Tag Archives: structure

The Video Game Album

My latest column has gone up at GameSetWatch. It’s about a rare and intriguing animal: the Video Game Album. Occasionally, several games will be released as one package. In the article, I discuss Odin Sphere, Kirby Super Star, and The Orange Box.

One work I didn’t discuss in the column, because it seemed a bit incestuous, is my recent IF piece, The Bryant Collection. Continue reading The Video Game Album

Simulation, Structure, and Agency

And now for some hardcore interactivity theory geekery. I’ve been doing design for my current work in progress (working title: The Mold Fairy) and it’s caused me to think, as I often do, about the nature of interactivity. Most any interactive work is a simulation. Usually, this is a simulation of reality, or of a reality very similar to our own; two to three dimensions, strict sequencing of time, the possibility of containment and spacial relations, and various energies and forces. Different games have different levels of abstraction to their simulation. What makes it interactive is that the player can tweak the parameters of the simulation. In most games, the player can only control the behavior of an actor or group of actors within the simulation. This ability to affect the progress of the simulation is called player agency. It’s essential to interactivity, and it’s used in different ways in different works. I’d like to see this agency take a different form than it usually does. Let me lay some groundwork first.

Continue reading Simulation, Structure, and Agency