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Vacation: Music Time

I’ve ended up on an impromptu vacation due to someone else cancelling. This wouldn’t necessarily keep me from writing a post, but no ideas have readily sprung to mind and I haven’t had the motivation to wrack my brains for any. 59 more words

Problem Machine

Small Magic

Magic sucks. We’ve fucked it up. We’ve made it boring. We’ve taken something that, conceptually, contains the range of all things unexplainable, extraordinary, and mystical, and compressed it into essentially an invisible sack of hand grenades. 647 more words

Problem Machine

Filling In

Things don’t happen the way we remember them. We smooth out the rough edges, add new elements in where they seem like they should be. After a certain point, memory stops being history and becomes our story, a narrative with an arc, with heroes and villains, and it becomes hard to recall that it was ever any different. 536 more words

Problem Machine

Estus

In all the excitement over Dark Souls’ intricately detailed world, subtle storytelling, and tough-but-fair challenge, I think the simple extraordinary elegance of the estus flask is often overlooked. 679 more words

Problem Machine

Recognition

There’s a moment in art which drives me. It’s hard to name – you might call it a twist, except that means something else already, similar but just different enough to be insufficient. 455 more words

Problem Machine

System and Story

‘Interactive’ is a convenient buzz-word that we’ve been using to describe games for some time. What separates games from other art, so we say, is that the audience acts upon the game and the game in turn acts upon them, a stable loop where each shapes the experience. 756 more words

Problem Machine

Empirical

As time goes on and I write more posts for Problem Machine, I notice certain themes emerging, repeating themselves in slight variation. One of these is the idea that there are no good or bad elements of game design, only ineffective and effective combinations of these elements; that, indeed, the effectiveness of the design can only be gauged by its overall effect on the audience. 665 more words

Problem Machine