Category: Writing

4th December 2020
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Let’s Talk About Text

Story in games is a hot topic. But what about structure? How does the narrative form of a game influence its player’s experience?

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27th November 2020
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/kəˈbal/, Part 2: The Denied

The Denied are a small cult – perhaps two hundred in all, including children – most of whom live in a sizeable but remote village in Kurdistan.

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6th November 2020
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The Law of Boob

Every week I receive ICO Partners’ Steam newsletter. It’s a simple round-up of all the week’s latest Steam games, alongside their number of reviews and overall review score

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9th October 2020
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The Disappearance of Everything (or, Don’t Underestimate Bards)

There’s a concept in literature of the ‘oral tradition’, where stories spread by word of mouth rather than being written down.

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11th September 2020
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It’s (Not) the Real Thing

I’ve been playing Fallout 4’s Nuka-World DLC. Hoofing it through postapocalyptica with a customised robot companion and shooting raiders in the face has always been fun, but I was surprised to find that Nuka-World, though vast, actually felt constrictive.

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28th August 2020
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/kəˈbal/, Part 1: The Caldecotts

The following is an extract from an article Alexis wrote decades ago, in 1996, for British roleplaying magazine Valkyrie. It’s juvenilia, and some bits make him wince – but it’s an insight into his early style and fiction which later became Fallen London, Sunless Sea and Cultist Simulator. [ Part 2, Part 3 ]

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31st July 2020
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My Rainbow Double Moon Heartache: Where Are All The Magical Girls?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a gamer in possession of even a few RPGs, visual novels or Nintendo titles is likely in love with Japan.

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3rd July 2020
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Moving the Pain Around: the Wonder and Weakness of Open Development

Open development is a godsend for indies.

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5th June 2020
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Open the Gameplay Doors Please, HAL

Much of human psychology is about control. David Hume described religion as a magical schema humans imposed on the world to control natural forces far more powerful than themselves.

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8th May 2020
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Too Cheap, Perchance, To Stream?

This is an ode to organic indie streaming strategies.

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13th March 2020
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The Company Is Not Your Friend

I’ve heard a lot of studios describe themselves as ‘families’, and some studios do treat their people well (see ‘pragmatic reasons why you’d want to do that as a business’, above). But families fundamentally care about the people they are. Imagine your mum throwing her hands up in front of a spreadsheet and saying, ‘I’m afraid we have to let you go, dear. It’s just the...

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17th January 2020
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Game-Making’s Sense of Loss

At this chilly time of the year, when one calendar makes way for another, take solace in this.

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6th December 2019
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Put On Your Game Face: It’s AAA Time

*Allegedly at time of writing. This post goes live in the week Riot had to pay $10mil for gender discrimination to all female employees from the last five years. LOL indeed.

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22nd November 2019
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Standing on the Shoulders of Genres

Whom that god is, I don’t yet know. But I hope they like card games.

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