No Time To Play
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Weekly Links #118

Hello, everyone! It's Easter for me today, and a beautiful spring day to boot, so I've been taking it easy. Doesn't hurt that City of Dead Leaves is almost ready for the first round of testing, and I have another article coming soon too (already posted on Tumblr, if you're in a hurry). And while on the topic of interactive fiction, here's Emily Short interviewing someone from the world of literary hypertext. A somewhat dry, academic discussion as you may imagine, but still good for expanding horizons.

In more relatable news, my friend Kris, whose game I plugged a couple of weeks ago, is back with a good write-up about game design issues in WildStar. He makes excellent points, too. Developers of MMOs in particular, but of other game genres as well, feel obliged to create sprawling worlds, then find it very difficult to fill them with meaningful content. While the toy villages in Runes of Magic feel colorful and bubbling with life. As for the ridiculous situation where every single player in a MMO is "the chosen one", what can you expect? We've barely figured out how to tell good interactive stories to audiences of one, or at most a small party. And not everyone has gotten the memo on that, either.

(Meanwhile, EVE Online continues to generate headlines in the real world every couple of years or so. Go figure.)

And for the worldbuilders out there, if you ever had trouble giving characters from different parts of the setting distinctive names and speech patterns, here's a highly useful checklist. That's definitely a weak point of mine, though I'm trying, so it's most welcome.

Last but not least, just Friday came the news that indie game host and review site Jay Is Games will no longer update. And while I wasn't a regular reader (or even an infrequent reader), the name means something in the gaming world. So long, then, and thanks for all the fish.

For what it's worth, No Time To Play keeps going. See you next week.