Featured Articles

God Save the Queen

Kalvin Lyle had built an enviable reputation for himself in the Canadian game development community, from working at developers like BioWare and Black Box to forming his own studio in Vancouver. So why did he make the move to the U.K. for his next project? Mark N. Barker interviews Lyle about his experience as a Canadian game developer in London.

God Save the Queen

It takes a true iconoclast to combine a passion for arcade games with a lifelong love of psychedelia and hoofed animals. But one British game designer has made a career of doing just that. Graeme Virtue profiles Jeff Minter, one of the U.K.'s original 8-bit coders and founder of Llamasoft.

Carrot on a Stick

The common wisdom is that achievements give players more value for their gaming dollar. But there may be a hidden cost to this constant competition. Christian Ward describes how achievements aren't as revolutionary as they may first appear, and how they could in fact be holding the medium back.

Carrot on a Stick

The Titles and Deeds systems in Lord of the Rings Online aren't just another way for players to grind: They let players express themselves and communicate with one another. Will Hindmarch looks at what makes LOTRO's achievement system different from other platforms.

Carrot on a Stick

Achievements aren't just an in-game diversion - they can educate players about key gameplay concepts and turn novices into skilled veterans. Rob Zacny analyzes how the best achievements can teach you how to play - and how the worst ones can potentially break a game.

Carrot on a Stick

It's easy to tell when the achievements were simply the last item on the developer's checklist before the game shipped. But when they receive a bit of extra attention and a little creativity, achievements can greatly enhance your experience with a game. Anthony Burch examines how different developers have approached achievements, with varying degrees of success.

Carrot on a Stick

Plenty of games include achievements, but few contain the sheer number and variety that World of Warcraft does. John Funk explains why WoW's achievement system grabbed him in a way that no other platform has.

Hideo Bruckheimer

The Wizard was a movie that defined a generation of gamers. It was also 100 minutes of pure corporate propaganda. Mike Schiller takes a closer look at how The Wizard was made, and what it might look like if it came out 20 years later.

Hideo Bruckheimer

"Interactive movie" isn't a phrase most of us remember fondly, but for a brief period in the '90s, this forgotten genre of games captured the imagination of the gaming public. Rob Zacny looks at a couple of the genre's best examples and what contemporary developers can learn from them.

Hideo Bruckheimer

Paul W.S. Anderson has directed nearly as many videogame-based movies as his notorious German colleague, yet his reputation remains relatively intact. How did he manage this feat? Graeme Virtue puts himself through a survival-horror gauntlet of Anderson's films to find out.

Hideo Bruckheimer

There's a debate raging in the game development community over the role of storytelling in game design. But two recent games have managed to make a compromise between narrative and interactivity. Anthony Burch analyzes how key scenes in Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Metal Gear Solid 4 trick players into believing they have more control over the game than they actually do.

Hideo Bruckheimer

Most moviegoers know instinctively that movies are formulaic. But it might surprise you to learn just how rigid the formula can be. Jeff Tidball examines the movie's three-act structure and how it could help game designers make their creations more emotionally involving.

Gaming Addictions

The staff of The Escapist discusses their own experiences with gaming addiction.

Gaming Addictions

Each year, there are more and more cases of people playing videogames to the detriment of their overall physical and mental health. So it might surprise you to learn that in the eyes of the medical community, "videogame addiction" doesn't exist. Elizabeth Marsh examines how psychologists are struggling to define, diagnose and treat this contentious condition.

Gaming Addictions

A semester-long bout of Quake II multiplayer cost Jorge Garc├Ča a college degree and his friends' and family's trust. But it also helped him learn how to play games while managing his other responsibilities.