podcast

Anatomy of a Story Game 2

This is part 2 of “Anatomy of a Story Game”. This week, we’ll complete the basic story design and discuss some implementation issues in various media.

Spotlight: A Certain Slant of Light (Review)

“Someone was looking at me, a disturbing sensation if you’re dead.” If I tried really hard, I might be able to find something wrong with this story. But why would I want to work that hard? After just finishing A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb, already I want to start over again from […]

Spotlight: Walk Two Moons (Review)

A review of Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. When I first read the first chapter of Walk Two Moons, the Newbery Medal award-winning juvenile novel by Sharon Creech, I didn’t quite realize what I was getting into. You can read it yourself, preview the first chapter at Amazon.com. Now after having read the whole […]

Anatomy of a Story Game

What are story games, and how do they differ from other games? What about adventure games and interactive fiction? What are some of the issues that arise when writing story games? This is the first part of two episodes that explain story games and how to write them.

Spotlight: Because of Winn-Dixie (Review)

A review of Because of Winn-Dixie, the film directed by Wayne Wang, based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo. This is a touching portrait of a little girl’s heart. It’s a film I rented and watched, and then felt I had to watch again. And then I felt like I needed my own copy of […]

How to Spin a Yarn: Conflict, Resolution, and Story Arc

Conflict is what drives the story arc. It’s what keeps the audience on the edge of its seat. And it’s a fundamental aspect of story structure. If you want to see how a story arc works, just look at just about any novel or movie or story game. Let’s look at Disney’s Snow White.

Spotlight: Ender’s Game (Review)

A review of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Andrew Wiggin prefers to be called Ender. He’s a six-year-old genius destined to save the world. He’s also a Third, that is the third child in a world in which it’s against the law to have more than two. The government made an exception with Ender, […]

Favorite Classic Story Games

What do I mean by “story game”? After all, most games now have stories. What differentiates a story game from all the others? By “story game” I mean a game whose story drives the game. In most games, the gameplay is the central element, and the story is there to add flavor. But in story […]

Spotlight: The Goat in the Grey Fedora (Review)

The Goat in the Grey Fedora An on-line story game by Mark Darin, starring Jason Ellis, published by Pinhead Games. Many of us expect little from adventure games. But the story game is not dead, no siree. In fact, it’s coming back to life. Just as bloggers and podcasters and videobloggers are ushering in a […]

Great Characters and How to Make Them

The are lots of great books and other resources to teach you how to make good fictional character, but my favorite step-by-step guide is Holly Lisle’s Create a Character Clinic. Here’s an overview of this tool, with an example character description as we go through it.