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Games

Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics

There you are sitting down to go back and review a piece of work you completed over a year ago – your literature review. You’ve had notes from your supervisor, some of which you addressed at the time, but others required a little more reading,  which you did, or some deeper thinking about, which you are still doing really (does that ever end?). But over all you are ready to take those forty thousand words apart and rearrange them a bit into three chapters instead of one. Continue reading →

Now Play This

Last week, I went to Somerset House for Now Play This, a three day event of experimental games. The Guardian beat me to a write up (curse you, full time journalists!) so read that, and think of this short post as an addendum. I took my boy (aged 12) with me and our favourite game is also the top of the Guardian’s list. Dead Pixel (above) is a simple, snake-like arcade game with up to nine players, co-operating in teams of three. Continue reading →

Festival of British Archaeology

It is less than a week until the start of the Festival of British Archaeology – and we will be holding lots of events, both on and off-campus, during 2 weeks of the Festival. Everything kicks off with an Archaeology Activity Day this Saturday 11th July. Just drop in to take part in a series of hands-on activities related to aspects of archaeology within the department. Continue reading →

Get ready for Karen #KarenIsMyLifeCoach

Yesterday I finished playtesting Blast Theory’s soon to be released app, Karen. I don’t want to say too much about it, because I don’t want to spoil any surprises for you, and it’ll shortly (hopefully next week, pending approval, and assuming is ran as well for other playtesters as it did on my device) be free to download for iOS from the App Store. So you’ll be able to try it for youself, Android users will also get their turn, but not quite as soon. Continue reading →

Narrative Structure and Games – Backstory?

I’ve started writing up my literature review. And that has sent me back to the literature itself, to try and make head or tale of the cryptic comments I made to myself when I read it the fist time. Take for example Barry Ip’s two part article in Games and Culture, Narrative Structures in Computer and Video Games. Ip offers, in part one, his own pretty complete literature review of story in games. Continue reading →

Twine

I’ve been toying with Twine . Not like a cat with wool, you understand (though maybe like a cat with wool, because I find it very difficult to leave it alone now I’ve started), but with an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. I’m thinking about using it to create an interactive narrative based around Portus. Continue reading →

On Minecraft

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in which to start thinking about building Portus in Minecraft. A fortnight ago, after a consultation with my nine year old Minecraft expert, and some reading around the subject I was about to recommend Bukkit to my colleagues as as the best way to set up a custom server, perhaps using some Rome specific modifications and textures (more on those later). Continue reading →