Making The Epic of Sadko: Entry Two

For a class I am taking, I have to create a concept document explaining the idea I have for the game that I want to make this semester. Since I already know a lot about the game I’m trying to make for the class, I thought I would share it with my few readers. I went back to look at my other posts on The Epic of Sadko, and I realized that they don’t really explain much about the game in concept. This seems as good a time as any to describe it.

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Heaving a Huge Sigh of Relief

Goodness it’s been a while. These last few weeks have been nothing but rush to get significant work done on three projects that plagued be throughout the semester. But they are done for now and I can relax for a little bit. What I’m going to do today is recap the last four months or so, and explain what I am going to be doing this Summer. I’m going to do this in the following way:

  1. A list of the games I played or watched plays of (via roommate or YouTube)
  2. An update on the game project for the semester (The Doors Are Frozen Shut)
  3. An update on the narrative project
  4. An update on the player types project
  5. My plan for the next 3.5 months

I have made links so that you can skip past things like the lest of games. If the more link is showing below, then you’ll need to hit it to use the links. So without further ado.

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Reading: Imaginary Games and Patterns in Game Design

I am probably about to do two books probably a great deal of injustice. I do not mean to, but I feel like I have been a bit lax in some of my reading lately.  I have had two books on my radar for a while, bought them about a month ago, and I hadn’t really gotten around to reading them yet. One was Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling by Chris Crawford (no surprise). I’m still working on that one because it is really interesting to me and I want to give more than usual.  The other book is Imaginary Games by Chris Bateman. You may have noticed that I also indicated Patterns in Game Design as part of the post title.  A few days ago, I was skulking about on Twitter, following conversations back for context, when I came across a book recommendation from Brenda Brathwaite. She mentioned Patterns in Game Design (by Staffanto Bjork) to someone as a must-read book.  I casually checked my university library and found we had an electronic copy. I didn’t read it right away, but instead tried to find someplace to buy the book (with no luck as the book appears to be a bit rare).  Eventually I got around to reading it in my own way.  The injustice I am giving these books is, for the most part, that I did not read every word. In fact, I read only parts that I thought were relevant to my topics. Even still I am going to talk about them anyway.

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Narrative Project Outline

In an effort to keep as much of my research progress as transparent as possible, I am presenting you with an outline.   I have reasons for this beyond just showing off what I’m going to write about. My main reason for doing this is that I need a third game to use as an example in one section. I don’t know what it is yet, and I need suggestions.  If you want a little bit of background on this project then you can read about it here (this is the one about narrative).  I’m looking for games that force you to do things, or in which you can make a choice (and that choice affects the narrative of the game in some major way). I am trying to avoid Roleplaying Games for this third game. Dark Souls, my first game example, is an RPG. It’s easy to find narrative elements in RPGs. Less so in other kinds of games. As such, I want to show that my concept can be used for a game where the narrative isn’t so obvious.  BONUS POINTS are given if the game has a stated narrative and the actions of the player suggest a different narrative.  For a baseline, lets try for games from 2005 and forward (but if an older game has your attention for this, feel free to explain). So, without any further introduction, I present an outline.

Takeaway: Chris Crawford at Mesa Community College

A ridiculous series of events happened today.  After work, I went to campus and had decided to spend the 20 minutes before my class listening to a public discussion on games between Alice Daer and Elizabeth Hayes (two of my professors). I wanted to eat beforehand, though, so I went into a place I hadn’t been before: Baja Fresh. When I got there, I happened to run into a friend of mine who had also decided to eat there for the first time.  We got to talking and he asked if I were going to the Chris Crawford talk tonight. I did a double take, because I hadn’t even known that there was a Chris Crawford talk tonight. What was doubly strange was that just yesterday I ordered on Amazon Chris Crawford’s book on interactive storytelling. Before I left for the public discussion mentioned earlier, I took up upon myself to find a way to get out of my class early enough to make it to the talk.  Fortunately, the latter half of the class was centered on the very basics of JavaScript programming (of which I am already familiar) so I left with plenty of time to make it to Mesa Community College, where Chis Crawford was giving his talk. I decided that, since none of my colleagues went (or likely even knew about it), I should probably write a little about my takeaway from Mr. Crawford.

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What I Really Mean When I Say ‘Narrative as a Mechanic’

Lately I have been touting around a shortcut phrase for what I am looking at in my other projects. The phrase is “Using Narrative as a Mechanic”.  This phrase is wrong.  I’m going to spend some time here discussing what I really mean by this phrase.  First, though the problem of the phrase.

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