Tag Archives: PAX

Getting Ready for PAX

PAX Dev logoJust a quick note: with PAX Dev coming up, I’m going to be spending a lot of time prepping for the event, flying to and fro, and of course presenting. If the updates get sporadic here for the next week or two, it’s not for loss of interest on my part.

For that matter, I’m extending my stay for a few days, and it looks like I should be able to make at least part of the main show at PAX Prime.

MDA Workshop at PAX Dev

PAX Dev logoLooks like I’ll be out at PAX Dev next week, helping to present the Mechanics/Dynamics/Aesthetics Workshop. This is based on Marc Leblanc’s material that I’ve been helping to teach at GDC for the last 10 years or so, but I’ve never seen it excerpted into a 3-hour slot before.

I’m filling in at the last minute, so I’m not even briefed yet on exactly how we’re treating the material. But I know Marc has done these compressed workshops before at various times, and the event is always a hit with the attendees. For me, it’s a long way to go to teach for three hours, but it should be a lot of fun.

Environmental Storytelling and Emergence

One of the highlights of this year’s Game Developer’s Conference was Harvey Smith and Matthias Worch’s talk, “What Happened Here: Environmental Storytelling.” There’s not much point in my going into great detail about what they said, because they have posted extremely thorough slides and lecture notes. Suffice it to say, the talk is about the way that set-dressing choices provide a parallel narrative channel, which is powerful in the way that it invites acts of interpretation from the player, at his own pace.

First, as an aside, I seem to not be the only one interested in this topic, as Emily Short (I think it was) drew comparisons between this player experience and Interactive Fiction at the IF panel at PAX East. Many people don’t seem to even realize that games have storytelling methods available to the designer other than non-interactive cutscenes, so this is a topic I was very happy to see getting some attention.

The really thought-provoking part of the talk for me, though, was what the presenters called “Systemic Environmental Storytelling.” Continue reading Environmental Storytelling and Emergence

Hello, I Must Be Going

The announcement just went out at work: the end of next week will be my last day at Vicarious Visions, after eight and a half years. I’m feeling excited, apprehensive, relieved, happy, sad, grateful, and adventuresome. I have some possible consulting clients I need to follow through with, some projects people have suggested, and very little pressing need of my own to do anything I don’t want to.

I’ll be keeping an eye open at PAX East this weekend, though. You never know when something interesting might turn up.