Dec 7, 2018

The Winter Menagerie

Things keep on happening, cities keep on imagining themselves, games keep on being conjured, and I thought I should update a bit you on what I've been up to those past few months.

Mainly, I have been focusing on the forthcoming Virtual Cities atlas we've been working on for over a year now with friend, and visual artist Maria Kallikaki. We just announced the cities that will be included in the book, are working like crazy on its texts, illustrations, and maps, making good progress, and seem to be on schedule to deliver the finished manuscript to Unbound early in 2019.

I have also been helping shape the city, and environment of narrative game Lake by gamious, and doing things on a very secret, very exciting game with indie studio beyondthosehills. More info on those projects, as well as on a certain something I can't quite mention yet, soon-ish. And, yes, the still un-named board game, and the Blood Bludgeon RPG are still very slowly being worked on too.

On the writing front, I did start the CityCraft column about the design of game cities for the excellent, new, and dev-focused gaming mag Wireframe. The first three issues have already been released, and you can order them (or download the free PDFs) here. If you want to read something slightly less technical, here's the Designing death in the virtual city essay I wrote for the Wellcome Collection, and here's my AdventureX '18 talk (Narratives In Urbanism & Storytelling Cities) for the more audiovisual types:


And did I mention I appeared in a documentary too? Well, I did, and you can watch this lovely thing on video games and cities (in Spanish mostly, but it's been subtitled, and I do speak in English) on YouTube:


Cheers!

Oct 2, 2018

Autumn Talks on Game Urbanism

I really do enjoy talking about the cities of gaming, and will be doing so twice this autumn. So, the brilliant and very lovely people who find attending my talks on imaginary, digital urbanism entertaining and/or useful will be thrilled to know I will be discussing utopias, dystopias, and game cities at the Athens Games Festival '18 (20-21 October, Athens), and narratives in urbanism & storytelling cities at AdventureX 2018 (10-11 November, London). 

Do come and say hi!

Jul 6, 2018

An Update That's All About Interviews

One of the unexpected (and utterly lovely) side effects of the Virtual Cities pre-order/crowdfunding campaign was that I actually got to discuss my work on game urbanism with some incredibly interesting/lovely people. The book, real world cities, design techniques, science and art, atmosphere, and all sorts of hopefully intriguing matters were touched upon in a series of interviews I thoroughly enjoyed. Here they are:








May 19, 2018

Virtual Cities: An Atlas & Exploration of Video Game Cities

Go, go! Pledge, support, spread the word, and help make the first atlas of videogaming a very real reality! Here's the link: https://unbound.com/books/virtual-cities/


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PS. Thanks so much! You know I love you.

May 10, 2018

A season of books, magazines, and talks

In another one of my sadly sporadic updates on Gnome's Lair I am extremely happy to let you know that I am working with artist Maria Kallikaki on Virtual Cities: An Atlas of Video Game Cities. This  project will result in a book examining over 40 of the most iconic cities of gaming, mapping them, detailing them, and exploring them via a series of sketches and drawings. If you are interested in receiving a single email to let you know when the book becomes available for pre-order please do subscribe here.

Just in case books aren't your cup of tea, and you'd rather get your game cities presented to you via magazines, worry not. Issue 181 of Retro Gamer magazine should come with an article on 8-bit cities by me and Alexander Chatziioannou, whereas the lovely Kilobyte Magazine was kind enough to publish my words on the fantasy town of Dun Darach. You can enjoy said Kilobyte issue for free at issuu or as a more traditional PDF.

Finally, and if you'd like to hear me talk about urbanism and discuss designing cities for games, do attend Game Access '18 in lovely Brno this June. My talk 'The Virtual Cities We Play In: A Builder's Introduction' should be of interest, and we can always have a nice chat, and an early summer drink. Possibly even see what my dear friends at CBE Software are up to these days.

Mar 8, 2018

The Streets of Beat-'Em-Up


What you see above are four rather classic urban scenes I grabbed from the ever-evolving, and always excellent MobyGames. I've been researching the evolution of urban depictions in games lately, you see, and the side-scrolling beat-'em-up genre isn't something that could be ignored. Oh, and do look at those lovely colours!