Back in December Heather sent me an e-mail, asking if I had played any of the games on a list. She was co-editing this nifty sounding book, Space Time Play, about the spatial and time elements of games with all kinds of cool contributors. One of the games on the list that I remembered quite fondly was Descent. So with some minor prodding from Heather I wrote a short review of the game, focusing on the spatial aspects of it. If you’ve played Descent then you’ll remember that it’s all about freedom of movement in three dimensions. Anyone prone to motion sickness or vertigo is probably doomed if they play it. I received a copy of the book last week and it’s really well put together. The list of contributors is longer than my arm, and reads like a who’s who of thinkers and developers of games. (I admit to feeling a tad out of place in this august company.)
My copy arrived last week, and I haven’t had time to read it yet (must finish Designing Interactions first!) but there are some really tantalizing titles in the table of contents. Design Patterns are Dead! Long Live Design Patterns from Jussi Holopainen and Staffan Bjork immediately caught my eye, I saw their first presentation on the subject at GDC several years ago. Chaim Gingold has dissected Pac-Man. Jane McGonigal on Ubiquitous Gaming. The list goes on, but each is a brief essay on topic, pared down by tight word count constraints. (Reviewers were asked to keep it under 2500 characters, spaces included.) Can’t wait to read the myriad of perspectives.