an actor, and for me the idea of performance is also a huge part of the creative process for me, and I enjoy thinking about how I would read a piece of fiction, and I'll even read it to family members at times.

    To be a successful artist you have to have a degree of confidence that can appear to others who do not understand it to amount to arrogance, and at times it can even, and sometimes even must, go that far. It takes a great deal of courage and confidence to pour yourself into a piece, and then hold it out for others to engage with. I think the sex scene in a movie or a play probably captures the essence of artistic expression more truly than just about any other. Your character is naked, vulnerable, and in the throes of a powerful emotional experience.

    The greatest art leaves the artist exposed in a very similar way and even something as seemingly unimportant as this contest contains some of those same elements of exposure.
     
  29. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    That's all I used - did it the first day, didn't even count the words, but it wasn't very long. It either works for them, or it doesn't. Sent by PM to Petra, so I'll always have a copy (after a minute or so, it can't be changed or edited), and then gave her an email addy.
     
  30. Adol

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    Wait, wait! I have a last minute entry!

     
  31. WildStar

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    *suspects Adol may be a bit late*
     
  32. Cogniac

    Cogniac Grand Inquisitor
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    Well, considering you have confused my name with the aged brandy known as cognac, I'd say you're off to a rough start.
     
  33. Kylie Kinslayer

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    That's better than writing, then seeing you are at 1600 words and goin'.... Oh crap wtf do I cut?!?! :p



    Rut Roh..... See, I be a fair enuff story teller, I kan spin a yarn with most anyone, but I ain't one fer literaty stuff. Reckon mine be on da bottom of da pile now :gee:
     
  34. Adol

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    You'd prefer to be "a pronoun resolution engine designed around the assumption that there is a sub-class of anaphora that does not require general purpose
    reasoning."...? Interestingly, you here at Stratics are the second and fourth google hits for "cogniac", but you can be anything you want to be! Sugar. Honey tush. Vote for meeee, because... I WUV U!

    *insert bribe here*

    (I know voting is over, I'm just trying to keep the stomach butterflies away whilst we wait ... and wait...)
     
  35. Petra Fyde

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    results are up!
     
  36. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Wait no more ;)

    Grats to the winners!

     
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  37. Faeryl

    Faeryl Babbling Loonie
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    Ah well, I knew I wouldn't win ;)

    Congrats to the winners and great job to everyone who entered! :D
     
  38. Ludes

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    Totally cool! So this fiction will decide where Sudiva ends up? What a totally cool way to immortalize yourself into the UO segment of the Ultima world! My sincere congratulations to Alouenikah, Martyna Z'muir and Jhym,
     
  39. Adol

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    My best wishes to the winners. Time to sit back and appreciate why they won... time to sit and read for me.
     
  40. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    I can say with confidence Crysta that every entry was indeed a good read. Kate was not posing here :)

    You should all be very proud and those of us who lack your vision and bravery for sharing that vision should feel very proud right now.
     
  41. Sevin0oo0

    Sevin0oo0 Guest

    Congrats all! We're all winners, really - we do it because we care - a very stunning example, we help make UO what it is.
     
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