Category Archives: Narrative Design


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 […]

All The Stage Is A World

Small world, big stories A few weeks ago I watched the extraordinary documentary Marwencol. It tells the story of Mark Hogancamp, who recovered from a brutal beating that almost claimed his life by immersing himself in an epic art project. He built a ⅙-scale model of a World War II era Belgian town in his […]

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 […]

A Question of Scale

When a man who has saved the world — hell, the universe — more than once says that you’re laying it on a little thick, you are obliged to listen. I give you the words of Harrison Ford: I think what a lot of action movies lose these days, especially the ones that deal with […]


Reinventing the Wheel

It’s spring, and I’ve been thinking about “newness” and originality in terms of playwriting, and more generally, storytelling.  In a world where we are constantly bombarded by story through all kinds of mediums, how can a writer create anything original or new? I had a playwriting student once who told me he didn’t read plays […]

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