James Nicholls

Gaming

Ludonarrative: dissonance and harmony

Narrative hasn’t always been a core concern for video game developers. Even today, the majority of games don’t have dedicated writers. Ludology has always been the main focus, perhaps even rightly so. Video games are designed to provide players with systems and mechanics they have to learn in order to progress. The player is given…

Gaming

Hellblade: Authentic or Contrived?

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice has sparked a lot of debate since its release in August. Even before its release, its marketing and advertising focused on Ninja Theory’s desire to create an experience demonstrating the possible effects of psychosis. It’s certainly a bold stance to take, and, although their intentions may be admirable – in that Senua,…

Gaming

Indie-penchant: Hob

Quite simply, Hob made me feel like a child again. It dropped me into a world I knew nothing about, and left me there to follow an almost imperceptible thread. I didn’t understand anything, except that I was there and there were places I could go, things I could interact with, a vaguely authoritative robot…