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SCIENCE TUESDAYS: FIREWATCH vs PRINCE OF DARKNESSfeatured

THIS SCIENCE TUESDAY: There’s always something under the earth. In Camp Santo’s Firewatch, it’s a body in a cave. In John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness, it’s the devil in a church. WHICH IS BETTER? VISUALS. Prince of Darkness has a terrifying green swirly thing and staticky tachyon messages and a bit where Alice Cooper stabs someone to death with Read more

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SCIENCE TUESDAYSfeatured

Six years ago, Roger Ebert wrote: “No one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great poets, filmmakers, novelists and poets.” Many of us have had many opinions on this assertion, and some of those opinions have not been stupid. I however am the Read more

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Steam: I was wrong, although rightfeatured

Last week, I talked about Steam’s recent changes – (not including reviews in the review % if the copies were bought outside Steam) in my GamesIndustry.biz column. In the rest of this post, I’m going to call these changes ‘the Purge Update’ to make it clear what I’m talking about elsewhere. and speculated about some changes Read more

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Appreciating Open Sorceryfeatured

[I don’t write reviews, but I do like to point out things that worked well in games I’ve enjoyed.] Open Sorcery, from Abigail Corfman, is a mobile-app-wrapped Twine game where you play a sentient magical defence system. Twine was built to support branching narratives.Classic branching narratives without any game-hybrid elements are a bundle of special-case IF/ELSE Read more

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A Good Thing: The Fallfeatured

[I don’t write reviews, but I do like to point out things that worked well in games I’ve enjoyed.] The Fall is a side-scrolling point-and-click adventure from indie studio Over the Moon. You play the onboard intelligence of a power armour suit with an unconscious passenger, exploring a derelict installation populated by deranged machine intelligences. Read more

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Stellaris, BioWare and the Culture: what I’ve been up to in the first half of Septemberfeatured

I’ve finished off my guest writing gig for Paradox on Stellaris. I’ve written a couple of blog posts about it: one at the beginning, one at the end. People have been asking if I’ll do any more. The answer is I’d totally be up for it, if Paradox asks and if it fits my schedule (I imagine Paradox Read more

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BioPostfeatured

  When I sold Failbetter, and went freelance, I said I wanted to learn about and experiment with different ways of approaching interactive narrative. So far, this is going well – I have a piece in the works for Choice of Games, I’ve written guest content for Paradox on Stellaris, and I’m building my own narrative-crafting hybrid experiment. Read more

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BY ZOMBIESfeatured

Anyone who has ever considered writing for a living will have heard Opinions about the Passive Voice. At the very least, they will be vaguely aware that the passive voice is considered sordid or sinister. I think it is pretty sinister, actually. Look how I just used the passive ‘is considered’ to shrug the belief off on Read more

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Why you should back the AdventureX Kickstarterfeatured

Oh, man, I love starting blog posts with a bit of arrant poncery. Buckle up. This is the opening to an Isaiah Berlin essay. (I originally wrote ‘an Irving Berling essay’, but fortunately corrected it before I exposed myself to lasting Internet ridicule.) “There is a line among the fragments of the Greek poet Archilochus Read more

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