Every couple of years, we get one of these. And by “these”, I mean “some distinguished gentleman from outside the game industry announces that games aren’t/can’t be art”, and everyone goes nuts as a result. A couple of years ago it was the late Roger Ebert, whose argument could largely be summed…
On Story in Video Games
"Functionally, dialog-heavy extended gameplay monsters like Mass Effect bear the same relationship to visual storytelling games like Journey that a rhesus monkey does to a six-gilled shark: They’re related, if you go back far enough, and they share a few design basics, but their practical needs are very different."
— Richard Dansky, speaking truth about Video Game Stories
Storium’s Kickstarter video shootAfter over a year of development, playtesting, and planning,we’re finally ready to bring Storium to Kickstarter! We’ve submitted our campaign for approval and will be launching within days.
The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity over here at…
Here, as is often the case in jazz, an apparent paradox is at work: to sound like themselves musicians begin by trying to sound like someone else.
Imagine the early days, before all the punctuation was there. Imagine scribes or poets or whoever trying to write about a previous work, something like The Massacre of Troy by Aiakos. No italics yet, this is before italics. Quotation marks are just about to happen, you’ll see.
"Aiakos didn’t massacre Troy," says one scribe. "Did he?"
"No, no. I mean—"
"Is this a massacre perpetrated by Aiakos or is this a work about the massacre and that work was written by Aiakos?”
"That. The second thing."
"Okay. Yeah, we need something there."
"A way to say where the title ends and the author begins, yeah."
"Parentheses? Are those ready yet?"
"Something a little less forceful, maybe? I’m just going to put a mark on either side of it for right now. There: ‘The Massacre of Troy’ by Aiakos."
"Now we can separate the title, the work itself, from the author."
"Yeah, when I said it out loud I heard it, too."
"That could go too far."
"Yeah. Good tool, though. Pretty good design. We’ll just try to be careful with it, I guess."
This past weekend, NBC announced the return of the superhero-ish show, Heroes, which aired on the network for a few seasons after being sort of exciting for one.
Listen, for all that I make fun of Heroes, when I make fun of Heroes, it was a wonderfully presented idea for a show with transmedia…
In which I make the case at Gameplaywright for rebooting The West Wing … over and over again.
Storium Alpha 2 is here
After months of development, we’re pleased to announce that Storium Alpha 2 has just launched!
Alpha 2 is the latest playtest of Storium, the online storytelling game. It incorporates much of what we’ve learned from our prior playtest, and it’s a big change. Alpha 2 rethinks several of the game’s key mechanics, with the goal of making Storium faster, easier and more fun to play.
In which writer Richard Dansky tells it to us straight up.
Fiction is the playground of your what-ifs, where questions get more mileage than certainties, and exploration is not only allowed but essential. By challenging yourself to write what you don’t know, you become both student and teacher, employing research, thought experiments, observational studies, and sheer luck to craft a work that is layered, textured, and true. Sometimes it works just the way you want it to. Sometimes it escapes your conscious control. It is a mystery of content and process, and it is beautiful.
With Futurama one thing we learned was to take the science fiction more seriously as we went along. Originally our thinking was that it will be hard to make this funny if we take the science fiction seriously, but it turned out that was not the case at all, and in fact when we took the sci-fi really seriously the jokes were sort of a relief from that and played even better.