BoD III: Storytime with Dodger

DODGER: Hi boys and girls.

CHILDREN: (Yelling) Hi, Mr Dodger!

DODGER: Are you ready to hear a story?

CHILDREN: YEAH!

DODGER: Well all right then. Today I’m going to tell you a story from long ago. And I’m gonna tell it to you the way my grandpappy used to tell it to my old pappy, and the way my old pappy used to tell it to me. Now y’all have a part in this story as well. Just do it like we rehearsed it, okay? (Tuning up the Banjo)

CHILDREN: YAY!

DODGER: (Mumbling) Christ, kids, calm down. (Jolly Tone) Okay, … Continue reading

Best of Dodger: Part II

Hello Kevin and Bean,

I’m almost sorry to say that I missed your segment on Clown porn this morning (I don’t start listening until 8am), in that I might have been able to save you a bit of grief. You see, Kevin and Bean, Clown porn ruined my life.

I’ll let that sink in a moment before revealing that the comment, while wildly sensationalistic enough to grab ones attention, is not strictly true. However, it did manage to cause me a certain amount of torment, the story of which I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of.

About four years … Continue reading

Best of Dodger…

Hi everyone,

I realize I’ve been lagging behind here a bit. It’s going to take me a bit of time before I can start updating regularly again. To that end, I’m gonna start posting a “best of dodger” series of things I’ve written in the past for OTHER things.

So for those of you who haven’t seen these before (which is pretty much everyone) enjoy!

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Storytime With Dodger
And now it’s time again for story time with Dodger. So gather ’round, ye little ones, and hear a grande olde fable of ages past…

Once upon … Continue reading

Wherein we sing “Puff the Magic Dragon”… or not

Wow, it’s been a long time since my last post. It feels like I wrote that thing fucking yesterday.

I blame daylight saving time.

I suppose I could continue my train of thought from the last one, but I’m like a five-year old when it comes to that. It’s a new week! I’m thinking NEW shit now.

Of course, after spending a few minutes in metacognition, I realize that I don’t have much new to say this week. Therefore, I’ll go off on a bit of a tangent from last week’s post:

Gamasutra has an interesting article on the … Continue reading

Story Vs Design

“What is more important: story, or design?”

I’ve had this argument countless times, and come down on either side of it (really, whichever side made me right and the other guy wrong). But I’ve been thinking about this lately, and without an ego-interest in either side I’m having a hard time defining the difference between design and story.

One way of splitting the two is this: “Design is what the player does and the story is what is done to the player.”

I don’t really like that one, because it limits story as a non-interactive element. This definition breaks … Continue reading

“My first project” — The tendency towards RPGs

My high school computer science class was taught by a man named Mr Lew, and he was a genius.

As the final project each semester, every student (and a partner) were to make a computer game. Academically speaking, the reason why this was a great idea is obvious — games contain so many aspects of computer science that you can’t really make one without showing everything you’ve learned in the class. Plus it was something everyone could get excited about.

At least it was something the nerds in the class could get excited about (this was pre-PlayStation, so computer gaming … 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

Blog of a Japanese Game Design Student

I found this on gametab this morning, and I’m definitely gonna keep an eye on this one (though there hasn’t been an update in a while). I’m curious to see what kind of things they teach to game design students in Japan.

http://designblog.theirisnetwork.org/ (DEFUNCT)

I’m gonna ramble for a bit:

The Japanese and American traditions of game design are pretty divergent. While Japanese games do pretty well (on the whole) here in the States, American games don’t tend to do very well AT ALL in Japan. (The exceptions thus far are Crash Bandicoot and Ratchet and Clank, from what I understand, … 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

Stealing Game Design… Properly (Part 1)

Note from Mike in 2012:
I wrote this article and its companion more than 4 years ago. In that time, my game design philosophy has evolved and changed quite a bit. While I think there are still good nuggets to pull out of these articles, I just want to say that they’re no longer as current (in terms of my thinking). That disclaimer done, check it out! (Part 2 here)

Preamble:

It’s a common sight in video game development. You’re sitting at your desk when all of a sudden you hear the sounds of carnage … Continue reading