As the final stanzas of 2012 are chanted by the monks of time, it’s time to put on our reflective hats (as these hats are made of tinfoil, they’re also useful for deflecting Mayan apocalypti, which is convenient today). It may be bias on my part, but it feels like this has been an extremely important year for narrative(s) in and around games.
Inside our virtual metaverse, The Walking Dead delivered a moving and emotionally-responsive narrative, while Day Z, XCOM and FTL gave players plenty of systems from which to spawn their own emergent stories. Text-game tool Twine took off in certain circles, providing a medium for non-programmers to express themselves through interactive fictions. I plan to play as many Twine games as I can over the holiday period, and report back on my favourites, put here’s an initial recommendation: Cyberqueen, from the most recent Ludum Dare competition (it’s entirely text-based, but probably NSFW if your co-workers have good eyesight).
In my personal world, my company – SeeThrough Studios – managed to win “Best Writing in a Game” at Freeplay 2012 for Flatland: Fallen Angle, which was very gratifying, and I made my first solo game: Purgatorio. (And I started this blog, of course.)
But much of my headspace this half of the year was dominated by game-related narratives that took place in the “real world”.