It's Not in the Writer's Manual: A Q&A Session for New Writers
Speakers: Toiya Kristen Finley (Schnoodle Media, LLC), Matthew Weise (Fiction Control), Jennifer Young(Pixelberry Studios), Cameron Harris (Bioware Montreal), Richard Rouse III (Paranoid Productions), Chris Avellone (Obsidian Entertainment)
We attended a Q&A at GDC 2015 with some of the games industry's most prominent and experienced writers. They shared some great tips for aspiring games writers and how to accomplish one of the hardest parts of writing, finding gigs and getting paid. They also raised some great questions to ask yourself when writing.
- Prove that you can write in a voice that’s not your own or was created by you. Good Fanfiction is actually helpful for this as it c…
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We attended two pannels about Blizzard's hit collectible card game (CCG) Hearthstone at GDC 2014, and got to see some of Blizzard's finest share some of their design secrets.
The first talk, Ben Thompson's The Art of Hearthstone: Playing the Cards you're Dealt, focused primarily on the game's art design, which Ben was responsible for. The team had four main values for Hearthstone during its creation:
- Create the sensation that the cards are a valuable collectible
- Keep the design simple and clean
- Make sure the cards feel real and physical
- Keep the charming and whimsical feel of other Warcraft games
One of the main problems the team encountered was that a digital CCG lacks the physical sensation one gets from playing a traditional card game. The fee…
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Klei Entertainment Devloper Kevin Forbes recently gave a talk about indie hit Don’t Starve, detailing the game’s roots as a free to play prototype, and the huge impact the community had on bringing it to fruition.
The concept for Don’t Starve actually stemmed from a game jam where a 16 bit Link asset from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was surrounded by an increasing number of pigmen that did damage to you. It took 2 days to make, and had the same nighttime proximity lighting effects and isometric view as Don’t Starve would, but that was pretty much it. A simple start to be sure, but it served as the ground work for an experimental Free to Play(F2P) game that Klei was interested in pursuing.
The original game prototype was called the …Read more >
Chances are, that if you’re a gamer of a certain age, you’ve heard of Shenmue. Yu Suzuki’s 2000 Dreamcast game was considered a watershed moment on one of the most critically beloved systems of all time. It redefined the action RPG and what gamers could expect from a game’s world, story, and characters.
A sweeping, dramatic tale of revenge that also simulated what would be considered at the time very mundane aspects of real life, Shenmue was a cornerstone for all future sandbox games, inspiring the Yakuza series, the GTA series, and many others. It was one of the first games to create a living, breathing city that felt like you were a part of it, and the little touches were revolutionary for their time. Ever-changing weather effects, NPCs t…Read more >
If you were to ask most gamers what their favorite aspect of Bioshock Infinite was, it would almost certainly be the characters and the story. Narrow that question down to their favorite character, and it’s virtually always going to be Elizabeth. She’s emotive, funny, and a great counterpoint to the stern, harsh, and somewhat unsympathetic player character, Booker DeWitt. But getting her there took a huge amount of effort, and it’s not just her dialogue and visual design that did it; the AI played a huge role as well.
John Abercrombie, Lead Programmer at the now sadly defunct Irrational Games, gave a talk at GDC 2014 about designing her AI to make her not only seem more lifelike, but also how to do so without her interrupting the gameplay. …Read more >