One of the things I loved to do in our campaigns was give out magical items which were interesting but mostly useless. We’ve been trained by movies that if you find some seemingly unimportant bauble, then the story will later create a situation where it will be the key to solving a problem in an unexpected way.
My favorite was a rope I gave them that untied itself the moment you let go of the knot. It was pointless, but enough of a novelty that they hung onto it. Another was a chalice that would purify any water you put into it. It was sort of a magical water filter which could turn a glass of swamp sludge into mineral water in about five minutes. Another was a magic staff which had only one property: It could be placed tip-down on the floor and it would keep itself balanced.
Once in a while they would haul out one of these magical booby prizes and actually put the thing to some unexpected use. I always loved when they did that.
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
The Gameplay is the Story
Some advice to game developers on how to stop ruining good stories with bad cutscenes.
Bethesda felt the need to jam a morality system into Fallout 3, and they blew it. Good and evil make no sense and the moral compass points sideways.
The Best of 2018
I called 2018 "The Year of Good News". Here is a list of the games I thought were interesting or worth talking about that year.
Joker's Last Laugh
Did you anticipate the big plot twist of Batman: Arkham City? Here's all the ways the game hid that secret from you while also rubbing your nose in it.