Tell Me Some Stories about Morrigan

Tell Me Some Stories about Morrigan

Sometimes when I’m working on a piece and want to get out of my own head, I’ll open up a question on Twitter on some subject. This usually yields great stuff, but it’s stuck in 140 characters and it can be hard to find the answers later. So I’m gonna start doing it here instead. […] more…
New Stuff Imminent

New Stuff Imminent

Just a heads up that there’ll be some new content here come July. I’m going to try out a slightly new format, where I set a theme each month and write a few short or mid-length posts on aspects of it. It’s an attempt to tighten up my writing and mitigate my tendency to make […] more…
What’s the Point of Limbo?

What’s the Point of Limbo?

Since its release on XBox Live Arcade in 2010, Limbo has racked up awards and generated a substantial amount of critical writing. I didn’t have XBox Live when it came out, so I’ve been waiting on a PC port. When it finally came out on Steam late last year, I jumped on it. This turned out […] more…
I Am Bad at Interactive Fiction.

I Am Bad at Interactive Fiction.

Here’s the thing about interactive fiction. I approve of it in theory. A genre with no graphics and huge freedom of interaction seems like the perfect platform for narrative experiments. I love Stephen Lavelle’s work with IF engines, like Blendings and Atopoesis, and I’ve heard great things about Blue Lacuna. But, to my shame, I’ve […] more…
Four Types of Videogame Tragedy

Four Types of Videogame Tragedy

In my last post on tragedy, The Wrong Ending, I presented what I saw as an essential problem of tragedy in videogames: an ending where things go badly is often seen by players as wrong, and therefore in need of fixing. This makes it hard for a tragic ending to seem like a valid choice […] more…
Readings: Conflict Management

Readings: Conflict Management

You know, in future, I should just be honest and go on hiatus during the work crush between mid-October and mid-December. Anyhow, I’ve got a bit of a links backlog to get through, so let’s get to it! This set of readings sees the player at war with the text, other characters, and the player […] more…
Readings: Outside the Lines

Readings: Outside the Lines

Holy crap, I’m back! And I’ve even had time to read things! Here are some of those things. First off, Kirk Battle brings his uniquely legal perspective to explain the difference between playing Magic on a tabletop versus a computer in a Kill Screen post called In Brief: Who Rules the Rules? He makes a convincing argument […] more…
Trapped in Amber

Trapped in Amber

Last time I checked in with you guys about Mouthwash, I mentioned that I was no longer sure I wanted to use D&D-style dice rolls to determine skill effects, but didn’t know what to replace it with. On Twitter, Stephen Winson suggested I look into a diceless tabletop roleplaying system based on Roger Zelazny’s fantasy series […] more…
The Wrong Ending

The Wrong Ending

So the blog’s been a bit on the sporadic side lately and, in all honesty, it probably will be until after Thanksgiving. My apologies! On the upside, something pretty grand has been happening while I was away. Dan Cox of Digital Ephemera, with the help of commenter Ari, has taken some rough ideas in my […] more…
The Next Step

The Next Step

Fuckin’ Shakespeare, I know. But this insipid nonsense represents an important step forward for Mouthwash, because Maryam (an NPC) is now capable of having goals: in this case, making Roni (the player character) happy and expressing her own emotions. She’s also capable of taking simple steps to meet those goals, provided she has access to […] more…
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