July 29, 2005
On game development: Adventure Developers has an extensive four part series on the state and future of adventure games. Via Game Brains, a fascinating and torturous series of diary entries from an indie game studio with a truly awesome game prototype that everyone agrees is amazing, yet they can’t get a publishing deal. At the Cultural Gutter, an interview with some of the folks at 42 Entertainment who say, “[Alternative Reality Games] are the sound of the 21st century. They sound like what today feels like.” Finally, recent GTxA commenter Borut Pfeifer writes an inspiring Gamasutra article The Rise of the Auteur & the Return of Indie Development (“there are a number of factors coming together over the next five to ten years that will change the nature of indie game development”).
Speaking of new Gamasutra articles on story, don’t miss the following: Active Storytelling in Games (“cinematic is a four-letter word”), Playing on the Boundaries – NTI* (“exploration into growing closeness between the game and movie industries”), What Every Game Developer Needs to Know about Story (“what has always worked, and what will work in every form of story, including games?”), and Ernest Adams’ rebuttal. Also, don’t miss the lecture notes from Ernest’s GDC05 talk, “Interactive Narratives Revisited: Ten Years of Research“.
On procedural text: IF extraordinaire Emily Short reviews Chris Crawford’s book on interactive story, and via Collision Detection, White Smoke, “piece of software that takes a normal document and adds management doublespeak. This is not some Orwellian parody… This is a real, serious $49.95 tool intended for a business audience.”
On bots: Jonah Brucker-Cohen reports from ArtBots 2005, including “a large Madagascan Hissing Cockroach perched atop a modified trackball that controlled a three-wheeled robot”; sounds impossible to debug. Via Emotionally Challenged, Philips’ iCat, a cute Gumby-like user-interface robot, as if Kismet had a pet. And finally, guess what, Furby is back!