LucasArts day 112. So, I never followed up on GDC. The weather was beautiful and I had a great time seeing some of my old friends. I only had chance to attend one day of sessions but that meant that I got to see industry-legend Hideo Kojima’s keynote about Metal Gear Solids evolution and Keita Takahashi’s heart-warming talk about Noby Noby Boy. But the session that gave me most was the Experimental Gameplay Sessions. Again, it’s clear that innovation within games is often not coming from the established developers. It almost seems like we are returning to the age of the bedroom coders with very few right and wrongs. Continue reading Story reflection
Something that is very cumbersome (and boring) to do for every developer out there is the software testing. To combat that, you usually develop a number of methods that helps you track down bugs, for example automatic bug-reports and unit-testing.
One of the more interesting ones is automated testing. For games, this usually means that you have a system that simulates the player and automatically generates input for it. For my latest project Hyena. I’ve had the rare opportunity to play around with an application where the controls are so basic that it was actually possible to write a system that played the whole game for me.
Continue reading Automated game testing
Yesterday I attended a lecture by Jonas Carlquist called “Datorspel + Människa = Berättelse” (Computergame + Human = Story). The lecture was mostly directed towards people who didn’t know that much about storytelling in games, but it was still very interesting to see everything from an academics point of view (also, he made a good impression on me by namedropping important games for storytelling like Deus Ex and Planescape Torment).
After thinking a bit about this lecture I though of some of the views I and my fellow designers at Starbreeze has had on how to tell stories in games. In the last couple of games we’ve made, storytelling has been extremely important.
Continue reading Computergame + Human = Story
One of the hardest things to create in games is the interactive stories. It’s probably because that’s something that is very new for us. Before computers, the only stories you could call interactive or branching were the role-playing game-books such as Lone Wolf (which I remember foundly from my childhood). And even those stories are not much older than half a century. Even so, I wish interactive storytelling had evolved as so many other areas related to computers and computer games like graphics technology and AI has.
There are some interesting things going on the subject, though. Continue reading Interactive storytelling & dialogue
The Swedish game-magazine Level had a nice article about the relationship between art and games in their July 2007 issue. This article contained an interview with me about the game Rorschach, where I collaborated with Ida Rödén to make a small art-game. This game has been shown in a number of more “traditional” art-forums, for example at Umeå Konsthögskola and the M.A.D.E. festival. Art and games has always had a slightly weird relasionship and as usual opinions drift apart. Personally I see interactivity as the key word, and Rorschach tries to explore the interactivity of conversations; something that games in general have been pretty unsuccessful in.
Rorschach is now available for download and can be found at http://www.collectingsmiles.com/rorschach.