Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rotted Report 01: It ain't done yet

So far I've resisted talking about my module project for Dragon Age for two very good reasons:
  1. I wasn't sure I would finish it.
  2. Talking about it takes away from the time I could be working on it.
Basically, I don't want this to be one of those projects that has a website, blog, and cinematic trailer before it has five minutes of actual gameplay. The awkward fact is that most large projects (and that includes all original, standalone adventures) will never be completed. Perhaps by now the modding community expects people to hype games that will likely never see the light of day, but I don't really want to add to that sense of cynicism if I can help it.

Still, when you've made enough progress that failing to complete the project would be a tragedy of wasted effort, then it's time to talk about it. Go all in. Make a public record of it and embrace whatever expectations come. It makes it more likely that you will actually follow through.

I've reached that point with my current project, The Rotted Rose.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Right then.

My geek love for the New Yorker and my geek love for video games recently converged under the title Master of Play, an article about legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Super Mario Bros. and many other classics.

Well, to be completely accurate, I’m not a video game geek per se. I’m more of a fantasy/modding/computer roleplaying game geek. Still, the article was fascinating as a portrait of a seminal figure in video games, and more importantly, contained a satisfying amount of general game design discussion. If you haven’t done so, you should read the whole thing online. I found this description of Super Mario Bros. particularly interesting:
The game had just fifteen or twenty dynamics in it—how the mushrooms work, how the blocks react when you hit them—yet they combined in such a way to produce a seemingly limitless array of experiences and moves, and to provide opportunities for an alternative, idiosyncratic style of play, which brings to mind nothing so much as chess. Will Wright cited the theory of emergence—the idea that complex systems arise out of the interaction of several simple things.
This, I would argue, doesn’t describe most RPGs.