The Soul of Wit: Brevity in Game Dialogue

Gamasutra has a fun essay up from Ben Schneider, formerly of Iron Lore Entertainment and currently narrative designer at Big Huge Games, on dialogue in games — and the challenges of getting it right. Schneider isn't calling for a removal of longer dialogues, but pointing out that short dialogue can function better… » 10/18/08 3:30pm 10/18/08 3:30pm

'You Are Dead. Continue?': The Future of Death in Games

There's a very interesting article over at Eludamos » 10/18/08 1:30pm 10/18/08 1:30pm, one of the open-access academic journals that's done a nice job of getting fascinating articles in each issue; this volume is no exception, and the article I found particularly thought provoking is on the issue of death in narrative-driven games. Jason Tocci isn't…

'Skinning' Games: Some Thematic Problems

Danc at Lost Garden has an interesting post up on themes in games and the effect on game design: while there are definite reasons for the same types of themes and aesthetics popping up in games over and over again, a careful balance needs to be struck between 'skinning' themes and mechanics and putting coherent game… » 10/11/08 12:30pm 10/11/08 12:30pm

The 'Narrative' Straw Man: We're Not Doing That Badly

Michael Abbott of the Brainy Gamer has a great piece up on the straw man of the 'quality of narrative' debate that's been going on in the industry for quite some time now: things aren't as bad as the collective we make them out to be. Really, they're not. Sure, there are broken promises along the way, disappointments… » 8/16/08 4:30pm 8/16/08 4:30pm

The 'Secret (and Overt) Books' of Game Design

Malcolm Ryan is putting together a most interesting list of game design-related books — except these are the ones that are flying under the radar as it were. Ryan describes these 'secret books' as "books that are not explicitly written about games, but which any game designer who reads them just knows » 8/10/08 3:30pm 8/10/08 3:30pm that they are…

A 'Narrative Manifesto': Collecting Current Musings

Michael Abbott of the Brainy Gamer has a nice little roundup of some of the current thinking on narrative designs in games — it's nice to have a couple of reasonably prominent writers/designers/etc. put together in one place, with easily digestible clips. And, as usual, the comments section is just as worthy of… » 8/09/08 5:30pm 8/09/08 5:30pm

Literature and Games: 'Playing the Reader'

I really like the idea of turning classic literature into games, mostly in the form of parodies » 7/27/08 5:40pm 7/27/08 5:40pm (but are welcome, too). Over at GameSetWatch, Emily Short looks at the literature/game combination in the one genre that churns out book-related games at an alarming pace: the dreaded hidden object game. She concedes that…

Whither Monkey Island: 'Puzzles Are For Geezers'?

Are the ridiculous, wild goose chase puzzles of classic adventure games obsolete? Michael Abbott at the Brainy Gamer grudgingly says they may be — "A revealing slap in the face awaits the - shall we say "veteran" - gamer who hands an old adventure game to a young gamer with a hearty recommendation and an assurance of… » 7/27/08 4:40pm 7/27/08 4:40pm

An Interdisciplinary Approach to More Powerful Games

The idea that crafting a compelling game involves multiple parts — narrative design, graphic elements, sound — is so obvious that it's a shame an article even needs to be written » 7/26/08 2:30pm 7/26/08 2:30pm expounding upon that fact, but Sande Chen () has an interesting piece over at Gamasutra on just that. The real take away point is…