Matt Vancil, Narrative Designer

300+ Paths to the Sandwich

The times, they be exciting. The March 32nd site is up, we gathered plenty of footage at PAX, and episode one is camera ready. We’ve written, polished, and mapped out every possible route through the first episode. We know it backwards and forwards, sideways and widdershins. But one rather large thing we don’t know about […]

Free Will on the Narrative Railroad

This enlightening review of Sucker Punch on io9 goes beyond the typical complaints and dismissals in many analyses of the film, now available on DVD. Editor Annalee Newits presents an interesting argument outlining why the movie is a “perfect portrait of storytelling gone wrong.” As she puts it: What this movie lacked was a belief […]


Sid Meier is best known, and rightfully so, for his line of Civilization games.  But they are far from the only classic strategy games in his resume. My favorite of his works, hands down, was Pirates!, which came out in 1987 and was re-released with updated graphics and gameplay in 2004.   The only time […]

Beauty in World Design

The great video games, the games that transcend their platforms and that people keep playing long after technology has left them in the dust, I believe, are games that players find beautiful.  Aesthetics and atmosphere as much as gameplay sets these games apart.  Beautiful games provide a sense of transportation to and immersion in another […]

The Day I Killed 10,000 Russians

When I was a kid, I loved playing with board games.  Not playing board games, playing with them.  I’d dump all the pieces onto the carpet—usually from more than one game—and play with them elements in new and unintended ways.  My folks didn’t quite understand what I was doing.  “That’s not how you play,” they’d […]

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Matt Vancil is a writer and filmmaker from Tacoma. He wrote and directed the comic web series JourneyQuest and the Gamers films with Dead Gentlemen Productions. A graduate of the American Film Institute, he has and MFA in Screenwriting and a couple of other useless fine arts degrees.

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