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Chris
Outsider philosopher, game designer and author
Recent Activity
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Although I have been robustly overworked in recent weeks, I have managed to break ground on the editing for the final segment of the Babich and Bateman dialogues, this time looking at Nietzsche, music, and the psychological tricks of corporations.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2017 at Only a Game
Hi Mirage, It never ceases to amaze me the love that exists out in the corners of the world for Ghost Master, which is still the project I am most proud of as a game designer. You ask about things that were cut... it is usual in game development to make contractions, in this case some of those cuts were already partially implemented and remained as artefacts in the game code - hence the ability to 'disinter' them! I'll tell you what I remember: - Smokin' Joe and Field of Nightmares: this was an outdoor mission based (as the name implies) on Field of Dreams. Smokin' Joe was a baseball ghost, and the centerpiece of the mission. However, it was the weakest of the outdoor locations and it was ultimately cut so we could focus on the army base and the woods. - Soulscreech: another Banshee, but we liked the design of the others more so this one fell out. - Thorne: a pirate ghost intended for Deadfellas, but we had a problem as we had nowhere to put the ghost that made any sense, and it caused so many problems that he was shelved. A shame, though, as I really liked the art design. - Azrael: I'm not sure about this one, I think it was a Spectre like Ghastly, but was cut because we already had three solid concepts for Spectres with better animations. - Boy Wisp: Think this would have gone in Field of Nightmares, but it was cut... - The Ghost With No Name: this would have been a Clint Eastwood inspired gunslinger, and I'm not sure which haunting it belonged to, probably Field of Nightmares. - Hunchcork: I don't even recognise this one! Not sure what the story is... - Whisperer: some kind of Sprite, I'm thinking, but I'm not at all sure about this one. - The Uninvited (haunting): this one existed only on paper, but the puzzle design wasn't there and it got cut before implementation. I don't remember much about it... there was a movie reference involved, but I don't know which one. - Where There's A Will and The Butler Didn't Do It (hauntings): I can't remember if this was a two-parter set in the same location at different times, or whether these are names for the same haunting. But it would have been set in a mansion and set up along the lines of an Agatha Christie whodunnit. However, it was a big location that was cut so we could keep the Hospital (another really big location). - The Abysmal: this one never got off the ground... I seem to remember it was an underwater mission inspired by The Abyss, but the technical problems were unsurmountable. I may be misremembering this! - Trainspooking: originally this would have been the finale, set on a train versus the Ghostbreakers. We did build the train, but we had to cut it to focus on getting all the other hauntings up to scratch. Isn't there a cut scene at the end using the train model? - Ghost in the Military Machine: the sequel to the military base mission Full Mortal Jacket, but that map in itself had a lot of problems and we cut the revisit. - Museum Mission: Didn't get far in planning this one, but it was intended at one point to use a museum as a haunting location. It was a lovely idea, but pushed off to the sequel which was never made... That's all I remember, or misremember, about everything you mentioned. Thanks for your message, and your love of the game, which is appreciated! All the very best, Chris.
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Just this second, I finished going through the copy editor’s version of the manuscript for The Virtuous Cyborg. She did a great job! Very attentive to the grammar, which I’d expect, but also thoughtful about the way emphasis had been... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2017 at Only a Game
Delighted to discover a GoodReads review of Chaos Ethics this morning. It’s written by ‘Malcolm’,which is almost certainly the good and excellent play scholar Malcolm Maclean, who I happen to know was tackling my most ambitious text. Here’s an extract:... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2017 at Only a Game
Hey José, Monotony does have a structure: you acquire property and build houses and hotels on it. It's actually one of the better parts of its design. Naughts and Crosses doesn't have a structure, though, and neither does It/Tag/Tig. Structural elements organise the play of the game into temporal sequences or patterns. The fact that Pac-man consists of a linear sequence of levels is enough for a (very basic) structure - and it also has cut-scenes (the first anywhere in videogames!) after every few levels. Mr Kairuh: Some structural elements are designed to support metagames, yes. I think that's what you mean. But the way I have always understood this is that the structural elements of a game are internal to its design and implementation, and the metagame is what happens when it is 'out in the wild'. Thanks for your commments!
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2017 on Metagame vs Structure at ihobo
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Over on ihobo today, discussion of game structures, metagames, and the monetisation metagame. Here’s an extract: The structure of a game is the framework of the design that compels players to keep playing over the long term. There are numerous... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at Only a Game
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What is a metagame and how is it different from a game’s structure? The structure of a game is the framework of the design that compels players to keep playing over the long term. There are numerous different game structures,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at ihobo
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A reply to Chris Billow’s New Theory of Play: Playstates as part of the Republic of Bloggers. Dear Chris, Our disagreements about language are not something to be dismissed as ‘mere opinion’, but a valuable context in which we reveal... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2017 at Only a Game
Thanks for adding your perspective, Tony! You're arguing that a spade flush, even without a high card, beats a hearts flush, because of the priority of suits. I find this position quite compelling, but I'd really like to hear from Chinese players as I feel that the existing player practice is the important point - and I just don't know what it would be!
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2017 on Big Two: Rules at Only a Game
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International Hobo Ltd will be at Europe’s biggest games industry event, Gamescom. We’re available for meetings on Wednesday 23rd and the morning of Thursday 24th of August. We’re particular interested in meeting with: Publishers looking for pre-dev game design support... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2017 at Only a Game
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International Hobo Ltd will be at Europe’s biggest games industry event, Gamescom. We’re available for meetings on Wednesday 23rd and the morning of Thursday 24th of August. We’re particular interested in meeting with: Publishers looking for pre-dev game design support... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2017 at ihobo
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Today, Only a Game is twelve years old. Hasn’t the time flown by! I would love to have produced something special for the event, but alas I have been swamped with my professional commitments and am way behind on my... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2017 at Only a Game
Over at ihobo today, yet more Pokémon GO reporting, this time looking at how the player community is adjusting to the update after a week. Why so much on this game? Well, partly because this update is a big deal... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2017 at Only a Game
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A little over a week since Niantic put the new Gyms system and Raids live in Pokémon GO, and the backlash is gradually being drowned out by the support for the way the year-old game has been reawakened by a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2017 at ihobo
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Has Niantic hurt its player community with the new update, or has it succeeded in raising engagement and monetisation? This question is not yet fully resolved, but after the first weekend of Raids and Gym battles under the new system,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at ihobo
My ongoing coverage of the recent update to Pokémon GO continues on ihobo today, focussing on the first weekend of Raids. Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at Only a Game
Over on ihobo this morning, a report on the first night of Niantic’s new gym system. It was indeed a colossal land grab, although the gym defence meta-game is going to be shaken up in good ways by the new... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at Only a Game
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The gyms went live last night at 9:00 pm GMT, and as predicted it was the biggest land grab in videogame history… Within two hours, every gym within ten miles of me was claimed. As a Team Mystic family, I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at ihobo
Surprised myself this morning by writing something about game design, specifically, the imminent update of the Gym system in Niantic’s Pokémon GO. Check it out on ihobo.com! Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2017 at Only a Game
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What does Niantic hope to achieve with its substantial update of the gym system in Pokémon GO, already in progress? Is this about bringing in more players, maintaining the existing community, or improving monetisation? Almost all news services this week... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2017 at ihobo
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Delighted to report that the Russian website Pop Philosophy has an interview with me, in both Russian and English, talking about games, philosophy, Discordians, and cyber-squirrels. Here’s an extract: There are those who suggest we are living in a golden... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at Only a Game
I can only applaud this analysis by Nicholas Lovell about the use of Shouty Men in Hats on Apples’ app store. I too had noticed this – but it took Nicholas’ keen business sense to turn that observation into a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at ihobo
I can only applaud this analysis by Nicholas Lovell about the use of Shouty Men in Hats on Apples’ app store. I too had noticed this – but it took Nicholas’ keen business sense to turn that observation into a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at Only a Game
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It gives me great pleasure to announce that The Virtuous Cyborg will be published by Squint Books, the cultural and political imprint of renowned poetry micro-press Eyewear Publishing. We are planning for an Autumn 2017 release date. You can read... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at Only a Game
Hi Chris, Thanks for linking this in here... I still don't have much to offer, but I think part of the problem is I've not yet recovered my blogging momentum post-break. I will get there, but for now you will have to accept my thanks for sharing your ideas as a down payment on any future discussion. :) All the very best! Chris.
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