Do you dream of being a writer? (I do!) In their most recent podcast, Gamasutra got the chance to sit down with video game writer Susan O’Conner, who contributed to what little narrative there was in Gears of War as well as the potentially more-involved BioShock. The discussion of the role of games in narrative, and vice-versa, always appeals to me, and Ms. O’Conner has some good things to say about the ways in which interactive fictions differ from traditional ones. You can read a transcript of the interview here. You can spend time pining for your dream job wherever you wish. Dibs on the bathroom.
Okay: I don’t hate big box retailers. Given my location, if I did then I wouldn’t be able to get ahold of games, at least not with that extra thrill of actually driving to the store and grabbing the hunk of plastic in my own three hands. However, after having worked in the business of small-retailer traditional games, I can kind get what DVDEmpire.com is getting at in this story in Gamespot. The successful online retailer is giving up video game sales because, in its own words, the video game industry "completely ignore[s] the needs and wants of the medium to small game retailers." The story contains a lot of the bean-counting that validates the opinions. It’s kind of sad, like the average kid getting benched from the team because all his classmates take steroids, and he’s just not big enough anymore. Rise up, kid. Rise up
Lorne Lanning always provides an interesting read. The Oddworld games put out by his will-they/won’t-they studio Oddworld Inhabitans have been, at their worst, absolutely packed with character. Marking today as fiction Thursday, Mr. Lanning provides a second take on the methods of linear vs. non-linear storytelling, and the tension between the role of the game director and those of players. Will Wright-juice quote: "Customisation, community, teamwork, the factioning of beliefs: these should be finding their way into gaming tribalism." The UK’s Edge magazine carries the interview here.
Austinites, or those heading down South for the SXSW festival, have one more thing to look forward to. The festival’s second annual ScreenBurn section will feature a keynote delivered by abovementioned juicy Will Wright. Warren Spector will also contribute to the event, and BioWare will be present, hopefully revealing something about the MMO their Austin team is working on.
Infectious PSP game LocoRoco has sold enough in Japan to qualify for Sony’s "Best-Of" program. The game will receive a reissue with a reduced price. Unfortunately, these budget releases don’t necessarily translate over to the rest of the world. They also get Me and My Katamari and Metal Gear Acid 2 in the line-up over there in the land of the setting moon. Not that you can’t find either of those delicious games for under $20 here in the states. Take a look at LocoRoco, though, if for no other reason than because you admire the abstract concept of evolution in gaming genres, and/or like to listen to gibberish.