Several useful writings on writing for games

I just posted on Gamasutra a curated list of recent and less recent posts / videos on writing for games – here :-)

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Games loved in 2016

These are the games I recall playing for the first time in 2016 that I really liked. I often discussed them with Daniele Giardini, whose list also follows. The games are not in order of preference after the first two.

We both give the first prize to Firewatch. We both were greatly disappointed by VA-11 HALL-A.

One Night Stand

My loved ones:

  • One Night Stand
  • Reigns
  • Clash Royale
  • Archon
  • Quadriga
  • Soccer Physics
  • The Sea Will Claim Everything
  • Her Story



  • SOMA
  • Shenzen I/O
  • Necropolis
  • DOOM
  • Invisible INC
  • XCOM 2
  • Oxenfree
  • Ori And The Blind Forest
  • Her Story
  • Grim Dawn


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Games we loved in 2014 – DAG pod 21

In this podcast I chat with We Are Muesli about (some of) the games we liked in 2014. We each put together a list of games and we sort of interviewed each other. [Read more…]

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A day in Vinci: presenting Genio

In this in depth interview by Mark Boas Alexander Neuwahl and Pietro Polsinelli present the ideas and times of Da Vinci as the context where they defined Genio, the videogame and project soon to be on Kickstarter. [Read more…]

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Why is Unity so popular for videogame development?

When I started studying the peculiar world of videogame development, I soon met the confusingly named Unity3D as the reference tool used by many practitioners of the black art of game creation. I (wrongly) classified it as a tool for those in realistic 3D games (a style many in Indie games today don’t particularly love – “We’re all effin’ tired of 3D”) telling myself “it must be a kind of Maya for games”. So I ignored it, as at the time the core of my interest was the game design dimension and not the development details, left to poorly paid slaves when needed (by which I mean myself, of course). [Read more…]

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Curating Poetic Games

M&D-logo-squareJust a note: I’m curating a Facebook page on games with a poetic language, be it in terms of visuals, story, gameplay: see it here

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Gamification that makes sense: 2013 updates

Recently I’ve seen several examples of smart gamified apps. I have argued elsewhere that there are two kinds of gamification, black and white hat, similarly to models of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. But showing examples of effective gamification could be very effective in making the point. So here we go. [Read more…]

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Game worlds: Da Vinci and the Renaissance

self supporting bridge

Leonardo Da Vinci life, works and time are ideal sources for inspiration for games and videogames. Not only for that, of course: any media can treat the Da Vinci theme, and books, movies, documentaries, even theatrical pieces deal directly or have taken inspiration from Leonardo and his times.



Leonardo with Batman

Leonardo was not a unique, isolated case of creativity: the birth of Renaissance in Italy testifies a host of inventors and artists, and more you get to know this extraordinary period, more you will discover.

Photo: Not moving you get fat

As I believe games are under utilized as a way to explore knowledge and history, I started a Facebook page that presents what is being done in games and “playful” media on the theme of Leonardo and the Renaissance. Helped by Leonardo’s researcher Alexander Neuwahl, I’ve collected a seemingly never ending collection of funny, bizarre and entertaining list of works and references. You find it in full glory here:






Mona Lisa make over

There is more then Leonardo as presented in Assassin’s Creed. If you persist scrolling down the Facebook page, you’ll find it hard to get to the end of it!

Photo: The Lady stretching her ermine:

You’ll find games, jokes, riddles, books, simulations, experiments, models, documentaries, buildings…

I’ve also been doing some game design on Renaissance / Leonardo themed games, but this is the topic for another post- follow me on Twitter to keep in touch.





Photo: Mona Lisa relaxing:

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Videogames between oral and written culture

The 2013 GDC game design lecture above is called Talking to the Player – How Cultural Currents Shape and Level Design, and its by Mathias Worch. Its interesting core point is looking at videogames as a form of secondary orality.

The talk goes in detail among many themes about the relationship between movies (linked to print, sequential logic) and games, and how their language and logic differs, and how much logic and coherence games require, because of their not strictly linear nature. Linear logics don’t “hit home”, because the right metaphor is conversation, not linear stories.

The core question is “how to assert authorship without hard-coding meaning”?

Game play as dialogue is yet another lens under which you should check your game design.

The talk has been reposted by Koster in the context of the ongoing debate on how games are / should be defined – but fortunately it is not necessary to get into that to gain all that is interesting from the talk above!

game / culture relationship

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Game worlds: the Romans

Photo: LEGO Roman Emperor games set in the Roman republic and empire is one of my obsessions.

As I’m convinced that many people will enjoy getting to know more about this empire history and culture that shapes so much of our lives, I tried to get in contact and serve the existing community of people that find the Romans interesting.

So a few months ago I started publishing news on Romans and videogames on a dedicated Facebook page.


The Romans and videogames

Photo: A Roman 20 sided-diceI’m not limiting my posts strictly to videogames, but I’m exploring all playful usages of the theme, occasionally inserting also ways to go more in depth on the Roman world using visual cues.

(Yes this is a Roman 20 sided dice!)




Monty Python boardgameThe Roman world being (represented as) classic and pompous, is the perfect target for irony; I’ve testified it several times in the Facebook stream, from the classic of Monty Python to Thermae Romae.

You can explore and subscribe my efforts here:

I’ve also been doing a lot of game design on Roman themed games, but this is the topic for another post- follow me on Twitter to keep in touch.

Roman boat in Minecraft

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