Let Me Tell You About My…PC? Character? OC.

Let Me Tell You About My…PC? Character? OC.

Tabletop games run on characters. Players have characters, the GM has characters, and occasionally even the system deposits characters into the game because … world building. Depending on the game, these characters might have varying degrees of depth. I’ve played in games where the characters were loose flavor text tossed on top of a carefully balanced stack of skills, and I’ve played in games where characters’ rich backstories, personal goals, and distinctive personalities drove play.

(more…)

GYGO: Heard Y’all Like Games

GYGO: Heard Y’all Like Games

Happy Wednesday! May your inbox be blessed and clear, I say, with a weekend’s worth of new game announcements clogging mine up. I love a new game announcement as much as the next person, but imagine a world where we get a neat little digest instead of roughly 800 emails at a time. No, let’s go a step further and imagine a world without email. Ah, bliss.

Anyway, here’s what’s been happening in the world of games this week! (more…)

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Gave My Star Wars Obsession a New Hope

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Gave My Star Wars Obsession a New Hope

I can’t remember a time in my life before Star Wars. The movies and related content shaped my identity and fostered my creativity. My first crushes were Han Solo, Luke, and Anakin Skywalker; meanwhile, Princess Leia ignited a years-long queer awakening. I watched the movies over and over, read the Expanded Universe (now called Legends) novels, and played the Lego games until my PS2 was barely functioning. I scrolled boards.theforce.net for hours, where I discovered the magical world of fanfiction. From childhood to my late teens, Star Wars and the fandom were the twin suns around which my world revolved. (more…)

Visual Novels and Other Visions: An Interview With Hanako Games

Visual Novels and Other Visions: An Interview With Hanako Games

As places to discover and publish games seem to be growing more accessible, we often take for granted how interests of the previously niche were hard to find and unapproachable, especially in online spaces. Although tracking down obscure media remains a challenge—and games preservation in particular remains a contentious issue—the influences left by fleeting memories of something seemingly lost has inspired many developers today to turn what was old into something new for contemporary audiences to indulge in.

Otome games, story-based games that originated in Japan targeted towards women, for example, have seemingly left an imprint on visual novel and romance elements that exist in games of other genres. I had an opportunity to discuss that question and more with Georgina Bensley, founder of Hanako Games. We discussed what goes into doing work as “Hanako,” and how the continuously changing landscape of the games scene—especially for independent games development—has offered both challenges and opportunities for visual novels and other forms of interactive fiction. From its early beginnings working within the narrow scope of its influences through Cute Knight, to expanding into even wider themes with more recent titles like Night Cascades, Hanako Games has every intention of growing its library while continuing to work in an ever-evolving industry.

(more…)