Words appearing elsewhere

29 November 2010

Just a quick note to mention some words of mine that have appeared elsewhere.

Firstly, my Game Dev Story piece was republished over at Gamasutra. Thanks to Simon Carless for getting in touch about that; some nice comments, and a little more awareness around a bunch of things I’m ruminating quite hard on at the moment.

And secondly, I was interviewed – along with real games developers Nels Anderson and Manveer Heir – in this piece from Gamespot Australia’s Laura Parker. The articles starts by looking at Limbo (which I must admit, I am not as enamoured of as many) and going on to look at what “mainstream” games development can learn from what’s going on in the indie sector right now. My input mainly came around following some of my writing on games literacy. It’s a really strong article, and I’m sorry that it got buried on the staff blog, because it deserves a much wider audience, and I hope Laura continues to push this kind of feature writing.

That’s all for now. I’m currently writing up my talk from Interesting North which is, as usual, taking longer than expected. I mainly write longhand, but it’s amazing how long expanding on notes that say “now explain this” takes. I should have a transcript complete this week.

  • "…let's not kid ourselves. If you sell a game that's a first-person shooter, then no matter how many RPG elements you shoe-horn into the game, the shadow that hangs over every character interaction that you have, no matter who they are, is the question in the player's mind of "What happens if I shoot this person?" And that's our own fault! We've sold the player that; we've made a contract with the player that says it's okay to kill people. Why would we then chastise them for exploring that?" Patrick Redding is brilliant. This interview, with Chris Remo on Gamasutra, is great – Remo asks some smart questions, and Redding gives some really smart answers.
  • "The game insists that I focus, even for mundane activities like carrying groceries, on carefully following directions delivered to me visually on-screen. The simple act of carrying groceries is subsumed by the mechanical procedure of executing a series of prompts _for no apparent reason_. This, for me, is the primary disconnect in Heavy Rain. My mechanical game-directed actions don't amplify or add meaning to the in-game behaviors they execute. They don't pull me in; they keep me out. " Hmn. I've been thinking about something similar recently. Time to fire up the blogpostmatron…
  • Lovely, lovely article explaining just how the PeepCode Blog works. The blog itself features unique layouts for every post. There's no CMS, no database, but what's going on under the hood is at least as clever – and the flexibility makes the beautiful and clear pages much easier to build.
  • "…for reasons that baffle me, my TV can only receive the four terrestrial channels, plus a grainy feed from the building’s security cameras. Easy choice."