Congratulations, Atomic Overmind

Posted by on Jun 28, 2009 in Musing | 4 Comments

Congratulations, Atomic Overmind from Wordwill on Vimeo. Our good friends and rivals in this year’s Origins Awards — publisher Hal Mangold and author Kenneth Hite — beat us in the Non-Fiction Book category this year. I’ve made what I could out of the roughly five minutes of footage I shot during my day at the […]

What The Hell Is A Plot?

Posted by on Jun 16, 2009 in Musing, Question | 18 Comments

My understanding of what plot is — in a movie, a novel, a story of any kind — has changed a lot over the years. I had one definition of it, then another, now another. One thing I am sure of is that not everyone agrees what that word, plot, exactly describes. Another thing I […]

Come Inside, Thief

Posted by on Jun 10, 2009 in Board Games, Fantasy, Musing, Websites, Writing | 7 Comments

Seriously, I could write a book on those Thief games. Yesterday, in issue 205: Parting the Digital Sea, The Escapist published my all-too-short article, “Robbing Gods,” which just scratches the surface of the game’s world-building by looking at how it uses religion to frame us, the player, as mobile outsiders while simultaneously using it to […]

The RPG Online-Play Revolution?

Posted by on May 31, 2009 in Musing, RPGs, Websites | 9 Comments

Once it’s finally debuted, will Google Wave be the best way to play pen-and-paper RPGs online? Is this the ubiquitous, dynamic, app-driven platform we’ve been waiting for? With my fingers crossed, I’m hoping for apps that bring dice and statistics tracking to the Wave table as soon as possible. I dream of game-specific apps (D&D&W?) […]

A Question (#032)

Posted by on May 28, 2009 in Design, Musing, Question, RPGs | 14 Comments

A thought came to me fully formed, like a dictum, as I was doing the dishes. Help me find the ore inside the dross here: RPG rules should be designed to work smoothly even when no one is actually roleplaying. Is this true? Discuss.

Soderbergh the GM?

Posted by on May 25, 2009 in Board Games, Design, Fantasy, MMOs, Musing, RPGs | One Comment

Steven Soderbergh talking to Roger Ebert about The Girlfriend Experience: “I’d give them a basic goal for the scene, like ‘don’t let him sell you a package of workout sessions,’ and turn them loose. I’d say 95 percent of the film is made up of first or second takes. They were controlled improvisations where the […]

Welcome Back, Thief (Updated)

Posted by on May 11, 2009 in Fantasy, Horror, Musing, Video Games | 8 Comments

Though the evidence is pretty convincing, I am being cautious with my heart. Rumors abound — e.g., at The Escapist and Kotaku — that the game being revealed today by Eidos Montreal is a new Thief title. If this is the case, you should know that I’ll do a happy dance from my office to […]

Players Versus Vampires

Posted by on May 8, 2009 in Design, Horror, Musing, RPGs | 17 Comments

For quite a while I tried to cultivate V:TR as an espionage game — sometimes set in posh parlors, sometimes in lavish state houses, sometimes in awful bloody gutters formed in the spaces where de facto nations (like the police, the media, and the living) simply didn’t have the stomach to look at directly — but […]

Peter Sagal's Childish Things

Posted by on Mar 24, 2009 in MMOs, Musing, Story | One Comment

Peter Sagal, who you know from Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, recently recorded a new commentary on the imaginary people we grow up with. Some day, alas, Viggo Mortensen will (presumably) pass away, but the Aragorns we know through Lord of the Rings games (Sagal mentions LOTRO) don’t have to. And, of course, we can […]


Posted by on Feb 26, 2009 in Design, Musing, Video Games | 16 Comments

A Twitter link a week or four ago sent me to Creativity magazine’s list “The Creative 50.” (The content has since disappeared behind a subscriber login.) Creativity—the magazine—is apparently focused on marketing-related creativity, and their list of 50 of the most creative humans was consequently full of ad agency folk. So, you know, whatever. But […]