All posts tagged: story

Story as evolutionary success or failure lessons

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Idle thoughts for a rainy December evening. Viral player stories.  When you create games with deep systems, player run into amazing, emergent scenarios on a regular basis.  From these moments of player experience grow myths and legends.  Players tell them.  Press repeats them. Your game goes viral without requiring any of the whirring, queasy machinations of your local social network dealer. Why does this occur?  It happens without prompting.  It requires no points, no bribes.  It is […]

Theme and game design

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Recently I was chatting with some friends about the role of ‘theme’ in game design. Theme, in this discussion, was the setting of the game, be it fantasy, sci-fi, military, etc. At first blush, the typical game designer’s use of theme appears a bit primitive. Limited range compared to the wide variety of themes in movies or books. Games recycle a half dozen major themes or in some cases invent their own surrealist themes that […]

Project Horseshoe Report: The Watery Pachinko Machine of Doom

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Gamasutra was kind enough to post the report our group produced this year at Project Horseshoe. If you are interested in a brief glimpse into the thoughts of veteran game designers, it is worth a read. The topic our group chose was roughly related to ‘story in games’. However, it became quite clear that the group was more interested in discussing how games are able to support powerful new experiences. Story, in the traditional sense, […]

Ze Story Snobs

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There exists a powerful group within the gaming world that actively seeks to stamp out innovation unless it falls along the prescribed lines of their rigid and conservative doctrine. Who are these people? They are every developer, gamer and publisher who promotes the ideal that a good game must have a story. Raised on fine stories from the golden years of novel writing and movie production, story snobs see games as just another opportunity to […]

The root of shock game advertising

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I was flipping through my copy of EGM with my fiancé just the other day. It was a rather embarrassing tour through the current gaming culture. In the first few pages, we perused the standard mixture of guns and ultra violence. “Look,” I pointed, “there’s Lara’s bum festooned with some charming grenade accessories. And check out those flying WW2 chaps on page 10. They certainly do bounce about when consumed in a massive fireball.” Finally, […]

Space Crack: The Space Opera

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How I stopped worrying about ludology and learned to love game plots Introduction This is part 12 of an ongoing game design document written as a blog. Be sure to catch up on previous posts. In the last installment, we talked about creating a component bible for all our art assets. Ah, game design 101 is over! This time we’ll have a bit of fun looking at the concept of story and how it really […]