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

Tour Guides and Wanderers: The Replayable Narrative Dilemma

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

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

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

Can Games Rhyme?

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn. (Photo: PlayerAttack)

Music, when soft voices die, Vibrates in the memory; Odours, when sweet violets sicken, Live within the sense they quicken. Rose leaves, when the rose is dead, Are heap’d for the belovèd’s bed; And so thy thoughts, when thou art

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Posted in game design, game dev tips, narrative

Giving Up Control to Grow as Gamers

Heavy Rain

Every video game you’ve ever played is about control. If something is even to qualify as a video game as opposed to machinima or animation, there needs to be at least one player, and there needs to be an input

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Posted in culture, future, game design, narrative

The Lasers of Renga: Telling Stories with 100 Protagonists

renga-small

For the New York City game scene, IndieCade East was a milestone. Never before had an event mobilized all the disparate groups in NYC’s game community, gathering academics and students, indie developers, experimental designers and regular people just interested in

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Posted in future, game design, narrative, new york

The Discomfort Zone: The Hidden Potential of Valve’s AI Director

left-4-dead-cornfield-small

Remember Left 4 Dead? It’s highly likely you do; its 2008 release was heralded with tons of fanfare and a $10 million marketing spend that showed Valve meant business. The push paid off – as of October 2012, the game,

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Posted in game design, narrative

Using Narrative and Gameplay Congruency to Enhance Meaningful Play

walking_dead_train_small

Everyone loves to talk about immersion in games. The act of submerging the player (or yourself) into a game world, impossible though it may be, remains an unobtainable goal that many developers strive for. But this pursuit is shortsighted –

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Posted in game design, game dev tips, narrative