GameDev News for 25 February 2021



Where did the month go?! At least there are some good news this time: I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel regarding my work-in-progress novella, and hoping to pick up games again sometime in March. Also, for once we have enough headlines that I was able to discard a couple from my usual sources, to keep this newsletter from getting even more repetitive than it already is. To wit:

  • a practical analysis of the Virtual Boy's architecture, highlighting the way certain problems with VR were already known a quarter century ago, so why do we choose to forget every lesson only to re-learn it painfully with each new generation?
  • a discussion of How to use choices when writing visual novels, that of course applies to other kinds of narrative games as well;
  • How I made Hack Grid: one developer's making-of, used as a pretext for (retro) game design discussion;
  • speaking of which, here's a very nice piece titled In Praise of Messy Design, and I couldn't agree more: my own designs are minimal out of necessity, but it's not really what I want or what my players want;
  • and then we're reminded that Before Fortnite, There Was ZZT, which is important because, in the author's words: "As a child, being able to tell your friends ‘I make video games’ is incredibly powerful."

Last but not least, Inkle Studios announces the ink version 1.0 release! A huge milestone, to be sure. I even gave the new editor a try, just for kicks. Too bad it's broken for me. Also much too cryptic anyway, even as the concept is appealing in principle.

Besides, there are plenty of tools for me to play with already, including some of my own. Well, soon as I find the energy for it, anyway. Until then, see you!


Tags: classics, tools, history, game design, interactive fiction