Blog Archives

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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Honor Thy Player’s Time

The cinematics for the summon spells in Final Fantasy VIII caught flack for being unusually long as well as unskippable.

It’s a glorious Sunday morning. You stir and stretch in your bed, a mess of wonderfully soft sheets and covers. The whole day is open. Will you laze around for a bit more? Get up and go for a walk,

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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

The Importance of Making Players Feel Important

Making your players feel important

Everybody likes feeling important. It’s the reason why you’re more inclined to listen to someone if they address you as “Sir” or “Miss” as opposed to “Hey you” or “Listen, schmuck.” It’s the reason why older siblings often feel a

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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

The Fallacy of Choice (In Games and Real Life)

Molleindustria's Unmanned

Games love to make a big deal about choices. Unfortunately, most of the time your only options boil down to either saving the helpless baby lamb from starving wolves or punting it to the pack leader, with nary a shade

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