Monthly Archives: March 2008

The Quest for Story in Games, Redux

Over on Tales of The Rampant Coyote, Jay Barnson decided it was time to revisit the problem of stories in games, taking a decidedly pessimistic stance. It generated a great deal of lively, insightful discussion. I’d say he made some reasonable points, summarized nicely in (and by) the section subtly titled, “You’ll Never Find a Game With a Great Story”:

“…the quest for “better story” in video games is doomed for failure. The very criteria and tools we use to judge story is based on linear storytelling which is at odds with nature of our medium. But this dead-end warning sign seems to be lost on most designers and publishers.”

I agree for the most part. It’s a topic that I’ve enjoyed thinking [More...] Read the rest

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Adventure, Atari style

Not long ago, there was an article on Gamasutra, one of a continuing series, on the “History of Gaming Platforms.” This one was on the Atari 2600 VCS, one of the memorable old consoles I used to have as a kid. I had seen and enjoyed their previous article on the Apple ][, so I checked it out, and overall I thought it was well done.

On the first page of the article is an image reproduced from a 1981 catalog for the VCS:

While glancing it over, one thing barely caught my eye: in the top row of game cartridges, second from the right, the game “Adventure”.

I had completely forgotten about this game, although it has a relatively important place in [More...] Read the rest

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On graphical adventure games & awards

Switching gears for a bit…

A short while ago TIGSource made note of the recent 2007 Adventure Game Studio Awards. These are annual awards for excellence given to freeware games made with the AGS system. The awards have been handed out since 2001, although I admit I haven’t been an AGS user or player and didn’t know much about the awards or community. Still, for those who like LucasArts-style graphical adventure games, there are a lot of good games out there, and I thought I would check them out for once.

This year’s two biggest winners are Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! (5 awards, including Best Game, Best Gameplay, and Best Dialogue Writing) and A Tale of Two Kingdoms (4 awards, including Best Puzzles [More...] Read the rest

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