As part of this year's September Shorts I've asked writer friends to contribute posts inspired by the title One Cool Thing. They'll be telling you about one cool thing they're looking forward to as Autumn approaches. It might be a book or movie, a tabletop or computer game, an event or visit to a special place, a chance to achieve something... or perhaps even an exciting new project.
Today is the turn of a superb sci-fi writer of both novels and short stories, Tony Ballantyne. He's the guy behind Dream London and Dream Paris and his work (including my favourite, the wonderful 'Midway') has appeared in Lightspeed and Analog. You can check out his website here.
Tony Ballantyne: Star Wars Squadrons
One thing I'm looking forward to this Autumn is the release of Star Wars Squadrons. I don't know if it will be any good, even if it is I don't suppose I'll play it that much, but that's not the point.
What I'm really looking forward to is reliving how much I enjoyed playing X Wing back in the 90s. Everything about that game captured the spirit of the original films. The graphics were realistic in the sense that they were better than the graphics on the flight console of Luke's X Wing in A New Hope, the mission arc had a suitable degree of challenge. Best of all, the game's physics made sense. You really felt as if you were flying an X wing.
Even getting the game to load was an adventure, you had to write your autoexec.bat and config.sys files to make sure you'd set up extended memory properly. Working your way through text file configurations make more sense to me than whatever menu system Microsoft have imposed on the X Box this week.
So Star Wars Squadrons could be pretty cool, but the bar is set very high. Let's face it, we're not going to raise the next generation of Rebellion pilots on Battlefront.