Blog Archives

How Elegy for a Dead World Coaxes Forth Creativity

Elegy for a Dead World

Writing is not the act of putting words on a page. It includes that, to be sure, but there is so much more to the process than simply creating the result. Your mind stretches and spaces out; thoughts drift away

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Posted in culture, game design, narrative

An Oculus Bedtime Story

Photo: The Verge

“Mommy, will you show me a bedtime story?” “Yes, dear. Now get ready for bed.” Charlie hops into bed, pulling the comforter tight over his little body. Wiggling his toes beneath the sheets in anticipation. Mommy opens the closet door

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Posted in culture, future, game design

Tour Guides and Wanderers: The Replayable Narrative Dilemma

The Teylers Museum in the Netherlands.
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Posted in game design, narrative

Shipping Is a Muscle

Copies of Jason Rohrer's Diamond Trust of London.

Finishing things is hard. For all the brand new conveniences and leisure distractions available today, the harsh reality is that the world only values you for what you produce. This is largely true for game development – unless you’re backed

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Posted in game design, game dev tips, living

The Lasting Excellence of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver’s Writing

Raziel in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is widely regarded for its excellent writing. There’s a reason for this that may not exactly surprise you: its writing is excellent, and deserves to be studied as an exemplar of what game writing can

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Posted in game design, game dev tips, narrative

Particle Mace: The Space Game About Selflessness

Particle Mace in action.

Nothing can match the power of subtext. In almost any interaction between sentient beings, the things that go unsaid tend to be the most powerful. One reason for why this remains an innate human truth is the power of the

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Posted in culture, game design, interview

Play Nice: Building the Well-Behaved Game

Screenshot: UFC Undisputed 2010

Maybe it was something a teacher said to you years ago, when you were still a child. Maybe a parent uttered an offhand comment that stayed with you, despite its seeming normalcy. Maybe a stranger muttered something to you on

Posted in f2p, game design, game dev tips

PRACTICE Makes Better: Self-Improvement Through Game Design

A slide from Robert Yang's talk, Well-Made: Back to Black Mesa.

“How do you let people betray each other?” “How do you handle gay marriage?” “How do you get people to want to play?” No, the above aren’t results from a Google auto-complete gone wrong. These were just a few of

Posted in game design, game dev tips, new york

How to Serendipity

Voler plus haut by André Desjardins. (Photo: Gallerie Roccia)

It was my last day in Montreal. I had just finished lunch at a local landmark a friend had recommended. The rest of the day was wide open before a late flight back home to New York. I wandered for

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Posted in culture, game design, game dev tips, narrative

A New Perspective on Game Writing

crime police

And now, an excerpt from the novelization of this year’s Interactive Game Society Award Winner for Best Writing, Murder Avenue. I thought he was crazy. We both knew the odds of Cob Tyler coming back to his old stomping grounds

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Posted in game design, narrative