Tag Archives: book

Out of the Woods Countdown

The Out of the Woods Kickstarter will launch on July 18th, 2017 at 10AM PST.

Out of the Woods is the latest project from game designer American McGee. Ten classic fairy tales presented as a physical Card Game, Illustrated Book, and collection of Art Prints.

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New Kickstarter Coming – “Out of the Woods”

Lots of work going on behind the scenes here preparing for my next Kickstarter. Tentatively titled “Out of the Woods” – the project will present a collection of well-known fairy tales as posters, book, and card game. Here’s a concept sketch for the Rapunzel card done by one of the art groups we’re testing for the project.

Rapunzel Illustration

For the narrative theme, I’ve recently been thinking a lot about morality and behavioral development in a world less and less influenced by religion. While I myself am an atheist, I believe important life lessons must be passed to us by some method – religion, literature, and/or caregivers. This was the original purpose of fairy-tales – to scare children into acting morally and cautiously as they matured into adults.

Could a collection of classic fairy tales with a dark (re)-presentation serve to help parents convey life lessons, warnings, and common sense to their kids? Hell, I know a few adults, myself included, who could use a reminder of those lessons!

“Out of the Woods” contains a dual meaning in this context – one, that we’re never *really* out of the woods… in life, there’s always another Big Bad Wolf hiding along our paths. And that while we’re in the woods we must be prepared for the next wolf attack. Death is probably the only escape from the woods we’ll ever encounter – so best to be prepared for a life of tests and obstacles.

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Extra Lives

Extra Lives (book cover)

Extra Lives

From a recent book review at The New York Times:

If photographs are “experience captured,” in Susan Sontag’s phrase, then video games are experience created. The medium can be so engaging, so addictive — Bissell compares playing games to his time using cocaine — that many game makers get away with fiction that makes Stephenie Meyer “look like Ibsen.” A novel or a movie that is poorly written is relatively easy to abandon. Well-designed games that feature bad writing “do not have this problem,” Bissell notes. “Or rather, their problem is not having this problem.”

The book in question is “Extra Lives” by Tom Bissel. It’s an interesting thought – that games can be so engaging, even when some elements of them are lacking. What’s more interesting – the thought of what games will eventually become – an experience so engaging and immersive that “escape” from them won’t be possible. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not.