To end or not to end

This month’s topic on the Blogs of the Round Table is all about how denouement can be expressed as gameplay, and so, happy to oblige, here’s one idea that I had bouncing around inside my head for a few weeks:

First of all, I designed this game to be played within a flat 2D world, nevertheless it can be done in 3D, be it in first or third person perspective. I chose this simple representation of space since I want to focus on the other aspects of the design and almost completely ignore space this time around.

Anyhow, in this game you start with the verbs talk, pick up/put down, jump and run. Each one is designated to a different button and only when holding said button you’ll perform the desired verb (i.e. if you press it and then release immediately, you won’t do a thing). The only other important verb is walk, but that’s just a way of locomotion (triggered by directional keys/d-pad) that won’t change at any point.

The first part of the game would involve exploring the protagonist’s house, playing fetch with the dog and kids, getting to know them, talking to his wife, and in addition we’d have a “to do” list with: collecting firewood, washing the dog, finishing the treehouse, fishing and so on. Some of these activities would be mindless tasks to pass the time (firewood splitting), but most of them would involve at least another member of the family (washing the dog, building the treehouse, fishing, etc). Every real-time minute translates to an hour inside the game, so each day would last 24 minutes. If you don’t fish you’ll have a really small dinner at the end of the day. If you don’t get the firewood you’ll have a cold night and nobody’s going to be in such a great mood the next morning. If the dog is filthy then the wife will refuse to let him into the house and the kids won’t play with him. There’s many more situations that I could mention, but I think you get the idea by now.

After three or four days, the main villain makes his appearance. He does something to establish how evil he is and then goes off to try and take over the world. Now, he doesn’t kill anybody from your family or set any village on fire, since those motivations for revenge are getting more than a little trite by now. Nevertheless, whatever the villain did, it was personal and to add insult to injury, everybody else in the village is pretending that nothing happened.

Stealing cakes? WEll, that wasn't what I had in mind, but sure, that might work.
Stealing cakes? Unless I had to spend a few hours baking every single one of them, then no, that's not a good reason for taking revenge, I need to be a at least a little more invested than that.

We say goodbye to the kids, have a talk with the wife and then respond to the call for adventure. And with that, we begin the second part of the game. In my head, this section is a platformer-brawler where you button mash your way through enemies. I think it serves the premise well since it is extremely simple and doesn’t require any kind of thinking from the player. The words “mindless violence” come to mind.

Anyway, as the player progresses through this stage, he’ll start to learn a different set of verbs: shout (stuns enemies), stab, kick and tackle. Each one of these will be assigned to the same four buttons you were using to talk, pick up/put down, jump and run. But how so? Well, the new set of verbs only requires a quick press and release of the button to execute, while the old set of verbs is used when you press and hold the button for a second.

The more you use this new set of verbs the more time you have to hold the button to trigger the old set of verbs. So, in a sense, it gets harder and harder to use the old verbs.

As expected, half a million minions populate this phase and the amount of said minions goes up the more the protagonist progresses until he reaches the final boss: the main villain himself. Now, there are a lot more things going on on this phase, but for the sake of brevity I’m going to gloss over most of them. Suffice to say, that the environments where you fight were accessible to you from the start and consist mainly of the village, the woods and the villain’s castle. Also, said environments can, and will, be affected by all the fighting. Some damage will be caused by the minions, and some damage will be caused by the protagonist (under normal circumstances that is, because it would possible to avoid any damage done to the village, woods and castle).

After all the fighting, the hero finally reaches his destination and meets the main villain. They exchange a few words but most likely our hero won’t stand for such pleasantries and begins the fight. Or in other words, if they can exchange a few words like gentlemen is up to the player. Regardless, the evil villain is destroyed and the world is safe once again. Then we get to walk all the way home, backtracking our way through the previous levels, admiring all the (most likely) ruined scenery. Finally we reach our home, safe and sound, but be careful, the protagonist doesn’t control the same way he used to.

Curious how all old films ended with a "the end" screen, isn't it?*
It is curious, how all old films ended with a "the end" screen, isn't it?*

Now it gets tricky, because a little problematic question pops up: when do you end it all? This third phase, just like the first, leaves the player in complete control. Alright, that would answer the when: the designer doesn’t end it, the player does. Now the question becomes: How? How does the player end the game? By just hitting the Escape key? That’s certainly a possibility. But on the other side of the coin you could have set situations that the player can trigger voluntarily, meaning that there’s a very strict limit to what the player can do to end the game.

We are used to failing or succeeding, we always get a “you win!” screen or a “game over” one. Sure, there might be more than one “You win” screen, each one specially tailored to specific “moral” decisions the player had to make throughout the game, but that’s the only different way we’ve been approaching this problem for decades. Of course, that is if we don’t count a special interpretation of the ending of the “new” Prince of Persia **.

Mmmhhh, maybe not having an ending in linear terms is not such a bad thing. Maybe letting the player quit at any time is more than enough, provided that the gameplay available at the end of the game is proper denouement. Maybe, by doing this, we let the player decide how to end the story. Maybe the game should drive this point home in order to de-program it’s players from years and years of conditioning. Maybe even less than half the players that reach this third phase will embrace the concept, and then proceed to rant about it in ALL CAPS on some internet forum.

It’s all a big huge “maybe”, but it sure would be interesting. And I happen like interesting things.

So, with that in mind, the game’s third phase opens up once the player reaches his village. The verbs the protagonist learned to use so frequently in battle are most of the time very out of place in this peaceful phase. Going back to a normal life is going to require some getting used to, that’s for sure, and the mechanics handle this issue practically in the same way as before.

In the second phase, the protagonist could perform the new set of verbs with more ease the more he used them, and the reverse is true here in the third phase: the more the player uses his old set of verbs, the more he’ll get used to them, and the more difficult it will get to perform the new ones learned in battle.

Now, this de-learning of verbs is only a possibility, one of the many things available at this stage. True, I thought of this design with the de-learning firmly placed in my mind, but I’m not going to stop the player from hacking and slashing the whole village and then quitting because there’s nothing else to kill. I’m sure they had a good roleplaying justification for it, who am I to stop them from expressing themselves?

If the protagonist doesn’t kill or frighten his family, then the player can try and finish the work he began before the evil villain made his appearance (building the tree house, painting the house, etc). Just like the first phase, a day goes by in 24 minutes and there is a list of things to do in each day. In the first days since the protagonist came back, this list will be focused on tasks that don’t have that much interaction with the family, but with time more and more group activities will be added to the list. It’s not that his family doesn’t trust him, but they can notice that not everything is the same. Basically, they give him some breathing room to recover.

So this last part acts like a fairly open sandbox where there are some irreversible consequences to the player’s behaviour (scare too many times a person and they’ll permanently fear you). If the player then decides to quit at any point, a small cinematic would play, with credits rolling and images/narration/text retelling the story the player told throughout the game. Naturally it can be skipped. Even after seeing these credits roll, the player can always go back and continue to play this third phase for as long as he likes/feels is necessary.

And that’s about it, I’m still fleshing out this design in my head though, so I might make another post about it in the future (there’s a very small chance of that happening, but it’s still there).

\THE END/

Please visit the Round Table’s Main Hall for more entries on this month’s topic.

* This might not be true, but hey, a lot of them ended in this fashion, didn’t they?

** Apparently, Fable 2 also has an unorthodox type of ending. I’m sure there are a lot of other examples that go against the rule I just made up there. My point still stands though, most of the time we get clean cut ending cinematics and that’s it.

Curious side-note: Right after finishing this post I happen to read this article on destructoid. It expands upon most of the important topics I talk about here but with a different set of priorities. Certainly an interesting read.

Images “borrowed” from here and here.

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Isn’t that Vignette Spatial?

Since September 4th I’ve been trying to write a post for this month’s Blogs of the Round Table. At first, I thought about discussing why Chris Crawford said that artistic expression through videogames is mostly limited to space (the part that starts at the 4:33 mark). Which after some reasoning was true to some extent, but such thinking got me nowhere. Then I just looked at our medium and tried to identify the inherent limits that it may present. Basically, I arrived at something like “we are only constrained by our screen and our speakers”, which is frankly anything but a revelation. Thinking about space in broad terms got me nowhere, so here, let’s approach the issue from another angle, let’s try to answer a simpler question: How many game design ideas can I come up with that deal directly with space? That number turned out to be 7.

[/end of post]

So, yeah, this post is about me throwing ideas out in the open. Well, rather than “ideas” I’d call them “gameplay vignettes”. Please enjoy. Or not, that’s entirely up to you.

  • An interpretation of how the creation of ideas work: The screen is filled with different nodes, each representing a theme in particular. Ideas are created when mixing and matching this different concepts to form something new (new nodes). The distance between two nodes is proportional to the difficulty of connecting these two themes together. The more creative the person is, the bigger is their maximum distance to relate themes.
  • An interactive fiction where the main character can’t move or look at anything. The only method to learn about his surroundings is through conversation with a character.
  • A blind protagonist: Third person camera. Everything in the gameworld is rendered in black and white, but only the things that are at 3 foots or less from the protagonist can be seen on the screen as black silhouettes. If it isn’t clear enough: here I’m trying to convey how blind people perceive space, or at least how I perceive space when I have my eyes closed.
  • Third person camera, ground completely flat, seemingly infinite space. But the moment the player walks, she’ll notice that her footprints are repeated in the ground ad infinitum (there’s only 100 square foots of real terrain). This is just a visual idea, but a powerful one if done correctly and in the right moment. Maybe moving crates/blocks around to get to the exit? Running at incredible speeds to then use a ramp and land in an impossibly high exit door? Maybe you would just draw complicated patterns in the middle of the air, dancing, letting movement flow and create a ballet with millions of backup dancers doing the same. Mmmhhh, dancing with yourself… that reminds me of something (“paint it red” to be precise).
  • A giant chess/checkers game that is played by itself (or by other players). It’s all played through the night, with only the lights of shots being fired illuminating the battlefield. The ride of the Valkyries playing in the background. Here, the player is controlling a small group of characters that are trying to avoid being squashed by the moving pieces.
  • Third person camera (wow, that’s a shocker). The world deforms around the avatar of the player whenever she walks. When she tries to move in one direction, the world stretches at the sides and the things that appeared in front of the camera start to look like they are getting closer. The more the world deforms the more force the avatar has to do to keep moving until she eventually stops (rubber band like). If the player let’s go of the controls at any time, the world snaps back into position, making it look like the avatar never moved from the spot.
  • A camera system for third person games: Let the camera go through the geometry, and everything that obscures the camera get’s turned semi-transparent. The concept is easy, the implementation is actually really hard. So much so that nobody has ever done it 100% free of graphical glitches yet. Still, it’s a neat solution to camera control problems, although for tight space it will probably eliminate the sense of claustrophobia, which depending on the intent of the game designer, this might be a good or bad thing.

I did have to discard some of the ideas that popped into my mind, mostly because of lack of interest. For the most part they were ideas that had already been done and that I couldn’t add anything interesting to them.

Ideas such as:

  • Circular spaces (see Aether, Psychonauts and Mario Galaxy)
  • Switching between spaces (see Shift, Super Paper Mario and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past)
  • Changes in gravity/perspective (see everything from Loco Roco to Symphony of the Night  to VVVVVV)
  • Space customization (see Love, Sim City and any tycoon or sim game ever made)

Of course, some games even combine two of these ideas, such as Super Paper Mario being a game about switching bewteen spaces by changing perspective, but still, I couldn’t think about anything of substance to do with these 4 concepts. That is, for now. If can come up with even more gameplay vignettes I’ll be sure to add them here.

Please visit the Round Table’s Main Hall for more entries on this month’s topic.

1984: the arcade sandbox game

Cargando idioma inglés … loading linguistics … restoring spacetime continuum … resuming normal activity …

Operation complete! Thank you for waiting.

Indigo Static gracefully comes back from a not so long hiatus to deliver a new Round Table post. This month’s discussion is:

Putting the Game Before the Book What would your favorite piece of literature look like if it had been created as a game first?

I have to confess that my first idea was to convert Where’s Waldo into a game but I couldn’t even dare to say with a straight face that that was literature. I may turn that idea into another post, but for now the Round Table get’s a de-make of 1984. Curiously enough, another blogger has beaten me to the punch already, which was to be expected since 1984 is a fairly famous book. Thankfully, his designs are so different than mine that I suppose it’s okay to have two entries on the same book.

Internet cookie goes to those who know where this image comes from.
An internet cookie goes to those who know where this image comes from.

Let’s start this with the central theme of 1984: Pessimism. Not because of the dystopian world per se but because all hope is lost by the end. Nothing can be changed, the Big Brother will always be there, watching, judging your every move. Just look at the protagonist, he tried to go against the system and ended up tortured and brainwashed. Resistance is futile, everyone must love the Big Brother, the Big Brother always tells the truth, he is always right, he always wants what’s best for you, you must never disobey. It’s not exactly a fairy tale, isn’t it?

The other theme that runs through the book is the so-called newspeak, “the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year”. It’s a simplified form of English, one in which any words or possible constructs which describe the ideas of freedom, rebellion and so on are missing. By enforcing this language, the populace can’t even express the idea of rebellion, much less act upon it. Which is far-fetched in my opinion, but let’s not get off-track here.

Now, how can we turn THAT into a game?

Well, I feel that a sandbox title would fit the theme best, since it’s a genre known for the keyword “freedom”. This contrast is of course deliberate, since the player would most likely start playing 1984 expecting yet another GTA clone. Boy, is she going to be surprised.

One important element would be the camera itself. In almost every place, the camera will be in third person but it won’t follow the player from behind or over the shoulder. It won’t be fixed either, it will function exactly like a security camera that can move on rails. Yep, the player is going to see the protagonist through the eyes of the Big Brother. Of course, there are going to be some places where the almighty eye can’t see, so for these the camera will change to first person.

How can people even go to the bathroom with this guy watching?
Insert obligatory DRM joke here.

Another important element is the interaction with the world. Typically, in a sandbox game the main verbs are “shoot”, “drive”, “steal” and “run” (in order of importance), but 1984: the game has nothing that can be described as typical so we are not going to even consider those. Instead, we are going to have “chit-chat”, “grab” and “use” at the start, since we don’t know any other way of interacting with anything because of that dammed simplified English.

Throughout the game the player will learn more and more verbs, positively widening her repertoire of possible interactions. Since there are going to be a lot of verbs available, we can’t just assign one to a different button/key, so what do we do? We could possibly do something like Casting Shadows (*cough*shameless plug*cough*) and show three verbs at a time on the screen when prompted: the selected verb, the next one and the previous one. This way, there’s a visual emphasis on how the language affects your actions but it doesn’t hit you over the head with the concept.

The importance of language and the sensation of being constantly watched are taken care of, so now all that’s left to address is the overall pessimism. It’s not going to be easy is it? I mean, we are all used to be able to win if there’s a story to be told. I can’t just say “Here’s the bad guy, you’ll never even come close to defeat him, no matter how good you are at the game” … or can I? Yes, yes I can, there’s one genre that does precisely that: Arcade Games. Take Duck Hunt for example, you never “win” at it, you just play until you loose, there’s no actual way to win. On the other hand, rogue-likes are also famous for this, their audience may be limited but it certainly is a valid way to approach 1984.

I considered designing the game as an MMO since one of it’s main qualities is the lack of closure, but there’s one tiny little thing that stopped me on my tracks: the atmosphere would be gone. No matter how gloomy it looks, how haunting the music is or how restrictive the mechanics are, the atmosphere would be gone in a flash once you enter a city and a dozen citizens are doing a conga line in the middle of the street. While we are at it why don’t we add a chat functionality? Leet speak would be the new newspeak!

....
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*clears throat* Anyways, without a doubt 1984 is a never-ending single-player game. There is no main story or missions to be found anywhere, so in essence it would truly be a sandbox game, albeit a very restrictive one.

The only issue left is how to handle failure, we have to have punishment, or at least seem to have. Going against the rules has to have some consequences. What do we do? Well, a brainwash would be appropriate. This way, every time the player get’s caught, she loses all of her progress; namely, the verbs that she had learned. Of course there is going to be a somewhat simple way of recovering all the lost knowledge, since we can’t just take everything away from the player while we laugh maniacally, can we? Err, yes but no. We can do it, but nobody would want to play it.

Summing everything up, to me the game that inspired the book 1984 is a restrictive never-ending single-player offbeat arcade GTA clone with a weird camera and an unorthodox way of interacting with the environment.

Yep, that’s about it.

Please visit the Round Table’s Main Hall for more entries on this month’s topic.

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As a side note: I didn’t even mention the themes of love and betrayal since this post is long enough as it is, but I suppose that including those themes into the game would add a little extra flavour.

The adventure of learning

I took some time off and wrote this little entry for the round table. Hope you enjoy it. Feel free to read slower so it seems longer than it actually is*.

Even though I was born fairly recently (that is, 20 years ago), with the game industry already in it’s adolescense I never played that much as a kid. The cartoons on the TV were my mayor pastime and I didn’t do much else (apart form normal things like going to school, playing with “action figures” and you know, eating and bodily functions).

Hello Mr. Headache.
Hello Mr. Headache.

I played videogames now and then on my computer, like commander keen or some other ones I can’t even remember the names of. Nothing about those got me really excited. But one day I got to visit my dad at work. In that visit I was running all over the place asking about every little thing I got my beady eyes on, when suddenly, in some computer I noticed a Doom icon on the desktop. Holy cow, I had heard of the game before but I had never seen it. Needless to say I was stuck to that computer as long as I could, fascinated by the impressive graphics and movement. But, there was one thing about it that turned me off, the graphics were nice, the gameplay was solid but… it was headache inducing, too fast paced, too in your face (at least for my little mind at the time).
In the next visit I was more entranced with MS Paint, drawing houses and stick figures and the like, leaving Doom and it’s headache inducing gameplay to the side.

Everytime I see this I can't stop smiling.
Everytime I see this I can't stop smiling

Up until 11 years old I was never that interested in interactive media. I suppose it has more to do with the incredibly punishing gameplay mentality of the time than with my personality, but I digress. It wasn’t until I got my little greasy hands on Monkey Island 2 that I got hooked on videogames. There was no possible way to loose, I was in heaven. I could patiently click everywhere to get a funny comment, experiment with everything and all at my own pace. There was no sign at any kind of the “twitch gaming” I despised. If I remember correctly it took me two years to finish it, not because of my pace, but because of an incredibly bad designed puzzle at the end of the game (seriously, I needed to do two more things before it finished). Despite that, I loved the living crap out of it.

Its got a million and one uses!
It's got a million and one uses!

If it weren’t for adventure games I never would have gained an interest in videogames. With their no death design they taught me to persevere, to never give up and to be more patient when something doesn’t go the way I wanted. But more importantly, they taught me to think before I act. It was the best strategy to beat those games. Experiment on everything and when I got stuck I sat back and then thought about the situation and how I could resolve it. It was magical when I came up with the solution, went running to the computer, tested my theory and it worked. It freaking worked. It felt like I was an evil genius screaming IT’S ALIVE moments after the lightning brought to life my monstrosity made of rubber chickens with pulleys in the middle.

Please visit the Round Table’s Main Hall for links to all entries.

*Although some people say size doesn’t matter and that the only important part is the writting skills involved, so… yeah, read it slowly.

Thank you, may I have another?

Alright, so this month’s roundtable is about those games that make us brake our controllers and keyboards and set them on fire while chanting for the developer’s blood. Hard games are not as common as they once were, because over time the industry started to replace cheap difficulty with substance. Now we have more things to do, more challenges and more rewards than ever before but we still pretend that a hard game would loose substance if it were “easier”. Why? Repeating the same mission over and over and over again does not add substance in any way, it only extends artificially the time spent on the game. Granted, overcoming a difficult challenge does cause fiero to the player, so the more hardcore players will derive pleasure from the experience.

Difficult games will never seize to exist because there will always be that hardcore niche seeking their next challenge. These people have played so many games, they are walking game design encyclopedias. These guys take a game, and in the first minute they recognize the mechanics, analyze them and learn them, whereas a normal person would spend the whole game learning and deriving joy from that process. They expect challenge, they will go through the game as fast as they can to finish it and then complain on how easy or short it was.
They are an overrepresented niche because they form 80% (number pulled out of thin air I may add) of the game reviewers population, affecting drastically the metacritic score. And guess what, developers get payed more for better metacritic scores, not for selling more games or for hearing their audience instead of their professional reviewers. Although this might not be the case for every company, it certainly looks like it eschews difficulty on a grand scale.

Now that the probably paranoid thought is out of the way, let’s analyze a concrete example that showcases cheap and fair difficulty: Hitman 2.

Getting to the point now
Getting to the point now

Hitman 2 is a game with difficulty options that range from easy to normal to hard. Throughout, there are always different ways of completing all the missions: I can poison my target, I can sneak in and strangle him, I can even bust the door open and start shooting everybody. There are set paths to take for each mission so there’s not much overall freedom but it sure beats having only one solution to every problem.
In easy and normal the game has a fairly enjoyable difficulty curve with a considerable bump in the middle due to a horribly designed sniper mission. You can choose the difficulty exclusively at the beginning, begging the question: WHY? For the love of god why can’t I change that setting before every mission? It would have doubled the amount of replayability and the cost for implementing it is negligible!.
Anyways, the “space” between easy and normal is well balanced with only some adjustments like limiting the saves to a fair amount and buffing up enemies, making the “shoot everybody” option much harder to pull off. However the space between normal and hard is like the Grand Canyon. Normal enemies suddenly become bullet proof, Agent 47 changes from a sponge of bullets to a comatose lettuce, the always handy radar is gone and the most infuriating part of it all, saves become more scarce than water in a desert in the middle of hell (and the sand replaced by salt).

A part of me just hates this lazy design. The difference between easy and hard revolves around limiting the player. A little change in this variable here, another little change over theere aaand presto! Everything is harder, be a good boy and beat the game again.

Spank me!
Spank me!

The sad thing is, there’s another part of me that just loves to be challenged, no matter how broken the design is. I can’t say no to a harder difficulty, it’s like I’m a masochist eagerly waiting for the next slap. A little dominatrix would appear on my left shoulder whispering in my ear: “Look! It’s mocking you! You are too weak to beat this game and there’s nothing you can do about it!”. My reasoning get’s clouded, my will stronger and my hours of sleep scarcer. That is until I reach my breaking point and my civilized part kicks in, telling me that 4 in the morning is not a normal time to go to sleep.
I jump through hoops, bark when ordered and roll over happily, even though I know fully well there’s something painful bound to happen in a matter of seconds. But then it stops, I win, I finally conquer my dominatrix and free myself from my shackles, somehow happier than I was when this all started.

Why do I keep hitting myself with a hammer? Because it feels so good when I stop.

Please visit the Round Table’s Main Hall for links to all entries.

Relationships: Enviroment

This month’s round table is all about relationships, so here I’ll focus on the enviroment and the relationships it has with players and characters.

If there is one thing no game lacks is enviroment, even at the beginning of gaming, with the likes of Pong and Asteroids, the enviroment was always there bringing the context and rules of the world. As the industry evolved new ways of interaction started to surface and the role of the enviroment started to gain depth. It started to mature. I would go as far as saying that nowdays it’s the one kind of relationship in games that we can truly say has improved over time.

The simplest and most analized part of this relationship is the level design, which always takes into account the character’s abilities. Having an impossibly large pit would pretty much prevent all players from advancing and would be considered game breaking. So all enviroments without exception are designed with the characters abilities in mind. Normally every single goal presented to the player is achievable if the relationship is straightforward like most games, but sometimes designers get creative and screw with players expectations to suprise them, so there’s no rule without exceptions (except this one…). Mechanics-wise the enviroment is there to present the fundamental rules of the particular game’s world. Within these rules, the player is free to experiment and interact as much as he pleases, learning in the process. So this new knowledge is then put to good use when it’s time to decide the next course of action. Of course there are some games that are so similar to others that the learning phase is almost missing, nevertheless it’s still there, because no game is exactly like any other (except if they use the same engine… but you get what I mean).

There’s much more to it though, the enviroment is not there to only bring challenges to the player and knowledge to learn, of course not. How bioshock would be like if everything was set in the middle of a generic space station? (Leaving every bit of level design intact). It would most certainly kill all the context* that pours out the crumbling rusted underwater art deco city. So context is a really a powerful feature that can tighten the relationship. Further more it is most often the single feature that distinguishes one game from another, since mechanics are copyed and refined with little differences from game to game.

Survival Horror games tend to rely heavily on the context to highten the relationship. There’s always some kind of limited field of view that brings uneasiness to the player in adittion to the rundown places and eerie music (or even better, disturbing silence). In this type of games sometimes the actual enviroment is out to kill the character with things like crumbling floors, moving statues and paranormal object behaviors. This can be thought of as a master-slave relationship where the player has to be on his toes at every moment if he wants to survive. Being a slave to the enviroment is a powerful experience that is really hard to pull off in other ways, but that doesn’t stop us designers from trying.

There is literaly too many different and interesting types of relationships in this industry and I’m afraid I haven’t even touched the surface (no, scratch that, I’m excited).

* Just to clarify, I’m using the word context here to refer to atmosphere, story and characters.

Please visit the Round Table’s Main Hall for links to all entries.