Talking adventure games with Olivia Wood

Olivia Wood is a video game writer, narrative designer, and editor, specializing in interactive narrative. She works for Failbetter Games in London, UK. Her credits include Sunless Skies (writer, narrative designer and editor), Sunless Sea: Zubmariner (writer, narrative designer and editor), Sunless Sea (writer and editor), Fallen London (writer, narrative designer and editor), Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (contributing writer), The Mystery of Kalkomey Isle (design consultant and editor), Cheaper than Therapy (writer, designer and developer), and Lethophobia (writer and designer). She first worked in the video game industry at the age of 18 as a quality assurance technician for games including Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Timesplitters 2.  Her work in writing and editing (narrative) in the video game industry was recognised by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2017. She strives to share her knowledge of video game writing, narrative design and interactive narrative through giving talks and interviews and also via narrative consultancy and writing services.

This interview features conversation about her favorite adventure games, narrative, and writing.

Jeffery Klaehn: What about adventure games most interests you, as a writer and also as a player?

Olivia Wood: There's been a history of puzzles in adventure games feeling at odds with the narrative. I actually don't love calling them 'puzzles' in this context. Puzzles to me are more about something with its own set of internal constraints and rules that gets progressively complicated and iterated upon. I prefer to think of what are traditionally called 'puzzles' in adventure games as 'problems.'  Read the rest

Pixelmash: make resolution-independent pixel art

Pixelmash is clever indeed: create your resolution-independent art with the same freeform speed as you might in any other painting app, then let it nondestructively pixelize it, with 1-pixel outlines, adjustable gradients and dithering.

Pixelmash's resolution-independence lets you do really cool things... Like create animations using layer transforms rather than having to paint every frame pixel-by-pixel. Or make outlines, shading, and dithering easily adjustable by having them applied as layer effects. Or easily create different resolutions and color variants of the same image. Or convert photos or other hi-res artwork into pixel art using layer effects and the resolution slider.

Free demo, $15 to pre-order. Read the rest

A game-making app for everyone?

Game-making apps tend to evolve into intimidating tools aimed at pros. Beginners need something useful to non-coders—and Nintendo has the right idea.

Whoa, someone replicated the spooky hallway from P.T. in Unity

Calgary-based aspiring game developer Farhan Qureshi has meticulously modeled and recreated P.T's hallway using the low-impact Unity tool. It's an amazing technical achievement, and a chance for some edition of that iconic space to exist in a fashion everyone can visit.

You can start making your own games today. Yes, you!

There's a new, great resource-gathering tool designed for folks new to game-making. Here's why you should check it out.

How hip hop can teach you to code

The artist may change, but the template remains the same