This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Melissa King on topics ranging from storytelling in That Dragon, Cancer to a secret twist in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Stephen Addcox from GameChurch and interactive fiction author Emily Short examine That Dragon, Cancer’s usage of contradicting aesthetics to simulate the experience of losing a child. Meanwhile, YouTube channel Game Maker’s Toolkit dissects the quest “Beyond the Beef” in Fallout: New Vegas and lauds it as a great example of sidequest writing (video, captions available).
Brick by Break's Ario Barzan brings us a piece on the link between Dark Souls’ concept art and its environmental design, comparing the game’s concept art to paintings by Joachim Patinir, Friedrich Schinkel, and Caspar David Friedrich.
At The Guardian, Simon Parkin interviews Helana Santos, developer of Epic Mickey 2. Elsewhere, in Gamasutra's blogs section, Chris Pruett tells us about the different elements of tension he’s found in the horror genre and how he applied them to his own game.
Grayson Davis at Videogame Heart praises Emily is Away’s interface’s representation of the instant messaging of yesteryear.
According to G. Christopher Williams at Popmatters, if you take a good, hard look at the interaction between mechanics and storytelling in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, there’s another shocking twist to be found! And no, for once, it’s not Ocelot’s fault.
Game developer Rami Ismail wrote at length this past week about the intersection of Islamophobia and opportunities for Middle Eastern game developers.
Lastly, in an incredibly detailed essay for Analog Game Studies, Aaron Trammell teaches us about Dungeons & Dragons’ appropriation of the “Orient” and its influence on modern gaming.
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