The Uncharted Trailer (PS4)

Posted by on Nov 22, 2013 in Musing, Promotion, Video Games | No Comments

This Uncharted PS4 Trailer reveals that a new installment of the hit series is coming to the new PlayStation. Good. I came this close to shelling out for a Vita just to play Uncharted: Golden Abyss. (I settled for watching the cinematics on YouTube.) Here’s the thing about this trailer and me: It’s possible that Uncharted may […]

Survival Heroism

Posted by on Mar 28, 2013 in Design, Horror, Video Games, Writing | One Comment

In the new Tomb Raider, Lara Croft’s journey from survivor to action star to heroine (or antiheroine, but we’ll get to that) takes her through horrors visceral and terrestrial, mundane and extraordinary. But her grim and grueling adventure isn’t quite or only survival horror. At the end of her ordeal—the end of her transformation—she is […]

Conversations That Count

Posted by on Mar 21, 2013 in Design, Musing, Video Games, Writing | One Comment

In a post sketching out an Indiana Jones game I’d like to play, I mentioned that I’d like to see it incorporate “conversations that count.” This isn’t an innovative idea, I know, except maybe for the implication that it fits into the kind of game we’d want from Indiana Jones or Lara Croft or Nathan […]

Indiana Jones and the Game of Destiny

Posted by on Mar 20, 2013 in Design, Movies, Musing, Video Games, Writing | 6 Comments

The idea is not to recreate the forward momentum of an Indiana Jones movie, because the movies do that already, but to create a uniquely interactive experience that draws on cinematic techniques and ludic mechanisms in equal measure.

What I Want in the Next Tomb Raider

Posted by on Mar 19, 2013 in Design, Musing, Video Games | 3 Comments

More than anything, the new Tomb Raider game makes me enthusiastic for another game in the series that takes the best from this new vision and jettisons the game’s meanest elements. The result might be a step back toward the franchise’s earlier swagger combined with the scale, detail, and humanity of this year’s installment. Call […]

More Harrowing Than Fun: A Tomb Raider Review

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in Design, Horror, Video Games, Writing | 2 Comments

If you’d asked me before, I would’ve been skeptical. Another gritty reboot, this time of Lara Croft, a character whose confidence and poise under pressure was part of the hook? I know people who hated the twists on Bond in Skyfall. It’s not that I would’ve doubted whether there’s a great idea for a character-driven, […]

At the Feet of Giants

Posted by on Sep 17, 2012 in Design, Fantasy, RPGs, Video Games | 3 Comments

This weekend I ran the first session of an ongoing campaign-in-miniature set in Middle-earth, using the game rules from Francesco Nepitello’s The One Ring (TOR). In the parlance of play, I’m hacking and drifting this game in bits and bobs to get a certain kind of play out of it. Some of the adjustments I’ve made […]

Skip It: Combat, Barriers, and the Identity of Games

Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in Creativity, Design, Video Games | 13 Comments

This isn’t about the unfair treatment of professionals who dare to voice unconventional ideas. We won’t discuss here the specifics of ugly incidents making the rounds online lately. Comments that stray into that turf will be deleted. This post is about what it’s about: considering a compelling and somewhat riling idea. If, by considering it […]

Review the Game You Got

Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 in Fantasy, Movies, Musing, Question, RPGs, Video Games | 5 Comments

Again with War in the North. I’m using this game to explore some questions because (a) I am currently playing it and (b) because it’s a relatable property even if you’re not playing it—I feel safe assuming that many of you have seen the Lord of the Rings movies or know of them. War in […]

License to Roam

Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 in Books, MMOs, Play, RPGs, Video Games, Websites | 10 Comments

I’ve just scratched the surface of Lord of the Rings: War in the North but I’d been looking forward to this game for a while. What drew me in was its promise of an original story set in Middle-earth’s less-visited locales, like Mirkwood or the ruined city of  Fornost, all rendered with a mix of the […]