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Thread: Best way to write an AAR?

  1. #1
    Sergeant robbieboro's Avatar
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    Best way to write an AAR?

    Im new to AAR's!

    Im just wondering what people regard as the best way to write one?

    eg

    - Play only a few weeks or months at a time adding updates as you go along
    - Play a longer amount and have fewer but larger updates
    - Play the whole game until end and then write the entire AAR, but only release it in various sizes every day or 2

    or are there any other ways you guys construct your AAR's?
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  2. #2
    Alternative Affairs Specialist TekcoR's Avatar
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    I play a few years at a time, then write about it. I get within about a year or two of running out of game time then play again until I'm a few years in advance again. Everybody has their own methods on writing and updating, you will eventually find your own way.
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  3. #3
    Sergeant robbieboro's Avatar
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    Cool,
    I was playing 3 months then writing, but it was taking ages, and as its my first AAR i wanted to go a bit quicker to get to grips with it and also the game! Just played a year and am going to write that up!
    Im wondering if its possible to play HoI screened! as at the minute, if i take a screenshot i have to quit the game and then check the screenshot, before going back into the game!!
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  4. #4
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Robbieboro,

    I'd say it depends on what your AAR is, which game, what style, etc.

    When I wrote Fire Warms, for old Victoria, I wrote pretty close to my playing in the beginning, then my story started developing in detail and the detail required that I plan ahead more -- that I know what was coming up 10 years down the road so I could add teasers, context, cliffhangers, etc. into the story (it was a narrative/historybook).

    For Sforza (EU3) I "wrote" the story as I went along -- I took screenshots of major events, and then when I came back around to write the story (gameplay mostly) about that period, I'd simply add text to the screenshots to explain what was going on. For this style it didn't matter much if I wrote right up to when I was playing, or waited a while (I think my gameplay is about 100 years ahead of the story now - lol). Sometimes if something was important, or I didn't figure I'd remember why it was important, I'd write the text for the screenshots as I was playing the game, but I found this VERY time consuming, and disruptive of the gameplay, so I stopped.

    For gameplay, I think, it doesn't matter alot. For narrative or historybook, it does.

    For Imperio Novo, my historybook/gameplay for HOI 3, I again take screenshots and write the text later. I stay a ways ahead in gameplay from the story so I know how each minor/major event fits into the "historical context", which affects how I will write it.

    Likewise, for my V2 I Am Siam, I stay just a few years ahead of the updates, and base it off screenshots which I write the text for later.

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  5. #5
    On Probation thrashing mad's Avatar

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    I tend to play a little bit ahead, usually 1 or 2 monarchs more than one described in an update. Like Rensslaer wrote - it lets you see bigger picture, and write story that flows naturally from one update to another. Ideally, I would like to play whole game and then write an AAR, but it can kill your motivation and 'what`s next?' curiosity factor.

  6. #6
    Sergeant robbieboro's Avatar
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    Interesting, thanks guys,

    Well i think for the time being as Ive just begun I may vary it. Ive just had a period of a year where not much happened so played, then wrote that up, which actually didnt take long! I may throw a few short updates in then go into a long update! Keep it interesting i think!

    But i do think that once battles begin, i will have to update my month, or sometimes even weeks if Germany begin to pound me!

    Thanks for the imput
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  7. #7
    Major Serek000's Avatar
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    It all really depends on the AAR. There are some in which they're light and quick and can be finished in a matter of weeks or months. Others, especially the information heavy history book or detailed narrative ones, can go on for years (and appropriately so - information overload is no fun for anyone!). It never hurts to save often, though - it gives you clear-cut starting and stopping points. Save after a treaty, after a major infrastructure overhaul, right before a DoW, etc.

    In the end what is most important, though, is your comfort - it's better to read a choppy AAR if it feels like the author is really enjoying it, instead of an AAR that reads like the author is updating only out of obligation.

    Although I don't know why I'm trying to be helpful to a Boro fan. Something must be wrong with me.

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    Major Alfredian's Avatar
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    Although I don't know why I'm trying to be helpful to a Boro fan. Something must be wrong with me.
    There is nothing wrong with trying to ease the suffering of the unfortunate.

    Back on topic, a British WW2 AAR also has the challenge of having to cover a lot of different fronts at once. This means some hard decisions about whether you want updates that give a very broad picture, or a narrow (and deep) focus on one area.
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  9. #9
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    First of all I set a timeframe or specific goals for any AAR. So I'll want to play through to the death of a notable figure or until I unite the country or whatever. I then play the game through to this point or far enough that I'm able to fit an overarching narrative to the gameplay. That's important for a history/narrative AAR. Best way to keep track of events/gameplay is to play along with pen and paper beside you and taking screenshots where necessary. Then comes the difficult bit

    I really do struggle with a weekly update schedule so I tend to write the vast bulk of the AAR before I actually start it on the forums. A lot of this will be fairly rough (although still with 80-90% of the writing in place for each update) and then I'll revise it the week before posting; adding pictures and formatting, moving paragraphs about, incorporating feedback, etc. This lets me write without a regular writing schedule but then my output is far from prolific and my AARs relatively short at around 15-20 updates. It also gives me a chance to do some research which will usually include reading a few books on the subject
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  10. #10
    Sergeant robbieboro's Avatar
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    Although I don't know why I'm trying to be helpful to a Boro fan. Something must be wrong with me.
    you must be a very kind individual to help out someone who enjoys watching such a s**t football team! hence why im now writing AARs, take my mind off the rubbish!! thanks for the help tho

    There is nothing wrong with trying to ease the suffering of the unfortunate.

    Back on topic, a British WW2 AAR also has the challenge of having to cover a lot of different fronts at once. This means some hard decisions about whether you want updates that give a very broad picture, or a narrow (and deep) focus on one area.
    This is a problem im having! its such a large front! at the minute, its just europe, but once the med and far east kick in, it will become thougher! i think im trying to be too detailed for my first AAR with such a vast empire! this is kinda a practice AAR tho, get the feel of how i wanna run them after this!

    First of all I set a timeframe or specific goals for any AAR. So I'll want to play through to the death of a notable figure or until I unite the country or whatever. I then play the game through to this point or far enough that I'm able to fit an overarching narrative to the gameplay. That's important for a history/narrative AAR. Best way to keep track of events/gameplay is to play along with pen and paper beside you and taking screenshots where necessary. Then comes the difficult bit

    I really do struggle with a weekly update schedule so I tend to write the vast bulk of the AAR before I actually start it on the forums. A lot of this will be fairly rough (although still with 80-90% of the writing in place for each update) and then I'll revise it the week before posting; adding pictures and formatting, moving paragraphs about, incorporating feedback, etc. This lets me write without a regular writing schedule but then my output is far from prolific and my AARs relatively short at around 15-20 updates. It also gives me a chance to do some research which will usually include reading a few books on the subject
    im playing a week at a time now, taking screenshots and writing as i play along, im being too ambitious tho, trying to get out an update every day!
    im in the process of planning a US AAR, but i will use this as my main AAR with a lot of depth and detail
    The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire AAR - LOST DUE TO BROKEN LAPTOP

    United States 1939 AAR - In Planning Stages

    Nationalist Spain 1939 AAR - Under Consideration

    Middlesbrough Football Club is my Religion
    The Gym is my Mecca

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