I'd planned to hold off on getting The Sims Medieval for a while, but when I stopped by Target to make my planned purchase of the Ambitions expansion pack for Sims 3, there was Medieval at a ridiculous discount. I still meant to be strong, but I didn't count on the generous friend who was with me. Said friend doesn't want to play, herself, but likes to hear what my Sims are up to, and so it came home.
Timesink. I'm glad I waited until the weekend, because as soon as I turned it on, it was like stepping into a slightly bizarre, oddly realistic, very painterly picture book. Monarchs! Bards! Knights! Several quests involving romance in some aspect. Plus the pit beast, kingdom building, gruel, sailing to far off lands to trade goods - haven't done that last one yet, but oh be still my heart. Historical romance fans who are also gamers have got to get a copy of this.
I am tempted to call this research. As soon as I got started, I had plans - I could marry my monarch to my knight and secure an heir, which will be useful in case one of the quests results in my monarch being um, not as alive as she currently is. That was the plan, but then other quests came up and my monarch and knight are cooling their heels while my physician (who is now courting my bard, so somebody's getting some love) and merchant race about to cooperate in attempting to cure a plague. My blacksmith, when last seen, was training a lovely female apprentice and completed a legendary quest to get rid of his flaw of uncouthness, replacing it with Herculean strength. My monk has been freely distributing sacred texts. I have yet to place a wizard's tower or spy headquarters, or for that matter, a kingball court, but any of those will add another layer to the unfolding story.
Because that's how I play any of the Sims games - they are stories, told in pixels rather than words, and because I am me, they are heavy on the romance. Doesn't matter in this case if my physician is gathering leeches or my blacksmith is making armor, my brain is always spinning things. When can I get back to some loving for my monarch and knight? Do I marry my physician and bard now or make them wait for one of the quests when I need a wedding? For that matter, what about the barmaid who keeps bringing my bard a tankard of ale every time he comes home? Sure, the fate of the kingdom is at stake, but for me, the love is the heart of it all.
All of which puts my mind in historical romance mode, which, being a historical romance writer, is a perfectly good place for it to be. Also makes me hungry for a great medieval read in the very near future.
Readers or writers who game, how does your gaming affect your story construction/consumption?