The ugly, The bad, The good, The list™
Although I already had a pretty positive opinion of Vance based on ‘Lyonesse’, ‘The Narrow Land’ surprised me with a couple of really good tales.
For as long as I can remember I have been having a vision. Not always, not every night, but recurring throughout my life. The vision always appears at the crepuscular boundary between waking and sleep, when I settle down in my bed and prepare to leave the day behind.
When I recently started playing the urban planning/management game ‘Cities: Skylines’, I quickly got the idea — after trying out the game’s basic functioning — to create a city and surrounding mountain villages with railroads connecting them.
In which I ramble a tiny bit about Quake’s symbolic world and its mommy issues, along with a tenuous comparison to Dark Souls.
In this piece, I wanted to briefly discuss some ways in which players create subgames in videogames, and what they say about the nature of various types of play and game spaces. I’ll start with a discussion of approaches to ‘ghost’ and pacifist playstyles in stealth games, and how these playstyles have become incorporated or re-appropriated in the rules of various host games. Afterwards, I’ll discuss how roleplaying in multiplayer videogames is practically always a subgame enacted outside of the digitally arbitrated game rules. Finally, just to mess with you, I’ll attempt to stretch my own model by talking about particular subgames I’ve tried to play within the roleplaying subgame.
This one took a bit longer to write, but finally the second article in my planar series is out, in which I give an overview of the planes in the history of Dungeons & Dragons. Next time, I’ll be diving into Planescape properly for the first time.
I’ve started a Let’s Play of the 1993 sci-fi roleplaying game Whale’s Voyage over on my YouTube channel. I’ll collect the episodes on this page. Check back soon for new instalments, and/or subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when the new episodes come online. Also, feel free to leave any comments here or on twitter. Hope you enjoy!
As promised, my series about Planescape and the Planes in Dungeons & Dragons kicked off this month. The first instalment is only an introductory piece, in which I set out my ideas for the future of the series. Hopefully it will whet your interest; check back here or on The Ontological Geek soon for the second piece!
For The Ontological Geek, I wrote a short piece on different ways games can represent space exploration. I take a look at Star Control 2, MirrorMoon EP, Noctis, and Space Engine, and try to explain why the last two make me feel most at ease.