Category Archives: arcade

I’m Walking, Yes Indeed

They’re called “walking simulators”, which I guess is a pejorative in some circles, but that certain type of game that’s only a little bit about the conventions of some gaming subgenre – puzzles, platforming, whatever – and mostly about exploration, narrative and atmosphere is one of my favorite things. Over the last year or two, […]

Memories And Palaces

This is an old memory, dredged out of the cellar by this Metafilter thread about a Sierra game: The Colonel’s Bequest. Bequest was a charmingly understated member of the “[Subject] Quest” games lineage, largely forgotten I suspect for the sin of being a character-driven mystery with a female protagonist rather than a puzzles-and-princesses nature excursion. […]

Historical Precedent

A while back in Architecture For Loners I wrote a bit about a how in-game architecture can fail a video game’s narrative if you’ve got the right eyes, the right incentives and maybe the right jetpack: The environments, though… if you have the right eyes you can’t help but notice that built-for-a-shooter feeling that pervades […]

Witness Me

Having recently forced myself to play through the ending-plus-the-real-ending of The Witness, I’m finding myself wondering if it was worth playing. I’m surprised to find myself thinking that it wasn’t. As far as you can “spoil” something without a meaningful narrative (which is itself a spoiler, I suppose) then there are spoilers ahead, so make […]

Architecture For Loners

This has been sitting around in the drafts folder for a while. I’m not sure why I wanted to finish it off tonight, but I want to get all these half-finished posts done. This seemed like a good way to knock off some of the rust. Occasionally when I’m in one of my darker moods […]

Vocoder Duet

You can think of them as the Fry and Laurie of malevolent synthetic intelligences that are going to murder you. In a fortuitous coincidence, this video – a collection of communications from SHODAN, antagonist of the classic System Shock 2, and this video, of GlaDOS‘ spoken dialogue from the first Portal, … are both about […]

All Scrollbars Are Fleeting

“For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph – a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking […]

Raising A Revolution

I had a long conversation with the very excellent people of Samantha Blackmon’s “Not Your Mama’s Gamer” podcast the other day; I get rolling at around the half-hour mark. They’re quite flattering about the whole thing; we talk a lot about video games and parenting, and I had a great time doing it. One of […]

Majora’s Mask

I’ve been thinking a lot about Majora’s Mask recently, and as usual the best way for me to get something out of my head is to blog about it. I suspect this is going to turn into one of those awkward, poorly-disguised confessionals that says more about inside of my head than to anything in […]

Fifteen Minutes Of Forever

Well, that certainly took off, didn’t it? I’ve had some pretty mixed feelings this week; putting a ton of time and effort into a startup that doesn’t take off and then seeing a tiny little side project blow up has had me quietly making Scumbag Internet ragefaces, but I suppose if Internet Fame was going […]