Hi all -- updating via phone from SFO and about to hop on a plane, but this is time sensitive so I'm squeezing in a post.

I got an alert yesterday that John Klima at Electric Velocipede has been kind enough to nominate "Darkest Amber" for the Hugo award for best short story. The least I can do is spread the word -- EV had a lot of great fiction this year and it's an honor to make the cut in that mag. If you are eligible to nominate for the Hugo's, I'd love if you'd take a look at the story.


More next week, when recent to-be-described madness has settled down...


Catching up (in lieu of better titles)

by erin on January 20, 2010

Despite all blogular evidence to the contrary, I am merely buried, not dead -- and nearly emerged. Since last we met, there was Thanksgiving (driving to San Diego), Christmas (see "Thanksgiving"), my father's 70th birthday (flying to San Diego), three Escapist articles, a month-long still-in-action sinus infection ("chronic sinusitis") with accompanying horse-pill-sized antibiotics, a game careening toward launch, and assorted press wrangling -- I did mention that I was appointed to the Board of Directors of the IGDA in November, right? Maybe not. Pop my name into google "news" and you'll find a bit of what's been eating my brain the last couple of weeks. And -- I'm two thirds of the way through the novel, pushing toward a March deadline.

You read (well, a lot of you did) the ever-inflammatory "Why Your Game Idea Sucks" -- joining it in controversy is "Riot Grrrls Wanted", which I will have more to say about later -- much more, once I shake off this blog rust, but for now will just say it's very peculiar how threatened boy gamers are when you say women should be making more games. A bit before that, the slightly less controversial "Ditching the V-Word", discussing why the word 'virtual' is dead and should be stomped on until it stops moving. Today, the (I think) entirely non-controversial but hopefully equally (or more) interesting "When the Stars Align", a piece on the development of the completely fascinating 1986 multi-platform Starflight -- Greg's first game. One of the many reasons I took this job was the opportunity to learn from, I now feel confident in saying, one of the most unique and excellent game designers alive today, and in studying his work (in order to understand his design aesthetic better so as to be better at my job as well as learn) I discovered how shockingly underappreciated and under-remembered Starflight is. So this is my attempt to share a small piece of what I'm fortunate to have access to.

In fiction: the good folk at Electric Velocipede were kind enough to select "Darkest Amber" for this issue's web fiction, so take a gander while you can. This story was the product of a writing challenge from [info]jsridler and [info]justinhowe, and is cyberpunk set in a world I hope to do quite a bit more writing in in the future. It has a talking baseball bat and Greek philosophy -- what have you got to lose?

In poetry: I am told that "Oneness" will be appearing in the latest Not One of Us special collection, called Hidden. It is yay.

...I think those are all the updates. At least the topline, anyway. I do not promise to bring no IGDA/Rockstar troublemaking over here, all things considered, though I expect the flurry to remain mostly on Gamasutra. And this is assuming I don't think better of my rather aggressive current opinion.

Hope that you all are doing well!


An attempt at a quick post: user-generated content and game developers

October 23, 2009

I frequently have game-related things I want to post about here (and writing-related things, and science fiction-related things, and…), but rarely feel like I have the time to post thoughtfully, so this is an experiment in writing something off the top of my head just as it occurs to me.The concept of “user-generated content” has [...]

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“Why Your Game Idea Sucks”, an interview, and other publishing updates

October 1, 2009

Hallo again all — I am still behind on comment replies to the Mac Attack!, but am on a plane again tomorrow so wanted to post this quickly.”Why Your Game Idea Sucks”, a short-order article I wrote for the Escapist a couple of weeks ago, popped up in my google alerts yesterday. By the time [...]

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Life, addictive game mechanics, and the truth hiding in Bejeweled

September 16, 2009

One of the occupational hazards of being a game designer is an obligation to play up-and-coming games, both to stay ahead of where the market is moving and to dig for signs of the One True Game Design, aka universal mechanics that move people. Lately there’s been a lot of buzz around Bejeweled Blitz, so [...]

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There is no hardcore

August 27, 2009

Loving this statement from lead producer Dustin Browder on how they’re polishing Starcraft II for accessibility.“For us, there really isn’t a sharp division between casual and hardcore (players),” Browder said. “A casual could become a hardcore, if only we let them. I know so many grandmothers that play World of Warcraft – what the heck [...]

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What EXACTLY do you want from the IGDA?

August 21, 2009

Surfacing for a bit to talk about the IGDA, in as coherent a manner as I can — mainly because I told Darius I would write this post, so now I’m stuck for it. And because I think this kind of thinking is the responsibility of IGDA members. I don’t usually like doing this — [...]

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Photos from Lake Quinault

May 17, 2009

I have so much to catch up on it’s crazy, but for now, a photo link:http://tinyurl.com/quinault2009jsridler and I went hiking around Lake Quinault last weekend. This past week I was up in Seattle for the always fantastic LOGIN Conference (aka the conference formerly known as ION formerly known as OGDC). More on that later if [...]

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Design will save the world

April 12, 2009

Apologies for the successive shotgun posts, but have three ridiculously awesome links, first and last courtesy @pareidoliac:http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/08/20/green-living-technologies-green-walls-produce/http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/04/10/spring-greening-voting-extended-until-tuesday/http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/07/23/local-river-plant-aquarium-by-mathieu-lehanneur/http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/introduction.htmThe last two in general further ignite my recent interest in setting up a goldfish tank at home, and sway me firmly into freshwater (I’d been considering a seahorse tank). Will try a little herb garden with it and [...]

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Why I’m in New York City at a ridiculous hour

April 12, 2009

Hi all. Quick update, since I realized I haven’t mentioned this and it’s kind of cool. Flew out to NYC on a redeye about eight hours ago, and am hanging around in the JFK JetBlue terminal taking wifi sustenance until a more reasonable hour to head out into the city. I have meetings tomorrow and [...]

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