Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Raison D'etre

I am very aware of why I have been wary of blogs for so long (which might explain why comments are currently switched firmly off) so this is a very tentative toe in the waters. And I am nervous about more than the whole blogging thing -- I am busy enough, after all, with both young kids and a demanding job -- but with the exposure of practical games things to a wider audience.

So my initial list of disclaimers. This will not be updated as if I have a terminal caffeine twitch and need online adoration. It is a place where I intend to dump screenshots, links and other stuff that will be useful as I get more and more forgetful and my twitch reflexes fall away until I am fit only for Scrabble.

Although I am rather better at Scrabble than twitch games anyway.

The game prototypes I intend to describe are exactly that. I am not an artist. I am certainly not an audio expert. I am not a game designer, or a wannabe game designer who hankers after fame or fortune in a studio. I have no fantasy of creating a commercial game or sitting next to the game gods at a panel at GDC. I am not worthy, etc.. I know where my strengths lie, and they are with academic writing and thinking about games. I am a cultural critic and cultural theorist of games, who happens to teach some practice on an Art and Design degree.

Which then brings me to the things I have already posted and intend to post. I teach some very talented young designers. Most have a real art background and can make me embarrassed by their accomplished use of line and colour. But they haven't ever really encountered code, or the thinking behind variables and arrays and all the gritty ones and zeroes that make the technology of the game actually work. So I need to teach them the basics. And, while my beloved gosub and goto seem to have gone the way of the Dodo (which itself sounds like a Basic command), simple game models and structures seem attractive to me as a teaching resource, which means I need to knock out some games that I can't just talk about and explain but let them fiddle with.

And that is what I intend to do, starting with Shush, which should populate the preceding posts and should be filled out in coming posts as I make some free time. Hopefully it will all make sense as I go along.


Barry Atkins said...

Yay. I've enabled comments. I am joining the C21st, just... very... slowly...

DrD said...


The blog world rejoices. The recalcitrant Brit joins the Internet rabble and chorus.

Nice to have you.

Anyway, it's not all fangs and nastiness. I mean, most of the time!

-- David