Hey all. It’s been over a year since I’ve written anything here. I haven’t much felt like writing about things since I’m not yet established in a somewhat stable job, but I’ve been working nearly every day of the year on one project or another. I wanted to spend some time today writing a tiny bit about each of the projects I’ve worked on this year. This is helping me organize my thoughts about what I’ve done, but also allowing you some little insight into my world.
This will by no means be a comprehensive list. I’m sure that I’ll forget something or another along the way. I work on a lot of projects, and some are just one-offs that I forget about. That said, I keep copious notes about projects, so I’ll be going through that. Continue reading →
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.
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:
Ok, so as promised, I am going to tell you about my experience with Chris Crawford and his book, Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling [CCIS]. I have spent way too much time reading this book and I need to move on to the next one. Also, I really really need to start writing those two papers I need to write this semester! Let me start by saying this: When I bought the book, I didn’t even know who Chris Crawford really was. I knew he was a name in the games industry, but otherwise I knew nothing. I can’t even remember what led me to the book. Maybe someone recommended Crawford, and I looked at his dearth of books on Amazon. Out of them, I would have naturally chosen CCIS, just based upon the title alone. I’ll say right now, it was probably a good and necessary choice, but that doesn’t mean I like every bit of it.
So, as promised, I would like to introduce you all to my replacement project for my game design class this semester. The project is titled “The Doors Are Frozen Shut” and it is about being trapped in a building during a snow storm with neighbors you barely know. Here is a title screen mockup that I made in class while the instructor was droning on about something:
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.
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.