Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Storytelling Through Games

Here's a fairly good article about the potential of games as a medium for storytelling. I'm actually in the process of writing an essay on the same topic, and it is always refreshing to read a piece by a game developer who agrees that interactive software can tell stories as well or better than other mediums, but that  potential for storytelling is being wasted on shallow, linear, overproduced playthings.

The only point of disagreement I have with the author is his praising of the player avatar over the player character. When the protagonist is an avatar of the player, makes decisions based off of the player's history in the player's world, but lives in a separate world... a lot is sacrificed. Avatar characters in games can't undergo complex character development the same way characters in novels and movies can unless the player who is operating the avatar is undergoing development himself. Even in that case, the character development is a result of events that happen in the real world, not the game world. It poses a serious problem for storytellers, I think. More about this when I publish that essay I mentioned.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's August (more or less)

A few items of interest:
1) You Will Probably Lose Your Job is growing into a much larger project than I originally planned. Right now I'm making tile sets and creating the maps before I start writing the code. The dream sequence of the game is going to look something like this:

 2) I'm starting to rethink whether or not I, as one-man team, have enough time and patience to tell the story I want to tell in Space Punk with sound and colorful graphics and do it justice. I'm thinking about instead attempting to tell the story in the format of an interactive electronic book. More on that when I'm done with You Will Probably Lose Your Job

3) Play this. It's a short flash game called dys4ia by Anna Anthropy, aka Auntie Pixelante. It's about her experiences as a transgender woman undergoing hormone replacement therapy. It's really cool; I wish more people would use games to tell these sorts of stories instead of the usual stories of wizards and space marines.