New Blogging and Updates

Posted by on Feb 23, 2014 in Promotion, Work in Progress, Writing | No Comments

Hi there! We’re renovating the site over the next few months, so some content might move around a bit. If you want to see what we’re blogging these days, you can see that here at blog.gameplaywright.net. A few new developments are forthcoming this year, so stay tuned for info on those. In the meantime, you […]

What Not To Do

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Design, Writing | 7 Comments

At a GenCon auction ten or twelve years ago, someone suggested to me that the greatest tragedy that can befall a wargame is to be auctioned in a state where the shrinkwrap has been removed but the counters remain unpunched. Someone wanted to love this game but never began preparing to actually play. The game […]

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.

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, […]

RPGs as Missed Connections

Posted by on Mar 11, 2012 in Design, Fan Culture, RPGs, Writing | 8 Comments

I want to write a missed-connection piece for those beautiful RPGs that have passed me on the train or gone unmet at the coffeehouse. Different kinds of game texts connect with different kinds of audiences. Naturally an audience may tend to prefer and admire the text that connects with them over those that don’t. Can […]

Always/Never/Now Has Launched

I hesitated to post this here because this isn’t a Gameplaywright project, but you might be interested in seeing it all the same. I’ve launched my first Kickstarter campaign to fund the completion and publication of a story-game adventure called Always/Never/Now. Everything you need to know is at this link. Truth is, I’m eager to […]

Is It Good Enough?

Posted by on Jun 30, 2011 in Design, The Work, Writing | No Comments

Good enough, for those that seek perfection, is what we call it when it’s sufficient to surpass the standards we’ve set. Anything beyond good enough is called stalling and a waste of time. Per “How Do You Know When It’s Done?,” on Seth Godin’s blog.

Vampire Publishing and Books That Want To Be Read

Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Books, Writing | 4 Comments

Writer and thinker, Ian Bogost (author of Persuasive Games) calls it “vampire” or “write-only” publishing: books, especially scholarly books, that are not written to be read but are written to “have been written.” Check out Ian Bogost’s “Writing Books People Want to Read (Or, How to Stake Vampire Publishing)” over on his site. You’ll come […]