Best videogame monster

Best videogame monster: now accepting your nominations The best videogame monster. Now that’s a competitive category. Like best movie villain, except a heck of a lot more likely to make your palms sweat. Even if you’re a novice videogamer, you’ve probably seen your share of incredible videogame monsters. Some examples that spring to my mind: […]

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What happened to M. Night Shyamalan?

What the heck happened, M. Night Shyamalan? I just saw the ad for the new M. Night movie. It’s designed to look like some kind of andromeda strain movie. “There appears to be an event happening,” a man intones. This, according to our statistics, is the blandest, most uninformative, passive-voice piece of advertising ever recorded […]

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Gameplay Cliches

Gameplay cliches get a lot of chatter, but when the game is successful and has a core experience that people enjoy, no one says a word. Case in point: Gears of War. Mine carts. Ammo boxes that are strewn around abundantly. Crates that contain ammo boxes. Also strewn around at every juncture. Lava levels. Gears […]

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Game design: Call of Juarez

Game design case study of the Xbox 360’s Call of Juarez I played a decent chunk of this shoot-em-up – “the only Western first-person shooter experience on Xbox 360” – the other evening. I’m curious as to what other Westher shooter experiences there might be in the game universe. I’m offering $25, public accolades, and […]

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Game writing: “I want my car back” and other reasons to fight

Game writing is sometimes worse off than I think it is. Really. It’s just gawdawful ridiculous, even in some of the most hallowed franchises. I have to give props to EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly) for their WTFiction!? series. These two-page spreads at the back of the mag are shining examples of how to pinpoint ridiculous […]

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Game developer subtly admits, “Our game writing was swill!”

Game writing in the original Gears of War is one of my pet peeves*, and I haven’t unloaded that gem yet. However, I’d like to quote a little news nugget I found in the February EGM. In a teaser about Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360), page 59, developer Epic Games is emphasizing the writing. The writing? […]

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Game design goofup: goodbye, Devil May Cry 3

Game design has changed from the Dark Ages of arcade development. Back when arcades ruled the roost, a game designer could assume a few things about his* audience. They were under 18. They were male. They were playing in a movie theatre lobby or arcade. And they were really freakin’ bored. The classic arcade audience […]

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Game design case study: why can’t I stop playing Bard’s Tale?

Game writing trumps game design? My current crap-game obsession is inXile’s Bard’s Tale for the PS2. An ill-fated classic-game revival, BT has very little in common with its storied predecessor (which I also loved back in the days when I was too young to buy my own computer – can you say “floppy disk swapfest”?). […]

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game writers and gamers welcome

Game writers – specifically videogame writers – it’s here! The video game writer blog. Thoughts about the art and science of writing for games. War stories. Analysis of games, gameplay, and of course, game writing. Case studies of videogame writing and where it succeeds (Planetfall, God of War) — and fails, even in bestselling titles […]

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