First things first: read Zach Gage’s Evolving the IGF and then come back. He argues that the IGF could be highlighting more games in general, and more interesting-if-not-perfectly-executed games specifically, by changing the judging categories. This is an idea I wholeheartedly support. I think there’s room for discussion about what exactly the new categories should be, though.
I respond to his proposal directly at the bottom of this post. However, I’ve been wrestling with my own thoughts on the IGF and how it might be improved for a while now. I haven’t said anything because I couldn’t think of any good potential solutions to the problems I saw. With Gage’s great idea in my face, however, I want to try to work through some of the thoughts that have been simmering on my brain’s backburners.(more…)
Happy new year! I’ve made another video for YouTube, this time about a roguelite game called Downwell. The script is after the break. If you don’t know what I mean by roguelite, check out my video RogueliKes, RogueliTes, and Procedural Death Labyrinths.(more…)
It’s been forever and a day since I posted anything here. Fall is busy in general for me as a JET ALT who is very involved with her schools. I was also working on and releasing my first finished video game, Ultra Hat Dimension. It was a great, if stressful experience. Check the game out and look for a postmortem in the near future.
Now that’s finished, I’ve begun making videos besides my critical/reminiscent long-form FFX let’s play. My first one is about the terms “roguelike”, “roguelite”, and “procedural death labyrinths” — both how the terms came about and how I use them. It’s a lead in to a series of one-offs about games I’ll be doing. The video script is below the embed.(more…)
Graduation season has rolled around again here in Japan.
I don’t remember how much I’ve talked about graduations on here offhand, but today was the graduation at my elementary school. Back home, the idea of graduation from elementary school seems silly. Here in Japan, though, it’s a big rite of passage.
As part of the ceremony at my elementary school, the students make a short speech after they get their diplomas. In them, they thank their parents for raising them up that point. After that, they go to meet their parents in the audience. They hand off the diploma, a gift from the PTA (which has been a Japanese-English dictionary every year that I’ve been here), and a small bouquet of flowers they receive so that they can go back to their seats and do their part in the rest of the ceremony unencumbered.(more…)
This is cross-posted from my blog on Gamasutra.
I’ve finally figured out how to talk about the root of my deep love for Dragon Age: Inquisition without spending an hour or more spoiling the story and lore of the setting for the listener. I stumbled upon this during a Skype call with someone completely unfamiliar with anything Dragon Age. My fumbling explanation gave him the mistaken impression that Inquisition went back on the lore established in the first two games, retconning things better left alone. But that’s not true. No, Inquisition gave us an extraordinary gift uncommon in any fantasy setting: it taught us that everything in the established lore is suspect.(more…)
Warning: Dragon Age spoilers all over the place.
Also, this is cross-posted from my Gamasutra blog.
Love Amidst the Horrors of the Fifth Blight
I can’t recall if I started Dragon Age: Origins with the knowledge that romance with party members was possible. I do recall falling in love with Alistair from the very first. A snarker with a heart of gold, he was. Together we endured betrayal and then trekked through a dangerous land with Morrigan, the ill-tempered apostate daughter of a kooky old woman. As the last two Gray Wardens in Ferelden, we waded through dwarven politics and darkspawn blood in the deep roads, slaughtered werewolves for some beleaguered elves, and took care of the bastard who got our king and our fellow Grey Wardens killed in his bid for the throne, all so that we could gather the armies we needed to fight a threat to all of Thedas and save the known world.
Our love affair wasn’t all sunshine and roses, though. I bedded Zevran, the charming and sexually free elf assassin who had joined us after he failed to complete his assignment to kill me, in a moment of weakness*. Alistair confronted me about that while we were in a dungeon, both of us spattered with the blood and gore of our enemies. “This probably isn’t the best time for this,” he acknowledged before telling me how much I’d hurt his feelings. I promised it wouldn’t happen again and we continued our slaughter of the not-so-innocent.
*The chat interface was underdeveloped in Origins, a far cry from the illustrated chat wheel we have now, and I accidentally had sex with him. I decided not to save scum.(more…)