Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

Tales of the Arabian Nights» Forums » General

Subject: How is the writing quality? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Erik Boyko
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How is the writing quality in the Book of Tales? Was it written by a professional writer, or a board game designer?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Chaplin
United Kingdom
Nottingham
Ice-choked tower, Mondavia, Nanglangka.
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
xxeyes wrote:
How is the writing quality in the Book of Tales? Was it written by a professional writer, or a board game designer?


Can those two skills not be owned by the same individual?

And, while I'm at it, how many more of these threads are there going to be, muddying up the waters for those who follow in a month's time looking for an answer to a real question.



3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Boyko
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mark,
This is a storytelling game. What better question is there than one about the quality of the writing? I did a quick search before posting and I didn't come across an answer to this question, so I don't think it is redundant.

I didn't mean to infer that a board game designer can't write, but I would imagine that a professional writer would be better suited for the job.
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I found the quality of the writing to be quite good. It's obviously not overly verbose, as they had to fit thousands of possible choices for players to make. I found it much better written and more entertaining than Arkham Horror, for instance.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Clyne
England
Hazlemere
Bucks
flag msg tools
Empire of the Midnight Beard
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
xxeyes wrote:
How is the writing quality in the Book of Tales? Was it written by a professional writer, or a board game designer?

By definition the writers at ZMan are professional as they are being paid for the work.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Boyko
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks James. I'm glad to hear it is better written than Arkham Horror. It is an intriguing concept. I'd love to see it succeed with a well-written and thought provoking storyline. However, I understand that it is a "choose your own adventure" style story, so I won't set my expectations too high. I imagine it is difficult to write well in such a fragmented format.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
xxeyes wrote:
Thanks James. I'm glad to hear it is better written than Arkham Horror. It is an intriguing concept. I'd love to see it succeed with a well-written and thought provoking storyline. However, I understand that it is a "choose your own adventure" style story, so I won't set my expectations too high.


It's more often "silly" than "thought provoking". For our group, we'd rather have silly anyways, but if you're looking for an emerging deep storyline, I don't think this game is it. It's fun to see how lots of pieces fit together though and the stories often end up holding together much better than I expect.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
The Herbie Nichols Project - Dr. Cyclops' Dream
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yugblad wrote:
And, while I'm at it, how many more of these threads are there going to be, muddying up the waters for those who follow in a month's time looking for an answer to a real question.


If by real question you mean rules question, those will (hopefully) be posted in the 'Rules' folder. This was posted under 'General', which seems entirely appropriate to me.

Of course, the ease of browsing the Rules folder will be somewhat dependent on the individual thread titles, but that's another issue. If people title their rules queries as well as the O.P. titled this thread, it should be a breeze.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Boyko
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks again. There is room in my collection for some "silliness" so I'll still keep the game on my radar.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian
France
Lyon
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Plus "silly" and "thought provoking" are not exclusive .

I was too sometimes amazed as how random pieces of writing "made" a story in this game.
If you like surrealism I think TotAN has this kind of quality. I am somehow convinced that this game would haved pleased Oulipo members, people like Perec or Queneau. Granted, Perec would have wanted to write the exhaustive cataloguing of TotAN stories

On another note, trying to fit all the pieces together is a real and interesting writing (or "script writing") exercice. I think.

I'm trying to make that radar echo louder
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kris wrote:
Plus "silly" and "thought provoking" are not exclusive .


Agreed, there are many good movies and books that are both silly and thought provoking. I'd argue that to combine these 2 requires more intentionality than the mostly random choose-your-own-adventure story that this game provides, though.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Maroney
United States
Yonkers
New York
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
smok wrote:
xxeyes wrote:
How is the writing quality in the Book of Tales? Was it written by a professional writer, or a board game designer?

By definition the writers at ZMan are professional as they are being paid for the work.


I, myself, am definitively semiprofessional: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiprozine
2 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Boyko
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Christian, thanks for the reference. I had to look up Oulipo. I think you're right, the game seems like a good fit with their interests. This is intriguing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Derek J
Canada
Brampton
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Let's Go Flyers!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just played a 2 character solo run to learn the game, and I think the more fun the group is willing to have, the more fun it will be.

Now I realize that sounds like strange/redundant comment, but if you have people in your game group who, when they watch a movie, pick it apart for it's lack of realism or plot holes, then you might want to stay away from TotAN. Not that its format bothers me, I love it!

Another note: In the rules they frequently refer to the person you are encountering as "the other". So you have to actually sub in the word "the other" with the name of what you are encountering on the card or whatever is written on the matrix. After a while I got used to it and got caught up in the journey of the 2 characters!

If you have an open mind and a bit of imagination, the paragraphs, status cards, encounter illustrations and beautiful map will carry you through the rough parts of the paragraph reading/fitting.

When I look back at the first game as a whole I only remember the highlights; the sex change of a character from male to female, being put into slavery, being conned by an evil vizier, rescuing a hermit from killer giant fish...

in what other game can you have this much adventure?!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Osborn
United States
Springfield
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
xxeyes wrote:
How is the writing quality in the Book of Tales? Was it written by a professional writer, or a board game designer?


Shakespeare himself never wrote a better choose-your-own adventure book.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Yim
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The writing is OK, but the paragraphs are more event-focused than descriptive. I'm planning to recommend when we play that the reader embellishes the paragraphs with improvised details (and probably inside jokes). Of course, this requires a group of imaginative people.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Something we found interesting with the writing is that we found Narnia references came up repeatedly while playing this game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jody Fletcher
United States
Newark
Delaware
flag msg tools
mbmb
During the reading, it is important for the reader to keep in mind the environment/character/foe due to the frequent use of 'OTHER' in the text, and this is brought up in the rules to pay attention so that when reading you can say "The looks at you and..." instead of "The other looks at you and..."

The writing is concise, with certain encounters and Places of Power having longer reads. Considering that you have to pay attention to the players talents, having one of 3 possible selections to read from they did an excellent job making it readable and interesting.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Roger Yim wrote:
The writing is OK, but the paragraphs are more event-focused than descriptive. I'm planning to recommend when we play that the reader embellishes the paragraphs with improvised details (and probably inside jokes). Of course, this requires a group of imaginative people.


I think it would be kinda fun to have a Tales' Book that is a bit more fleshed out, descriptively. Maybe they can produce one later. They could either print or make it available for purchase as a downloadable PDF that players then print and assemble themselves.

I agree that players that get into the spirit of the game and read aloud with a bit of gusto and theatrics will have the most fun with it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T France
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Played for the first time last night with my wife. She would use various voices/accents for the characters speaking in the Encounters and it was HIGH-LARIOUS fun!...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Yim
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Played a game recently with a friend who is in theater. OMG she was too funny, doing character voices and all. It was especially hilarious when a big dramatic build up would lead to something like, "Your attempt to persuade the evil prince FAILS! 1 story point." Seemed to happen to me every other turn.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Maroney
United States
Yonkers
New York
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Roger Yim wrote:
The writing is OK, but the paragraphs are more event-focused than descriptive. I'm planning to recommend when we play that the reader embellishes the paragraphs with improvised details (and probably inside jokes). Of course, this requires a group of imaginative people.


Congratulations! You've independently re-invented the Storytelling variant! :-)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.