At the Gates: An Interview with Jon Shafer

Feb 06, 13 At the Gates: An Interview with Jon Shafer

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I had the opportunity to sit down with Jon Shafer of Conifer Games last week. Some of you may know him as the modder turned lead game designer of a little game called Civilization V. Currently, he’s working on a new project called At the Gates, a single-player turn-based strategy game focused not on the rise of civilization,...

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Problems of Prestige, part 2: Wearing It on Your Sleeve

Jan 16, 13 Problems of Prestige, part 2: Wearing It on Your Sleeve

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One of the most obvious forms of prestige is that of armor. Even in Homer from where I am drawing inspiration for this series, armor is an important visual component linked to an individual. For example, nearly an entire book of the Iliad is dedicated to describing the shield that Hephaestus makes for Achilles. In beautiful poetry,...

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Problems of Prestige, part 1: the World of Homeric Warcraft

Dec 06, 12 Problems of Prestige, part 1: the World of Homeric Warcraft

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One of the most interesting aspects of MMO culture is that of prestige, and we can find a parallel in the ancient Homeric world of Achilles and the Trojan War. In this series, I will look at how prestige factors into the value system of both cultures and consider the problems this understanding of worth encounters in a sub-culture...

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Spatial Storytelling

Jun 27, 12 Spatial Storytelling

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Locations carry a great deal of narrative potential for us, even in everyday life. Locations carry meaning in themselves and communicate temporal significance through their changes. Certain places evoke particular memories of times that were different. When one goes back to their hometown after an extended time away, we...

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RIFT Part 2, Faction Identity Construction

Dec 13, 11 RIFT Part 2, Faction Identity Construction

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Last time, I spoke about how culture in RIFT, an MMO from Trion, is constructed (or not constructed) across the various character races and how this impacts player experience through their avatar. I want to look at the same kind of idea today, but through the lens of narrative and story instead of primarily visual representations of...

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