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Well Played

Since I’m always on the lookout for game studies related material, here is a new, interesting journal: Well Played.

The Well Played Journal is a forum for in-depth close readings of video games that parse out the various meanings to be found in the experience of playing a game. It is a reviewed journal open to submissions that will be released on a regular basis with high-quality essays.


More Inspiration (for game designers and other nerds)

Having a collection of ideas and sources of inspiration is always good, and it is even better when they are shared with like-minded people.

Which is why it is awesome that Janina, whom you know from over here has now her own blog, on which she shares what inspires her.

Janina: Welcome to the club!

Everyone else: go ahead and visit her blog!


Modular Controllers

Having visited TEDxZurich already payed off. Thomas Amberg introduced me to the concept of Gadgeteer, modular controllers than can be easily assembled and programmed using C#:


It's a Trap (-door)!

When it comes to games, I often find that architecture can yield the best inspirations – especially when it comes from sources like the BLDGBLOG.

In this case, it’s all about trapdoors. Funny things, trapdoors. Even funnier that they are not in much use when it comes to games.


Time-Traveling with Portals

You see, some people still think that Unity 3D is just for script kiddies and art students. Well, take that.

Arthur Lee created a game that effortlessly combines Portals and time manipulation by allowing the player to take snapshots of the game and place them somewhere else on the surfaces – where they act as snapshots not just of the view, but also of the time, therefore allowing you to go back in time.

But watch for yourself:


Meta Games

Hidden deep in the trenches of Instapaper I found this little gem – as a matter of fact, this should be required reading for all game design students.

A huge list of meta-games: games about games.


Sunday Morning

Deer walk upon our mountains, and quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.

Wallace Stevens: Sunday Morning (excerpt)


Offline for a while

Currently, I’m sitting on a plane leaving for Amsterdam. So yes, I’m on holidays!

Internet connectivity might be limited during the next two weeks until August 8 – depending on the availability of free WiFi. All your pending requests and mail will be dealt with after my return, promised.

But then again, you might be in for some new flickr pictures afterwards … ;)


Games for Touch Walls

One future I see for our little company? Definitely something like this:

A StarWars game called FleetCommander, played on a 8160 by 2304 pixel wide touch screen.

Well, let me correct that. A touch wall.


Unfinished Projects

It’s sometimes funny what you manage to dig up when trying to archive your projects. There are always some projects that you started for some people out of an act of kindness, and, since they have been pet projects for everyone involved, died a slow and painful death, languishing in your projects folder, untouched and unloved.

What remains are the stories that come with those projects. Sometimes, they are better than the projects themselves.


Architecture and Level Design [The B Files]

Robert Yang kindly asked me to translate the article about my level design considerations for my bachelor’s thesis game. I’m slightly afraid that he is going to be disappointed, since this is not so much a theoretical approach to architecture and level design in general, but rather my thoughts and motivations for creating the specific level architecture for my own game.


The Aurors

Okay … normally, April Fool’s jokes are somewhat lame, and I have a tendency not to repost them. But this one … this one is pretty cool.


XML in Unity 3D: Tracker and Translator available on GitHub

Since I happen to be ranked somewhat high when it comes to mentioning Unity 3D and XML, and some of the posts1 happen to be outdated by now since I learned stuff2. But most of all, I intend to learn even more.

That’s why I choose to release those two projects into the wild and publish them on github.


I'm Strong, But I Can't Help Myself - Part II

I seem to lack the skills to express myself currently, it seems. Looks like I have to explain myself after my previous post on female characters.

Dragica made the point that she does not want her heroines to be gender neutral, but rather female.



Or: How Much Are We Letting Reality Getting Into the Way When Designing Games?

Yes, by now Robert Yang’s article about the gay plot in Dragon Age has made the rounds elsewhere, but I think the issue is important enough to warrant publishing it here as well.

So, Robert Yang mods Dragon Age so his male character can play out the romance plot with another male character, Alistair – something, which only can be done by modding the game, even though the dialogue is surprisingly gender neutral. All is perfect, until …