Tag Archives: Narrative

What I Learned From “Spec Ops The Line”

It’s been a while, so let me recap: “What I Learned” essays are not game reviews in the traditional sense. Rather, I talk about what I learned as a designer from playing the game in question. Sometimes I learn awesome things from terrible games, and sometimes games I love don’t actually give me any new insights.

This past weekend, I played Spec Ops: The Line….

Wait, before I start. This essay will not just “contain spoilers” as we mere mortals understand it — I will ruin the entire game for you. I will spoil this game like five-month old milk. Here be spoilers. Spoiler alert. Seriously, I’m going to talk about the end of this fucking game, a lot. If you haven’t played it, just know that it is not a typical shooter, and the narrative is worth the six or so hours it’ll take to get through it. Come back when you’re done. I’ll be here.

(Oh, and avoid the comments, too. Spoilers there as well, most likely.)

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Moving from Blob to Blob

Image of Chuck Wendig from Facebook

For a little over a week now, assassin dog robot Chuck Wendig has been trying to wrap his head around storytelling in games. He’s posted about it three times, in case you want to download his brainmeats: 1

Part I; Part II; Part III

This is something we’ve been talking about at work lately. While I’m certainly not going to say that I have the one true answer, I did write up a pretty lengthy email about my opinions on the matter, which I’ll paraphrase here. I should note that, in this case, I’m primarily talking about video games and balancing interactivity with a scripted narrative structure, but there might be some bits that might work for other interactive games (like those funny ones you kids play with the strange dice and the killing of orcs).

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  1. I’ve noticed that when I write about Chuck, my blog gets a certain Warren Ellis vibe. Maybe there’s a pill for that.