A Life Worth Living

by Eric-Jon Rössel Tairne

Some of the typical themes to indie games, and art games, and deconstructionist games in general, include violence, death, and loss. I find it interesting that the deeper problems of game design, toward which the more thoughtful game authors are drawn, so closely mirror a boilerplate list of human concerns. At least, metaphorically speaking.

Of the three, death and loss, and the association between the two, are the bigger concerns — perhaps because in the short term, with such a narrow communication bottleneck, it’s more worthwhile to hand out monosyllabic verbs for the player to sling around: shoot, run, jump, grab. Let players use the grammar they know, while you precisely sculpt a context to lend the discussion an illusion of eloquence.

( Continue reading at DIYGamer )

The Nuance of Uncharted Character Design

by Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh

Uncharted had about a three-year development cycle; a year of pre-production, followed by two years of active production. Early on they began to research all manner of pulp adventure fiction, from Tintin to Doc Savage, to seminal movies like Gunga Din and more recent stews like Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Mummy.

Beyond the hair-raising, larger-than life quality of these stories, the team wanted, wherever possible and appropriate, to capture the “certain lightness of tone” in the source material, to contrast with the current standard for Western games, which Lemarchand described as “overwrought and all a bit emo.”

( Continue reading at GamaSutra )