Socialism Without Socialism

I have a terminology problem. I used to call myself a socialist; I picked this over communist because the latter made people think of Stalinism, which is the exact antithesis of everything I believe in. Sometimes I used the term Marxist, because that seemed more precise: class struggle, materialist conception …

The Council of Crows – Final Update

I could write an entire book entitled What the Fuck Happened to The Council of Crows. In that book, I would be the idiot protagonist making all the wrong choices. You’d have a certain degree of sympathy, because those choices all came from trying to do the right thing at …

Just Keep Going

2018 was crazy. I worked incessantly. Every day. Even when travelling. We travelled! Italy was a particular highlight, as was seeing more of the Balkans. My belief in internationalism was strengthened by the people we met and the experiences we had. Verena successfully ran a marathon, but later in the …

Ideology and Causation

When we discuss why people do things, there are certain assumptions which are frequently left unexamined; human behaviour is often only discussed in a particularly moralistic and individualistic way. This may seem like an abstract philosophical issue, but it has very real consequences. Let’s take the example of the kind …

Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass (teaser)

In case you haven’t seen it, Croteam have released a teaser for Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass. I’ve been so insanely busy this year (Serious Sam 4, Phoenix Point, The Council of Crows, plus several other games) that I haven’t managed to update this blog at all, but trust me …

Writing Advice

Writing requires both talent and craft. Talent is something you are born with (the recent tendency to reject this comes from confusion regarding the origin of human value), but it’s worthless without the hard work of learning the craft. – Having a talent does not make you a better or …

The Games Themselves

This is a topic that I’ve written about before, but it continues to be a source of frustration, so I’ll give it another go. Critical/analytical writing about games is almost never about the actual games. That is, despite claiming to be game criticism, it is built on the assumption (sometimes …

Sex Work: Moralism, Markets & Marxism

The issue of sex work and how it should be treated by society has long been controversial, particularly on the Left. While generally rejecting the conservative view that sex workers are themselves immoral (and filthy, dangerous, evil, etc.), progressives and liberals of various stripes have nevertheless struggled to find a …

Game Texture and Liminal Spaces

Years ago Michael Brough gave a talk in which he used the concept of working with or against a game’s grain. That idea, of thinking about game design in such physical terms – a game’s texture, grain, surface, shape – has fascinated me, particularly given my own thoughts about the …

Omegaland

Omegaland is now available! I wrote this about its history: Omegaland has been a long-term side project for me. I’ve been very lucky to get to work on some big projects like The Talos Principle, Serious Sam 4, and Phoenix Point, but sometimes I missed the strange freedom we had …