Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Recommendations: Tower of the Blood Lord and Leigh Alexander's Critique of Bioshock Infinite

Here's an interactive fiction game made in Twine called Tower of the Blood Lord, which starts out as an amusing parody of the first 20 minutes of Modern Warfare 2, but then takes a surreal twist, and eventually ascends into a really well written essay about games and culture and violence and prejudice and interacting with culture instead of just consuming it. The game gave me a much needed reminder to consider the relationship between narrative and gameplay, especially violent gameplay, and to consider my own role as a game developer in proliferating (or not) certain cultural attitudes about violence, gender, and race in games. Definitely worth a play/read.

Especially relevant to the themes of Tower of the Blood Lord is this brilliant critique of Bioshock: Infinite by Leigh Alexander. While I enjoyed Infinite very much, I was a little off-put by the narrative context of the game's violence, as well as how the game addressed race. I might write more about race in Infinite some other time (I need to go to bed), but Alexander does a fantastic job in critiquing violence in the game. Well worth reading.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review of Thomas Was Alone

Cheers! I just (somewhat scathingly yet always quirkily) reviewed the indie puzzle platformer Thomas Was Alone for Beta Fish magazine. You can read it here!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The 7dfps challenge

The 7 Day First Person Shooter Challenge is on again this year, and I'm thinking about taking a break from Waker that week to create an entry for it. Hopefully I actually get a game done in 7 days this time (Waker was originally an entry for a one-week compo... oops), but I need to shift gears from making a giant narrative-heavy "notgame" and take a little time to make something short, stupid, and fun. I highly recommend that other devs give this a try!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Waker Project is One Year Old

     As of yesterday, Waker has been in development for one year. I really do mean to write less about its development and write more about other games and game development theory (you generally prefer reading that stuff - I know!), but Waker's birthday a significant event for me personally. I don't think that I've ever worked more than 9 months on a game before scrapping it, and I'm pretty happy with all of the progress I've made this year. May the next year be even more fruitful!

     I'm going to write something cooler next time, I promise. In the meantime, here's some screenshots charting the game's graphical development over time.