Guest Post by Chris Holly - Narrative in Games: A Love Story

As I wrote earlier, Other Suns has the advantage of not being designed solely by me. This will certainly make it better.

Chris got involved with the project as soon as I realized that I didn’t want to have to write all those paragraphs myself. Since that time, on top of being our sole paragraph-writer, he’s also become instrumental to the design and testing of all aspects of the game. We’ve generally worked on different areas of the design, so I thought it’d be a good idea to get a window into Other Suns from Chris’ point of view. Luckily he was up for it.

—-

Ever since I picked up my first gamebook around the tender age of 9 or 10 – if memory serves, it was either Fighting Fantasy’s “Starship Traveller” or one of the lesser known series “You Are An Interplanetary Spy” – I’ve been enthralled with the combination of reading a well-told story and interacting with the story via gameplay. And I can tell you with 100% certainty that one of the things on my bucket list since I was a kid was to write my own gamebook.

continue reading

Posted by Jack on Thu, 18 May 2017
tags:

Design Toolbox

Around age ten, I designed my first game. A couple sheets of printer paper haphazardly taped together, a few dozen connected squares snaking across them, and effects like “giant boulder, move back 3 spaces” scrawled next to arrows pointing at the spaces affected by them. A die stolen from Monopoly and pawns stolen from the gravel driveway, and my Indiana Jones game was complete.

continue reading

Posted by Jack on Sun, 7 May 2017
tags:

Myth of the Inventor

We like to believe in the myth of the inventor. It’s prevalent in our fiction. Ray takes out a second mortgage and we don’t even get a montage of failures before the Ghostbusters are strapping unlicensed nuclear accelerators to their backs. In a hole in the ground, and at gunpoint, Tony Stark is able to cobble together technology that a whole team of scientists who work for him can’t replicate. And one good whack on a sink is all it takes to conceive of the flux capacitor; nuclear fission reactors aren’t too hard to come by, it’s the Libyan plutonium that’ll get you.

continue reading

Posted by Jack on Thu, 20 Apr 2017
tags:

Badly Expressed

Stephen Fry once wrote: “A true thing badly expressed becomes a lie.” Readers of these posts, in the past, future, and at this precise moment in time, will be experienced with the proof of this theorem in regards to language, but I think the idea holds true when broadened to just about any other medium or craft. Including games.

continue reading

Posted by Jack on Fri, 10 Mar 2017
tags:

Acknowledgement to the Works of Gene Roddenberry

Star Trek: Voyager is far from the best on offer for Star Trek. In fact, most of it clocks in at or near the bottom of the ranked list. But there is one thing that Voyager does, every show, that the other ships don’t.

continue reading

Posted by Jack on Mon, 13 Feb 2017
tags: