I have, as of two minutes ago, handed in the draft text of my first case study. It was meant to be about 5,000 words, and ended up almost 7,000. This wouldn’t be a problem, except that I have ten case studies, and ten case studies at 5,000 words each is 50,000 words, and the hard limit for the entire dissertation is 90,000. So there’s not a lot of wiggle room, and this was probably the shortest and easiest game to analyze out of those I selected. None of this is why I’m trying not to throw up in an office trash can, though. IRead More →

This post should be sub-titled, “Making Me Appreciate Modern Save Game Mechanics.” This has been a writing week for me, as I’ve made it through my play-throughs of Tombs & Treasure, the first game in the series of 10 case studies for my dissertation. I wish I could express the mingled feelings of nausea, anger and relief that sentence causes in me. It’s been a long week. Tombs & Treasure only allows you to save the game through the use of the Ixmol Jewel, an item you receive early on in play. By LOOKing at the jewel, you receive a 16 character alpha-numeric code, whichRead More →

Last week I began the first of the ten case studies I’m using in my dissertation. It was not an auspicious beginning. I decided to start with Tombs & Treasure, a quasi-adventure game released in 1991 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The game was a Japanese port, and the second entry in a franchise, but was heavily modified before it arrived in North America. It was never released in the UK or European markets. Having played through it now, I understand why it didn’t get wider release. The trouble started when I actually went to purchase an NES. I went to a small, butRead More →