I have been having a difficult time playing games lately. Throughout the last year or so, I’ve aborted playthroughs of several games after only a few hours, and find myself increasingly frustrated with long or taxing experiences; normally I buy a game, finish it, and move on to the next. So why have I been so restless?
My wife observed: “When your life is fulfilling, you don’t need any extra adventures.” This makes a lot of sense to me now; because of how engrossed I am in working on my own games, plus teaching and other responsibilities, I realized I am sufficiently stimulated each day. When I play games, I have this feeling now that I want to do so with the same level of engagement as I seek when I call up a friend to meet for drinks; I want to indulge an urge, or I want to learn something new, and I want to be done so I can carry that new experience with me the next day.
Sharp, specific experiences that players will feel strongly about and remember for a long time, even though they require no more of them than an hour or two—right now, these are the kinds of games I both enjoy playing and creating.
I’ll be giving a talk on narrative game design at this year’s Gamercamp festival here in Toronto. Tickets are on sale now at gamercamp.ca—come on out!
The official Benjamin Rivers Inc. game design studio. Includes my PC setup, Mac, drawing/comic table and fun stuff.
Mass Effect: Too Busy for Love - a full-colour print of a one-page comic.
Metal Gear Solid 2 - a full-colour print of a one-page comic.
Metroid 2 - full-colour print of a one-page comic.
Finally, Home is available for iOS! Get it right now on the App Store, and make sure to play it in a scary place!
The game is universal, and will run on your iPhone 4+, iPad2+ and 4th generation (or higher) iPod Touch.
Benjamin Rivers is the creator of the choose-your-own-horror game Home, coming soon to iOS. Patrick called him up, and they wouldn’t stop talking about horror games, movies, and everything in-between.
Check out this brief (~40 minutes long) and very fun chat I had with GiantBomb’s Patrick Klepek! We spoke about all things horror, and we go to some pretty weird places.
I am so close with this. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to see Home work so well on these little devices.