Yearly Archives: 2009

IFComp, I Hardly Knew Ye

Rovers Day OutAnd, there we go. Another IFComp come and gone, with the winners announced this past week. It sounds like the 15th Annual was on par with most, although there appeared to be significantly fewer games overall than in the past (24, compared with 35 last year, 43 in 2006, and 36 in 2005). An ominous sign? Not the way I see it. As others have pointed out elsewhere, this year could be considered an excellent year for IF — in particular, non-comp pieces. We saw quality, ambitious works such as Aaron Reed’s “Blue Lacuna” and Jimmy Maher’s “The King of Shreds and Patches”, not to mention Textfyre’s release of their first two commercial pieces, “Jack Toresal and the Secret Letter”, and the acclaimed [More...] Read the rest

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Long Live the Animator

You may have noticed (if you’ll allow me the fantasy that anyone is paying attention) that it has been a while since the last Vespers update. This is for many reasons, of course. It might just be easiest to say that it’s because there hasn’t been a whole lot to report. I wish that wasn’t the case, but so it goes.

Most of it, as usual, originates from the animation side of things. What began as a promising venture with three local animation students eventually fizzled out. One of them made a little bit of progress over a long period of time, but couldn’t get much further due to classes and other obligations. Another never really got off the ground. The third did actually get [More...] Read the rest

Posted in Vespers | 4 Comments

Indie, Part-Time

As I was cruising around GDC Austin from one session to the next, I began to gain a greater appreciation of how much of the conference was geared toward the business side of game development. This isn’t surprising, of course, given that game development is an entertainment business, and GDC is all about how developers can do all parts of their jobs better. But whether it’s because of the tough economic times, or the rapid saturation of the iPhone game market, or the wide proliferation of MMOs and social games, or the plummeting price point for online and mobile games, it just seemed like there was a greater emphasis on economics than I experienced last year, unless I’m just forgetting.

There were many sessions at [More...] Read the rest

Posted in game design, indie game business, indie games | 2 Comments

Austin GDC Slides

I know a couple of people were interested in seeing the slides I presented at the Austin GDC, so I’ve (finally) made them available for download.

There are two versions available. The slides are available in their native PowerPoint (.ppt) format, as well as in PDF format for those who don’t have access to PowerPoint. The PPT version is preferable, since it contains some of my notes for each slide. I sometimes include slides without much descriptive text on them, so having the notes available will help others to know what I was trying to communicate. For some reason there’s something a little denuding about putting my notes out there with the slides, but so be it.

The PDF file does not contain the notes, [More...] Read the rest

Posted in interactive fiction | 4 Comments

Anticipation II

Back in February of this year, I wrote about an indie game that I was really looking forward to: The Path. The game has since been released, of course, and I would say it was well worth the wait. Not necessarily because it was a great game—as with their earlier piece, The Graveyard, it was less a game than an interactive narrative experience—but because it was a well-crafted work that encouraged and successfully produced a good deal of dialogue about its subject matter and about interactive narrative in general.

Another piece that has been on my radar for some time is Amanita Design’s Machinarium. They’ve been making the rounds for some time now with occasional blog pieces, early pre-order specials, [More...] Read the rest

Posted in adventure games, indie games | 1 Comment