My Work in 2014

It’s become customary to share ones work at the end of the year in one big roundup. I think it should pretty obvious by now that I’m in favor of looking back and reflecting upon the past year.

I don’t feel like going to deep on it though other than making mention of what I manged to accomplish. I fell apart quite a few times and couldn’t keep up with my own set work load so I’d rather just let the aggregate of what I did worth mentioning be it.

I continued to be on a lot of podcasts this year. Mostly Moving Pixels. I also spent a long time doing nothing but trying to fix it’s RSS feed without having access to it so we could get back on iTunes. Thanks to no one but me knowing how to code an XML and then losing all of the audio files and now I got to figure out how to inform iTunes of the change in URL for the feed. I’ve nearly got it though.

I like our format of choosing a game and then critiquing it in depth. I don’t think a lot of people go that in depth on games even as they ask for more and better criticism. Somehow being lengthy about details seems like it is too much.

Our 2013 Games of the Year

All That Remains of The Walking Dead Season 2

Knock Knock

The Stanley Parable

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Smoke and Mirrors of The Wolf Among Us

Hearthstone

A House Divided of The Walking Dead Season 2

Device 6

Year Walk

Side Quests

A Crooked Mile of The Wolf Among Us

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Kentucky Route Zero Act III

In Harm’s Way of The Walking Dead Season 2

In Sheep’s Clothing of The Wolf Among Us

Transistor

Serena, Glitchhikers and A Dark Room

Cry Wolf of The Wolf Among Us

Gunpoint

Haunted Memories and The Cursed Forest

Amid The Ruins of The Walking Dead Season 2

No Going Back of The Walking Dead Season 2

Spec Ops: The Line

I also finally managed to get out a trilogy interviews I did a long while back with Micheal Abbott, Kirk Battle and Ben Abraham.

Most of my essays appear on PopMatters and for some reason I just could not keep up with the one a week schedule. Going to try and fix that this year. I also write linking posts to my essays over there here on the blog. Sometimes I add some thoughts that wouldn’t fit into the argument proper and was excised for the sake of flow or just a few tidbits on the writing of the actual piece.

I wrote about Shadowrun Returns as a digital version of a tabletop session experience and the ending of the Dead Man Switch adventure that came with the game.

I wondered what Telltale’s The West Wing would look like and mused on the unutilized potential of what the episodic structure could offer.

I continued my informal series on First Person Walkers with essays on 9.03m and The Stanley Parable.

I went to IndieCade East for the first time this year. My general thoughts on the event. I managed to get a full month of material out of it with a three part series on some highlight games I got to see there.

I wrote The Parable of The Runner about the loss of games writing from even just a few years ago. Note: since I posted that the author has returned the entire series online.

After the recording of the podcast on it, I grew a little cold to Hearthstone as I felt it didn’t have the design depth to keep me interested. Especially when compared to Magic: The Gathering.

I went back and played Myst for the first time in so long and found it very different than my memories.

What started as an exploration of the moral quandary presented by a single choice in The Wolf Among Us grew into an unintended series on the concept. Thanks to some commenters I had to clarify what I found different about the choice was a law/order dichotomy instead of a a good/evil dichotomy, but that it was multi-faceted and multi-layered. Then I continued with an example of Papers, Please, a game where it doens’t rely on consequences, but the player’s behavior and emotional state. And on that last point I discuss what it could mean to behave morally in a game rather than simply make a choice about morality. Here on the blog I try and come up with design that would facilitate the dichotomy through play style rather than left or right decision making.

I had a lot of say about Quest for Infamy it seems. I disagreed rather strongly with my colleague Nick Dinicola’s review of the game, so I wrote a Second Opinion. I also expanded on a few points that wouldn’t fit in the original post. Plus, my first entry of what I hope I will make into an ongoing series called Minor Moments.

I hated Watch Dogs if you didn’t know by now. 2,000 words and I still couldn’t get everything down.

I finally played Spec Ops: The Line and wrote about the oft ignored design decision to dull the kinetic pleasure of shooting as much as possible. The only post I managed to get out for horror month. Still kicking myself over that.

Indie game Unrest made great use of dramatic irony. So much so I couldn’t fit all the examples I wanted to use in a reasonable sized essay.

Originally it was supposed to be a post for PopMatters, but it was deemed too long to publish. So, I published it here instead. My long exploration of the iOS game 80 Days as an adaptation of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days and how succeeds magnificently in the face of the original racism, sexism and imperialism. It is the work I’m probably most proud of.

Then there is the work that was chosen for Critical Distance’s TYIVGB 2014 edition. NPC – Non Play Criticism, my series of posts taking a piece of criticism about another medium and bringing it back to video games so we can learn something from it. Went as long as I could without repeating a medium, going to try and continue to do so. So far have done fashion, film, linguistics, philosophy, anime, comic books, writing, literature and curation.

I also wrote a lot of reviews this year. 23 of them in fact. I’m not going to list them here. You can check the tag and see the bi/tri/quad month roundups I do of them.

That’s not all the writing I did this year. But it’s all I think worthy of mentioning. So many posts in the External Sources category. I got to write more here in the new year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>