Cope

James Wallis levels with you

Author Archive

A game narrative reading list —

Two friends with credentials (George Buckenham and Jurie Horneman) have posted recommended lists of books on game design, and as I’ve had a similar list knocking around for a while I thought I’d put it up here. Mine is more specific than either of theirs since it’s mostly about game narrative, and it overlaps with […]

Mountain Endings —

I am compiling a list of all the ways that a game of Mountain, the almost-a-game “ambient procedural mountain simulator” by David OReilly, can end: ‘You were killed by the Blood Pyramid’ ‘You are ruined by a passing giant sun’ ‘The Taker of Souls took yours’ ‘You were killed by a xyzzyx’ (triggered by playing the […]

Death and life in Scandinavia —

It is a church of modern design, its interior bright and wooden. About thirty people are listening from the pews as a man in his late sixties talks about death. Outside, nearby, there is a conference. Inside there is a magic circle, a temporary autonomous zone, a place with its own rules. He talks about […]

Workshop till you drop —

I run a half-day games-design workshop. It started about six years ago as a one-off that transformed into a regular lecturing gig at the University of Westminster, and has become a centre-piece of my games-consultancy portfolio. So far in 2013 I’ve run it for students (quite a lot of students), for corporate clients, at an academic […]

A Spot of Brother —

I spent the day of the GTA V launch playing Brothers, a download-only title created by Swedish film director Josef Fares, developed by Starbreeze Studios and published by 505 Games. It’s a three-hour game that’s won comparisons with Journey and Fable for its story and the emotional response that it evokes. Brothers is the story of […]

A fistful of updates —

It has been pointed out to me that I’ve not followed up on a number of posts from earlier this year. So here’s what happened: The 2013 Diana Jones Award, which I wrote about here, was won by Tabletop and Wil Wheaton. You can see Matt Forbeck’s presentation and Wil’s acceptance speech on Youtube here. The […]

The People’s Revolutionary Committee —

Comrades! The People’s Revolutionary Committee is a large-scale sort-of-game, almost a larp, where everybody is gripped by a collective madness and spends a frantic session creating a new culture for the world of games, mostly by eradicating the old one. I created it almost twenty years ago, and have run it at games events and […]

Sticky Wickets: Cricket Jam at Lords —

Autumn, the season of mellow teas and fruitiness, the time when the sublime meridian of the English summer, Test Match Special, gives way to the braying of Match of the Day. There is still a little cricket to be played, a few un-wasped plums left on the tree. It is time to make some jam. […]

And the winner of the 2013 Diana Jones Award is… —

By the time you read this, you’ll probably know what or who has won the 2013 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming. I know already, in fact I’ve known for a few weeks because I’m the guy who counts the votes. And while I’m not going to give anything away in case someone sneaks […]