Author Archives: Sam Beattie
In three days’ time, I’ll be starting my new job in the Cambridge offices of Zynga Boston as an Associate Game Designer. I’m really, really excited about this position, since it means I’m going to be working on Adventure World, the new Zynga game about the particular brand of tomb-raiding archaeology practiced by Indiana Jones and Lara Croft.
In fact, check out that splash screen above. Zynga’s actually signed a deal with LucasArts to bring Indy himself to the game. Which, of course, makes me doubly excited, since now I get to work with an Indiana Jones license!
This is going to be one of those rare weekends where I can’t wait for Monday.
My friend Matt writes for Tor.com, and he’s just featured my Song of Ice and Fire LEGO minifigures in an article for the site! Go check out the article, and then spend some time with the rest of the content at Tor. It’s a great site for anyone interested in science fiction, fantasy, and anything geeky in general.
Edit: So apparently I’m all over the internet now. Matt tells me that the traffic from the Game of Thrones twitter actually crashed Tor. These are just a few of the links I found:
This week was surreal. It was full of sending out resumes to game companies, filling out other applications, and on top of that, I was working to get my additional Jagged Alliance 2 game diaries finished for Quarter to Three. (I’ve been doing one per day, so the fifth one is now available to read.) Which means that I ended up working to get all the video-game related stuff out of the way so I could sit down and read. I repeat, I wanted video games out of the way so I could get some reading done. That’s the polar opposite of most of my time at college.
But now, I can focus on the game-related stuff again, because earlier today I finished A Dance With Dragons. Minus a few little nitpicks, I absolutely loved it. Specifically, the book has enough huge WTF moments to rival A Storm of Swords, even if none of them individually are as big as the Red Wedding. One thing that specifically surprised me, without spoiling too much, is how much of an enormous badass Wyman Manderly turned out to be. He’s like Martin’s version of Titus Andronicus.
Damn it, now I have to wait for my friends to finish the book so I can really talk about it with someone.
As you may see off to the right, I’ve been playing a lot of Jagged Alliance 2 lately. I think the best part about this game is the sheer replay value from playing through with different mercenaries each time. The personalities playing off each other really work to create a different narrative for the experience each time.
Since I have a bit of time on my hands lately, I’ve started writing a series of game diaries about JA2 for the website Quarter to Three. I’m playing through the game with the 1.13 patch and writing about my experience as I go, highlighting my team choices, describing my tactics, talking about how the game holds up, and making a little narrative about the whole thing.
The first entry was just posted today, so you can see it at Quarter to Three.
My senior thesis at Dartmouth was a look at video games as a narrative medium, entitled Playing at Stories. For a while, I was thinking about trying to publish it, but in the four years since it’s been written, there has been so much change and progress in not only the games industry, but also my opinions on game design, that the points addressed in the thesis are fairly out of date. I may revisit it at some point, but in the meantime, I’ve made the original thesis available on my “Projects” page for anyone interested in reading it.