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3:45pm on Monday, 28th March, 2016:



At last, I've finished marking the CE217 assignments. I can now get on to reading two MSc projects before being given seven final-year projects and a PhD thesis to read. I'm hoping that in between I'll be able to write the three talks and one workshop I'm due to give abroad next month.

The CE217 assignment concerns game design. Most years, students will design games in the Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror genres, but there are usually several themes that emerge. Vampires were big a few years ago, only to be replaced more recently by zombies. This year, there are no vampires and hardly any zombies but quite a few abandoned mental hospitals. Futuristic worlds used to be routinely dystopian, but this time round they're outnumbered two to one by alien invasions. Time travel is also a more popular topic now than in the past. Superheroes, on the other hand, have entirely disappeared.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the sudden emergence of games set in historical Japan. I didn't see that coming, but then I don't claim to have my finger on the cultural pulse of people born in 1997 so don't feel too bad about my lack of prescience.

The best thing, though, is that one in seven of the designs were in genres no-one else's were.

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Copyright © 2016 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).