Monthly Archives: March 2008

Better Than Free (or Pirated?)

I read a couple of interesting blogs recently, and began to wonder how they might be related to the indie game scene.

The original piece was written by Kevin Kelly who, among many other notable things, helped co-found Wired magazine. On his “semi-blog” The Technium, where he posts thoughts on his next book, he authored a piece called “Better Than Free” back on January 31st — and it triggered an avalanche of discussion, all of which I naturally missed since I have no sense of these things.

In the piece, he discusses how to approach the creation of product value in a digital world, where free copies proliferate in the “super-distribution system” of the internet:

Yet the previous round of wealth in this

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Posted in indie game business, indie games | 2 Responses

More on Game Writers, Game Designers

As expected, the response to Adam Maxwell’s opinion piece that I mentioned previously has been swift and zealous. The article continued to elicit powerful responses on GameSetWatch, including an impressively long entry from Era, with this excerpt:

“Interactivity does not have to suffer from linearity. Interactivity does not equate to choice. Very common misconceptions plaguing both designers and people on the outside looking in. Our medium can be used for more than point/goal based competitions. We don’t have to have everything fit into the standard control schemes for platformers, action games, racers or shooters. We can restrict control just as the director restricts a camera to a specific scene. We can restrict the camera on top of control too, but don’t remove any of

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Posted in story in games | Leave a comment

Game Writers, Game Designers

There’s an interesting blog tête-à-tête underway, triggered by a (perhaps intentionally) provocative opinion piece by Adam Maxwell over at GameSetWatch on “The Case Against Writers In The Games Industry.” In it, Adam makes an argument that writers are perhaps an unnecessary part of game development, and that game designers offer more bang for the buck, at least as far as he’s concerned:

“For the same price (sometimes cheaper, I’m sad to say), you can hire a designer who is also an unsung writing hero (they exist in far larger numbers than anyone wants to give the industry credit for) and when the story is done, that same designer can be there to throw his lot into the fire with the rest of the designers and

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Vespers: Adventures with NPCs, Part IV

This is the fourth installment of my blog series introducing the six NPCs in Vespers, detailing the development process from text to functioning 3D characters. The three previous installments can be found at Part I, Part II, and Part III.

Once again it’s time to resume my efforts to bring our NPCs to life, beginning with bits and pieces of text from the IF version of Vespers and ending with a modeled, animated, and voice-acted 3D character. It’s been a while since my last entry, which described Lucca, the youngest monk at St. Cuthbert’s. This time I discuss the development of Ignatius, perhaps the most mysterious of the brothers at the monastery, and the one most distrusting of the Abbot at the [More...] Read the rest

Posted in 3D/if, Vespers | 2 Responses

Gun Mute: A Text Shooter

Recently I came across a notice on about a new IF game called Gun Mute. It was written by Pacian, who had previously authored the IF games Snowblind Aces and Poizoned Mind. I don’t think Gun Mute was part of any of the recent IF competitions, and it didn’t really get much mention on, but regardless it seems to have garnered a bit of publicity around the net — in addition to, it has also appeared at places like Gnome’s Lair, TIGSource, IFDB, and Mobygames. Rightfully so.

Mobygames provides a nice one-liner about the game:

Gun Mute is an interactive fiction game set in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic western environment, mixing traditional gunslingers with mutant cyborgs and
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Posted in adventure games, interactive fiction | 3 Responses