Beating Design Block (Level Design)

Every so often every person in a creative occupation gets stuck. It’s a common enough frustration, and one that I’ve felt the pain of on many occasions.

Since I’ve been giving the problem a lot of thought, recently, I thought I’d post some techniques I use to get past it. While this may not be of immediate practical use to non-game designers, I’m fairly confident that some of the techniques can be adapted to any kind of creative process.

Continue reading

What I’m Playing

Oh man, so much…

I both love and hate this time of year. I was kind of relieved last year when it was a lackluster season.

Phew, here we go:

Games I’m Playing Now:

  • Zelda – Phantom Hourglass
  • Yes, I’m still working on it. I’m gonna finish it because I finish ALL Zelda games, but really this one is near the bottom of my list of favorite Zelda Games. I think I’ve written about it before, but I REALLY don’t agree with a number of decisions they made in this game. Especially the retraversal of the sea temple. I’ve … Continue reading

Some updates

So as some of you know, I’ve recently changed jobs again. It’s been a really tough couple of weeks, but I think I’m finally ready to talk about it.

Basically, I got a really good offer out of the blue from a company called Bionic Games — so, as tough as it was for me to do, I decided to take the risk and go over there.

I’ve left Obsidian and I’m going over there to be their Creative Director. I’m going to be a lot closer to Kung Fu, so that’ll save me 3-4 hours a week of … Continue reading

D3 update to come late in the week. Also, a blog entry.

Hi guys,

Just an update — the next D3 episode will come late this week. Perhaps even as late as the weekend. My life took a turn for the crazy, and once things settle down I’ll post about it all (including some good news and some sad news) here — but for now my head isn’t in the right place.

Until then, I’ll leave you with an honest-to-god blog entry (which I really don’t do enough):

Continue reading

Prefrontal Reverberations

It’s been a while since I’ve let the whimsy out of my sails and just blogged on here. I’ve become so entranced with the idea of this site that I’ve forgotten what blogs are for.

Blogs are for bullshitting.

And, my dear nonexistent readers, I bullshit with the best of them. I have a fucking DEGREE in bullshit. I went to a college, plunked down an unimaginable sum of money, and over a harsh period of unbelievably difficult training I mastered the fine art of bullshittery.

Continue reading

The Wheel of Time Ceases To Turn

Author Robert Jordan passed away today due to heart disease. I didn’t know the man, but like thousands of others I am one whose life was touched by his writing.

It saddens me to know that this light has gone out of the universe. I stopped reading The Wheel of Time Series a few years back, but always intended to pick it back up once he finished it.

I suppose now that’ll never happen.

A wise man once said that if you want to cheat death you should plant a tree, have a child, or write a book, and … Continue reading

Zero Punctuation

A link that’s been going around work for a bit is for an Escapist feature called Zero Punctuation. Essentially, it’s a weekly submission by a delightfully-accented man (British-born, Australian-resident) ranting and raving about various things.

This episode was too good not to share:

This episode is about the current console wars (which it describes with amazing accuracy and insight), and during the PS3 part it describes the fundamental experience of a Final Fantasy game as: “Like listening to the Star Wars soundtrack while huffing nitrous oxide and reading an Excel spreadsheet”

Which sounds about right to me. At least … Continue reading

Ward 32 – Episode 32

As fast as you can (in your severely weakened condition) you make your way to the room Harold referred to as “the heart” of this place. A short hallway links the heart chamber in front of you to the grand hall behind you. As you walk the length of the hallway, it isn’t until you notice your breath steaming from your mouth that you realize the temperature is falling rapidly.

Continue reading

Ward 32 – Episode 28

Chapter two is preceeded, as you noted before, with a picture of a human skeleton. The lower half of the skeleton seems to be in the process of turning to dust and is blowing away in the wind. Below the image is an eight pointed star — a symbol for absolute chaos. The pages of this chapter are dry and brittle to the touch, and small bits flake away from the edges of the pages as you touch them. You’re surprised that pages as brittle as this didn’t disintegrate entirely when you submerged the book in water.

As a result, … Continue reading

Ward 32 – Episode 27

Your choice made, you begin to read through the huge tome. Turning to the first page of chapter 1, you make a surprising discovery! Right before chapter 1 begins is a page that you don’t remember seeing when you first scanned through the book… either it wasn’t there before or the pain and lack of sleep are finally getting to you.

The page is empty except for three short sentences, centered horizontally and vertically on the page. The letters are gilded, and their size and placement are unique for this book. All of this serves to draw your attention, and … Continue reading