Good Game Reads 11 - March 24th 2017

This was a highly turn-based week for me. I'm moving my powerful army through the final battles of Fire Emblem: Awakening and sweating every move. I refuse to lose anyone at this late stage. The relationship and family stuff makes me more attached to a set of sprites than I thought I could be. I'm also sneaking through corporate data centers in Invisible, Inc. I'm very early in this one still, but I like what I've played so far. Planning how to take out the guards and cleanly moving through a level as the security ratchets up is very satisfying. The procedural generation does result in some nonsensical level layouts. I'm also skulking through a few too many rooms with nothing interesting in them. But this seems like a game that encourages repeat playthroughs, so I'm sure I'll appreciate that feature later.

The Endless Light and Hunger of Cities in Games
A look at cities and all the roles they play in a long list of games. Far from just the backdrop, cities in games shape mechanics, act as objects of desire or revulsion, and make us wonder if they might be the kind of place we will live some day.
Chris Priestman

'Witcher' Studio Boss Marcin Iwinski: 'We Had No Clue How To Make Games'
Find out how CD Projekt Red went from localizing an Ace Ventura game to creating one of the most loved RPGs of the last few years. You can tell how much the developers wanted to expand the appeal of The Witcher 3 while still holding firmly to its Polish culture.
Chris Suellentrop

Video games encourage Indigenous cultural expression
The ability of games to let you adopt the perspective of another person makes them a great way to engage with different cultures. Elizabeth Lapensée gives examples of games that represent the views and values of Indigenous communities, and makes a case for why more Indigenous people should make games.
Elizabeth LaPensée

The end of Xbox Live Indie Games
A fascinating look at Xbox 360's indie game self-publishing service. Read about the games that made it to XBLIG after Microsoft turned its eyes to the Xbox One, and one developer's story of trying to publish a game at the last possible minute. These games may be gone forever after September of this year, so go check them out while you can.
Matt Paprocki

7 works of interactive fiction that every developer should study
The limited interfaces of text-based adventures make it easy to see quality storytelling and design. Stefanie Fogel cites 7 of these games and what they can teach anyone about good game design.
Stefanie Fogel