Blog: February 2010

Global Game Jam 2010

 not me, not me, me, not me.
From left to right: not me, not me, me, not me.
I was a participant in this year’s Global Game Jam (GGJ), which is an annual event organised simultaneously by many countries. It marked the second time that Belgium participated, and this year’s attendance of 40 more than tripled that of last year. GGJ’s goal is to create a functional game based on a single theme in a timespan of 48 hours (this year the theme was “deception”). At first I was somewhat daunted as the room slowly filled up with programmers and 2D/3D artists. Introducing myself as an aspiring Narrative Designer elicited some worries in a “getting-picked-last-at-gym” sort of way, but fortunately enough I was quick to glom onto a team in which all necessary skills were accounted for.

Short Script: BioShock

To celebrate the release of BioShock 2, I present the Short Script of its predecessor. BioShock is an example of a very specific type of story which lends itself exceptionally well to being told through the medium of videogames: an aftermath story. This typically involves the player being thrust into a game world where many things have happened which are not immediately made clear, but are responsible for leaving said game world in its current state. The System Shock series, to which BioShock is a spiritual successor, also uses this story model. It allows for many different narrative techniques, from obvious means (audio logs, wall scrawlings, survivors) to less than obvious ones (the appearance of certain rooms, corpses). In this case, dead men do tell tales.

Welcome

Welcome to Playthroughline! Regardless of how you found your way over here, the content of this blog assumes you have a healthy interest in videogames, or more specifically, the design thereof. With a strong focus on story and narrative and how these concepts are linked to gameplay (or how they unfortunately are not), I aim to collate my thoughts and impressions here. Naturally, this will not preclude me from branching out to other topics as well.

The title is a combination of two terms: playthrough and throughline. A playthrough is a gaming session from the beginning of the story to its conclusion, though not necessarily a continuous one. A throughline is generally regarded as the spine of a story in the field of narratology. As such the title combines my interest in both games and story and segues nicely into the field of Narrative Design.