"Were you aware of it?"

December 3, 2008

Thank-you John Hodgman for allowing me to borrow your phrase despite the fact that I did not obtain any permission to do so. If you can’t tell this is another filler post, but there are a couple of links I would like to share between the short spurts of free time I currently have at the moment.

The Unfinished Swan
This demo was shared to me by a fellow classmate. Why the hell has this game not been developed for the Wii?! It is a great navigational game where you user attempts to paint a blank canvas to traverse through the game world. Designer Ian Dallas has created a very intriguing little game that has the potential to be something much more than this flash demo. While searching Google Images this little photo came up and brought a grin to my face.

Braid Designer Lecture
Taken from the game’s blog:

“This lecture was given by Jonathan Blow (introduction by Jason Della Rocca) on November 19th, 2008 at the Montreal International Game Summit. This lecture focuses on the story-centric paradigm that we use to design a large number of games, and why I think it is problematic. Both pre-authored and dynamic story are discussed. It’s a heavily-revised version of this lecture given a few months ago in Brighton; This new version is probably better.”

I suggest everyone to give this a listen as it is always great to hear from a designer talk not only passionately about his game but about the interactive medium.

Little Big Planet Level
Here is a wonderful level created by Richard Teller designed around the “Improvisation” series from Expressionist painter Wassily Kandinsky. If you trek over to his
blog he deeply goes into his philosophy in designing the level around the aesthetics of the painting rather than merely forming a recreation of the work. It is a great little read that I believe designers, artists, and anyone that has Little Big Planet should read. Already, I am tempted to purchase the game just to play more levels from this designer.

Grim Fandango Design Documents
A month ago was the 10th Anniversary of the release of
Grim Fandango. Criminally I did not blog about it when I had the chance. The game had a profound impression on me and it is the reason I stayed interested in video games long after I had sworn off playing and buying games for years. It was the game that solidified my love for the Adventure Game and no doubt its intimate association with the “end” of the genre prompted me to stop playing games during the immediate period after. Tim Schafer has a wonderful post about the anniversary on the Double Fine website and best of all Schafer has released the design documents for Grim Fandango revealing concept art, various scripting scenarios, and his own reflections on the game today. It’s a great present for those that still adore the game to this day.


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