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Ron Newcomb's Member Blogs

Posted by Ron Newcomb on Fri, 21 Jan 2011 02:34:00 EST in Design
In books, dialog is action. In games, dialog is exposition. For genres that lack the human element, here is news.


Posted by Ron Newcomb on Thu, 06 Jan 2011 09:02:00 EST in Design, Programming, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet
Adaptable story frequently finds limited prose generation useful. While substituting one MacGuffin or character for another is pretty straightforward, verb conjugation, pronoun choice, and subject-verb agreement can get hairy. Especially on a cell phone.


Posted by Ron Newcomb on Sat, 28 Aug 2010 07:10:00 EDT in
PAX badge not cover all three days? Want to try something a little different after-hours? OK, how about free snacks? Visit the Seattle Interactive Fiction Group's freeplay room, in the Sheraton hotel.


Posted by Ron Newcomb on Sat, 14 Aug 2010 01:36:00 EDT in Design
A videogame satire goes awry, revealing...


Posted by Ron Newcomb on Sun, 01 Aug 2010 08:23:00 EDT in Design, Programming
Ensuring a correct simulation requires more than checking your math. Try checking your players' behavior.


Posted by Ron Newcomb on Sun, 24 Jan 2010 11:19:00 EST in Design
Writers know that paragraphs have jobs to do -- develop characters, reinforce theme, etc. But for interactive environments, are there more?


Posted by Ron Newcomb on Fri, 06 Nov 2009 05:06:00 EST in Design
Games controlled by a language interface -- interactive fiction, "Maniac Mansion", "Shadowgate" and many other adventure games -- traditionally choose imperatives as the only form of input. But this is button-centric thinking.


Posted by Ron Newcomb on Sun, 25 Oct 2009 08:34:00 EDT in Design, Programming
Ruleset design doesn't end with gameplay. Without certain needs met, some techniques of interactive plot become very difficult. Case in point: integrating psionics with the second edition of Dungeons and Dragons.


Posted by Ron Newcomb on Sat, 26 Sep 2009 06:25:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Production
Technological constraints temporarily defined a "gamer" to mean a solitary individual, in defiance of the traditional norm. In the same fashion, another unique characteristic of the videogame medium, "sequels are better", is destined to fall.


Posted by Ron Newcomb on Mon, 21 Sep 2009 12:13:00 EDT in Design
An understanding of how the rules of gameplay differ from the rules of narrative -- and acknowledging that the latter exists -- may help us close the disconnect between the two.


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